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Big Microsoft SAM changes announced at Microsoft Inspire

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During Microsoft’s yearly partner conference Inspire, Las Vegas July 14-18, Microsoft announced some big changes to their Software Asset Management program. This impacts partners but offers opportunities as well. For end-user organizations we will have to see if the changes are for the good.

Thriving cloud migration
Microsoft has been shifting away from compliance-based Software Asset Management projects in the past year. Sure, they want customers to pay for what these customers use, but helping customers migrate to the (public) cloud is the main objective for the upcoming Microsoft fiscal (July 2019 -June 2020).

Solution Assessments
To be able to help customers adopt the cloud Microsoft has their Solution Assessments. Please note that the word SAM or Software Asset Management has disappeared with the start of Fiscal Year 2020! These Solution Assessments are based on four major pillars:
•    Know what technology you have and use (here is still a bit of compliance involved…)
•    Get guidance on next steps for migration to the cloud, an action and migration plan
•    Migration for first or all workloads to the cloud
•    Optimize and control with a managed solution

Partner ecosystem
Microsoft has waived the mandatory Software Licensing and Software Asset Management exams for partners to be able to collect incentives. With that they aim for more partners to help customers migrate to the cloud than the traditional SAM partners. System Integrators and Managed Service Providers come into play.

Knowing SAM
If the new partners will be able to perform high quality Software Asset Management and following migration projects remains to be seen. Thorough knowledge of SAM by certified professionals is – in our humble experience – still essential for a successful outcome for customers. Regardless if you want a compliance statement or not. License and contract optimization are also part of SAM and essential for cloud migration plans and public cloud cost control, only think of Azure Hybrid Benefits for Windows Server and SQL Server as an example.

ITAMOrg
Might you feel that IT Asset Management and Software Asset Management as part of that is crucial to your organization? Do you want to know more about the topic and learn from fellow organizations and experts? Then join the ITAMOrg community and reach out to your local chapter.

By: Peter van Uden
ITAMorg Chapter Leader BeNeLux region
benelux@itamorg.com