Microsoft Software Assurance Benefits…Got some? You might (and not even know it)

Do you have Microsoft Software Assurance Benefits (SABs)?

Microsoft contractual agreements (e.g. Enterprise & Select Agreements) offer significant benefits outside the “normal” License and Maintenance associated with software. These Software Assurance Benefits are rewards for committing to Microsoft technology and solutions. Most customers view this as an incentive program for technology – much like a credit card rewards program.

The nature of the benefits earned are determined by the program and products selected; new software version rights, 24×7 phone and web support, training and planning services give you access to services and technologies that will help your organization stay current, proactive and productive.

Typically, customers conceptualize the value of these benefits easily, yet still run into challenges utilizing them. A discussion with a Softchoice Software Assurance Benefits Specialist helps you address those challenges. What follows is how we start the conversation.

Planning Services Vouchers = Plan For Change

Deciding the deployment path for new software can be demanding. Planning Services vouchers (PSV) are designed to support the introduction of new software assets into your enterprise; alleviating some of the costs of evaluating the impact of these technologies and removing barriers to adoption. Softchoice’s Solution Architects are tenured experts and will work with you to develop custom and innovative strategies for your environment.

SATVs = Free Microsoft Expertise and Instruction

One of the key SA Benefits people struggle to fully realize are Software Assurance Training Vouchers (or SATVs). SATVs are typically earned in parallel with the amount of Microsoft technology a customer purchases and can be used to provide classroom, virtual or on-site training towards Microsoft skills and certifications.  They are a  fantastic benefit with true, hard costs associated with them, but, can be challenging for some customers to fully utilize.

A key influencer for the success of your IT environment is the skill of the team managing the infrastructure. Introducing technology and solutions will require training for your team. SATVs are equal to one day of training and will give you access to authorized Microsoft curriculum with in-depth, hands-on courses that are designed to help your IT staff deploy, manage and support your most critical infrastructure. Instructor led training will go beyond the core curriculum to teach students what online courses or manuals do not always address. SATVs are a step towards earning MCSA and MCSE certifications.

How can I use SATVs?

A Microsoft Learning Partner is authorized to take your SATVs in exchange for Official Microsoft Learning Product (OMLP) classes. The difference is real world experience – real-life practice which accelerates your skill-building and experience for achieving Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA) and Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE). Softchoice can provide guidance towards your training path.

Have you used up all your SATVs?

No problem – we have access to a comprehensive IT and business training portfolio with more than 1,200 courses from leading technology vendors such as Microsoft as well as Cisco, VMware, Citrix, Red Hat; as well as ITIL, Six Sigma, Project Management and vendor-neutral technology training.

What are the risks in leaving vouchers on the table?

Lack of training contributes towards a reactive rather than a proactive IT team. Current IT infrastructure and skills enable your organization to drive productivity, enhance efficiency, and cut costs, while making individuals more valuable in today’s economic climate. The opportunity for professional growth and development will improve employee morale and retention.

For more information about using your Software Assurance Benefits – contact your Softchoice Account Manager or if you don’t have an Account Manager, feel free to contact me.

About Christine Hannon

As a Microsoft Software Assurance Benefits Specialist, Christine assists with benefit activation and continued use as our customers deploy, manage and support their infrastructure.