Microsoft Software Assurance (SA) is a Microsoft maintenance program aimed at business users who use Microsoft Windows, Microsoft Office, and other server and desktop applications. The core premise behind SA is to give users the ability to spread payments over several years, while offering “free” upgrades to newer versions during that time period. The planning deployment services offered by Microsoft help organizations to plan their deployment, on-premise, cloud-based and on hybrid environments.
When you utilize the software assurance deployment planning services, utilizing you can:
- Leverage current IT investments to create business value.
- Maximize use of acquired products and technologies.
- Reduce deployment costs and related risks.
- Reduce training costs.
Microsoft Deployment Planning Services Offered
- SharePoint Deployment Planning Engagement
Work with a qualified expert to create a customized and structured engagement designed to showcase how SharePoint can help your organization share, organize, discover, build, and manage information, content, applications, sites, and even skills and expertise. Optimized for the latest version of SharePoint but flexible enough to meet your organization’s needs, engagements are available in lengths of 1, 3, 5, 10, or 15 days and are designed to help you discover what is new with the platform, understand how to apply the capabilities, develop a logical architecture, and create a roadmap to deployment. Engagement topics may include capabilities for IT Pros and business users, SharePoint Search, Business Intelligence, applications, information architecture, topology planning, or migration planning.
- Office 365 Fast Track Planning Engagement
Envision an Office 365 solution where a qualified partner can guide you through discovering how Office 365’s capabilities can help you to achieve your business objectives. Planning engagements are available in sessions of 1, 3, 5, 10, and 15 days, with recommended guidelines and clearly defined next steps.
- Dynamics Deployment Planning Services (DYDPS)
DYDPS helps you find new, long-term opportunities, deepen your engagement with customers, and expand your practice. Work with customers looking to implement or upgrade Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Customer Engagement, or Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations, and build an end-to-end solution for their business processes.
Uses of Deployment Software Assurance
- Get help building a deployment, upgrade, or migration plan tailored for your organization. Remove ambiguity and concerns about deployments with on-site expertise.
- Learn how Microsoft products and services fit within your environment through in-depth technology planning sessions.
- Build a custom deployment plan based on an assessment of your IT environment, workforce needs, and business requirements.
- Extend your internal expertise and incorporate Microsoft best practices to help reduce risks and deployment costs.
- Demonstrate the value of your custom deployment plan and solution with a plan-reinforcing proof of concept or pilot.
Deployment Planning Services Vouchers Process
- New Partners/ Customers
- Verification of Eligibility
Requirements (specific to the engagement being delivered) must be satisfied in order to be eligible to enroll to deliver Planning Services engagements. Partner organizations must satisfy compliance training and competency requirements while the consultant delivering the engagement must satisfy technical training/exam requirements.
Once your organization has met the eligibility requirements, you can enroll in the Planning Services program (or enroll to deliver additional Planning Services offerings) following the steps below:
- Join the Microsoft Partner Network. Enroll in MPN, making sure to sign in using a Microsoft account with MPN Global Admin rights.
- Complete the required online Planning Services Compliance Training Course on Partner University (view instructions ). Wait 24 hours for systems to sync before moving to the next step.
- View and accept the Planning Services Agreement. Navigate to the Partner Membership Center for Planning Services. At step 3, select View, enter your name and title, then select I Accept at the bottom of the page.
- Update Profile in Partner Directory
The Planning Services Partner Dashboard (formerly called the Planning Services Partner Directory Management Console) is the tool to use for updating your Partner Directory profile and viewing details about your Planning Services enrollment, your legal agreement, and payment rates.
- Existing Partners
- Customer creates and assigns voucher
Before you can begin a Planning Services engagement, your customer must first activate their Planning Services benefit, create a Planning Services voucher, and then assign it to a project manager in their organization. If your customer has not yet created the required voucher, you can help expedite the process by sharing the resources at right and explaining the process outlined below.
- Reserve voucher in VVR
After a customer successfully assigns a voucher to your organization in VLSC, an email will be generated and sent to the customer’s project manager and Software Assurance benefits (SAB) administrator, requesting them to forward the email to you (their chosen Planning Services partner). If you did not receive an email from your customer containing the voucher ID and email address associated to the voucher, ask them to forward you the email so you may reserve the voucher and schedule the engagement.
- Complete engagement and submit a completion report
After reserving a voucher, complete the following steps:
- Deliver the Planning Services engagement according to the guidance provided on the engagement page (expand offerings below to locate desired engagement page).
- Provide the customer with the final completed customer deliverable upon completion of the engagement (customer deliverable template found on the engagement page).
- Complete and submit the online Planning Services Completion Report Submission Form
- Ensure you provide a copy of the actual customer deliverable to Microsoft by uploading a copy of the deliverable prior to submitting the online form.
- File formats accepted for upload: Microsoft Word (.doc, .docx), PDF (.pdf), PowerPoint (.ppt, .pptx), XML (.xml), Excel (.xlns, .xlsx) and Visio (.vsd, .vsdx).
- Formats not accepted for upload: HTML (.html) and ZIP (.zip).
- Save the resulting .xml submission receipt file to your computer (the .xml submission receipt file is required in the next step for redeeming vouchers).
- Redeem voucher in VVR
Once you complete a Planning Services engagement and submit your completion report (along with a copy of the deliverable provided to your customer), it is time to redeem the voucher for the engagement. Note: you will need the .xml receipt file that you saved to your computer in the previous step.
- Get paid through SAVB
After redeeming a voucher in VVR, you must create and submit a payment request in the Software Assurance Voucher Benefit (SAVB) Online Payment Tool in order to invoice Microsoft. SAVB is a unique system separate from VVR, with an initial organizational registration process for your first redeemed voucher program. Before registering for SAVB, your organization must have at least one voucher redeemed for that program in VVR.
Whether you are an existing or new customer, by following these eight steps you will be able to activate deployment planning services vouchers.