Get it whilst you can… because Microsoft have announced changes to the Software Assurance benefits that are connected to MSPA and EA agreements.
Software Assurance (DPS) Background
In non-jargon speak, if you belong to an organisation that has a ‘Microsoft Products & Services’ or ‘Enterprise’ Agreement in place for licensing, then one of the associated perks is (for a limited period) that you receive Software Assurance benefits – in this instance the focus is on ‘Deployment and Planning Services’ (DPS) vouchers.
The general premise is that if you’re looking to perform Envisioning, Discovery or Design around the implementation of a new Microsoft solution i.e. Project Online – and want to understand the art of the possible, define the roll-out approach for your department (or wider org) and understand the associated effort – then you can simply allocate the vouchers to a suitable Microsoft Partner, who in exchange provides the required expertise and helps shape a clear implementation plan and associated roadmap to reach your objectives.
Microsoft Software Assurance Changes
As stated in the opening, Microsoft have announced some changes which are summarised below:
- February 1, 2020: Deployment and Planning Services (DPS) cloud engagements will be retired
- February 1, 2020: Training vouchers can no longer be converted to planning service days
- February 1, 2021: Organisations will no longer accrue DPS days
- January 1, 2022: Existing DPS days can be used until this date
So, the message is clear – IF you have DPS days plan on using them by January 1st, 2022 or the expiry date, whichever comes first.
Looking beyond Deployment Planning Services, from February 1, 2020, all cloud customers will be directed to FastTrack programs and I’ll be providing an update on this in a future article.
SharePoint Deployment Planning Services (SDPS)
DPS vouchers can be used against to support planning activities around a number of Microsoft solutions, to complete planning around Microsoft Project Online (a SharePoint app) you can utilise SDPS vouchers to receive a ‘PPM Solution Planning’ engagement, which is typically a 5-day work package, per business unit within an organisation.
As part of the planning engagement you would benefit from workshops around Envisioning, Discovery & Design with the output being an implementation roadmap and high-level solution design.
If you want to establish whether you have DPS days, engage firstly with the licensing owner(s) within your IT department or alternatively your Account Manager/Technology Strategist at Microsoft.
If you’d like to discuss a potential planning engagement or require guidance on how to access or assign your SDPS vouchers, then please contact us.