Right-size your Azure for best financial returns

Azure consumption management

What do Azure and cell phone bills have in common? As it turns out, a lot.

As unfortunate as it is, it’s pretty common to go over your mobile phone voice and data limits. What do most of us do? We pay the bill – regardless of the overcharges. Some of us change to a more appropriate plan or start monitoring data consumption to avoid hefty surcharges.

These are common sense strategies for battling out-of-control phone bills — right-sizing your plan and gaining insight and control.

These are also exactly the strategies needed for proper Azure financial management.

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Microsoft increases seat minimums for corporate Enterprise Agreement

Microsoft Moving Corporate Enterprise Agreement User/Device Minimums From 250 To 500

Earlier this month, Microsoft announced that starting July 1st, 2016 any new corporate Enterprise Agreement (including Enterprise Agreement Subscriptions) will require a 500 user/device minimum. Before we get into the specifics, let’s all take a deep breath.

While at face value this may seem like a major change from Microsoft, in reality, the impact on existing EA customers is minimal. That’s because Microsoft is allowing all current EA customers, including those who sign up now until June, to have the ability to renew one (1) time for an additional 36-month term. That means that customers under 500 seats may still be in an EA for the next 6.5 years (if they sign or renew in June of 2016).

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Did Microsoft just enter the telephony game? Plus, everything else you need to know about Office 365 E5

Did Microsoft just enter the telephony game? Plus, everything else you need to know about Office 365 E5

Enterprises now have access to the new Office 365 E5 Suite, Microsoft’s most comprehensive set of productivity, collaboration, analytics, security and compliance capabilities, of any Office 365 plan ever.

And while the premium SKU – which became available December 1, 2015 – brings with it some impressive new features, it’s the attractive price tag and new communications services that are causing the biggest waves. In E5, Microsoft is rolling out Cloud PBX and PSTN Conferencing services, designed to eliminate the need for legacy telephony systems and third party conferencing providers.

Coming in at $35 for the standard E5 plan, Microsoft estimates it costs just one-third of what enterprises are already paying for all the combined services.

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Office 365 “E” SKUs to see price increase in August

Office 365 "E" SKUs to see price increase in August

As we enter a new fiscal year for Microsoft, we traditional see adjustments to pricing, licensing and how Microsoft brings products to clients. And the first change we are anticipating will affect pricing on Office 365 “E” (Enterprise) plans for corporate and government Enterprise Agreements.

Although details have not officially been released, it’s been acknowledged that Microsoft intends to increase the cost of Office 365 Enterprise plans (E1/E3/E4) acquired through volume licensing by roughly 15%. The new pricing is expected take effect August 1, 2014.

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The Path to Windows Virtualization for SPLA

How do you license Windows in a virtualized environment through the Microsoft SPLA Program?    Windows virtualization does not have to be complex, and in many ways can save you significant amount of money on your monthly SPLA usage report.  In this article, I am going to review the different ways of licensing as well as the virtualization rights available for Windows server.

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Microsoft updates Core CAL: Lync, Forefront, price increases come to key license

Microsoft Core Cal Changes adding Forefront and Lync

Today, Microsoft announced two product additions to the Core Client Access License (Core CAL), which will impact the pricing and functionality of its popular desktop licensing suite.

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