Microsoft Software Assurance Reference Card
For Microsoft Partners
What is Software Assurance?
Software Assurance Extends Value to the Organization
With Software Assurance:
Microsoft® Software Assurance for Volume Licensing is a compre-
Software Assurance maximizes IT investment: The value of Software
Business Leaders can be confident that their technology investment
hensive maintenance offering that helps organizations maximize the
Assurance extends well beyond the sum of its parts. When combined
can have a positive impact on the bottom line and helps employees
business value of their software investment. With Software Assurance,
with software as part of a complete solution, customers have access to
to be more productive.
customers have access to tools and resources that optimize organiza-
the most comprehensive maintenance offerings to extend the value
tional performance by helping to boost business productivity, align
and return on their Microsoft technology investments.
Talking point: Software Assurance helps your business be more com-
IT with business strategies, and get the most value out of their tech-
petitive and agile while increasing your control over costs and improving
nology infrastructure. Software Assurance combines a broad range
While each customer experience is unique when it comes to planning,
budget predictability for Microsoft software.
of benefits into one program, supporting businesses as they deploy,
deploying, using, and migrating software, all customers can benefit
manage, and support their software. Key advantages of Software
from the ability to optimize their business performance through the
Technical Leaders and IT Pros gain more flexibility, support, and tools
utilization of Software Assurance.
to deploy and manage software.
• Enables customers to have the latest software landscape and
Boost productivity: Software Assurance gives customers access to a
Talking point: Software Assurance gives you access to the most
leverage technology and resources to help migrate or transition
complete set of productivity benefits, training, and technologies that
current versions of Microsoft software, technical support, and deploy-
help increase collaboration, streamline communication and content,
ment planning services to help you deploy, maintain, and support the
and enhance business intelligence throughout the enterprise.
entire IT environment.
• Increases budget predictability and cost management while help-
ing to improve operational efficiencies.
Empower workers: Using Software Assurance training and support
benefits, organizations can get the most out of Microsoft’s flexible,
IT Professionals and Information Workers can increase their produc-
• Promotes the capabilities of IT staff through robust training and
scalable application platform by giving developers, IT Professionals,
tivity with training, exclusive features, and new software versions.
partner service benefits.
and end-users the tools, training, and support they need to deliver
Talking point: Software Assurance provides access to technology,
• Supports uptime and helps increase productivity through deep
dynamic solutions that help drive business value.
resources, and tools that deploy and support the latest technology, and
product support benefits such as 24x7 phone support incidents
Secure the infrastructure: Software Assurance benefits can be used to
help manage daily IT issues to keep an organization operating smoothly.
and unlimited Web support during business hours.
help prepare IT Professionals to secure their organization’s technology
Software Assurance offers a complete solution that adds value to your
infrastructure through integrated management and security solutions
customer’s software investment. Selected at the time of the custom-
that help increase organizational agility, reduce system complexity, im-
er’s software purchase, Software Assurance can be utilized immedi-
prove services, and help control costs.
Key insights to take into consideration when promoting new Software
ately and throughout the term of the licensing agreement.
For more information, see the Software Assurance Infrastructure
Assurance agreements or renewals include:
Optimization Sales Sheets.
New Customers*: When first acquiring Microsoft Software Assurance,
the most important factors relate to cost-effectiveness, flexibility, and
Software Assurance Contributes to Partners
Customer Target Profile
Enables long-term relationships: Customers who have activated and
• Cost of Software Assurance
used one or more of their Software Assurance benefits renew their
Customers who are most likely to acquire or renew their agreements
• Ability to upgrade to new versions
agreements. In fact, benefit consumption is the strongest indicator
with Software Assurance are those that:
of Software Assurance renewals—and a significant opportunity for
• Ability to manage existing software licenses
• Are early or mainstream adopters of technology and have Microsoft
• Predictability in software budget forecasting
software running their business solutions.
Increases customer satisfaction: Increased customer satisfaction and
• Eliminate the time consuming process of obtaining
commitment to the Microsoft platform enables partners to demon-
• Recognize the value of having additional technical resolution sup-
new licenses for upgrades
strate their value through the entire software lifecycle and its stages,
port coverage, exclusive technology, and/or deployment services.
Current and Renewing Customers**: The benefits with the highest
from facilitating smoother deployments of new software to lowering
• Have activated and used one or more Software Assurance benefits.
satisfaction rankings include a mix of planning, usage, and support
training, maintenance, and support costs.
• Have deployed the most recent version of Microsoft Office, Microsoft
benefits. Moreover, benefit consumption is the best predictor of
Creates new business opportunities: Grow service revenue by cross-
Windows® desktop, and server operating system software.
renewals. The more benefits activated and consumed, the more likely
selling products. Provide deployment planning and other services that
a customer is to renew.
leverage Software Assurance solutions and maintenance benefits.
* Microsoft Software Assurance Topline Report, CMG Market Research and Insights, September 2007.
** Increasing Software Assurance Renewals, WWLP Analytics, September 2007.
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SOFTWARE ASSURANCE REFERENCE CARD
These benefits are strongly associated with renewals:
Customer Frequently Asked Questions
• Training Vouchers
Q: What’s the value of Software Assurance if I don’t plan to upgrade?
• Spread Payments help reduce initial costs and forecast annual
• Employee Purchase Program
Software Assurance is about more than rights to version upgrades.
software budget requirements.
• Home Use Program
It offers a comprehensive maintenance offering that includes tech-
• Packaged Services help customers realize a greater return on their
• TechNet Benefits through Software Assurance
nology, support, and service features that help extend the value of
technology investment by providing structured engagements to
• 24x7 Problem Resolution Support
your technology investment. Each benefit supports specific busi-
assist with planning and deployment. Offerings include Desktop,
• New Version Rights
ness challenges, and collectively the benefits can help you boost
SharePoint, Exchange, and Business Value Planning Services.
productivity, increase uptime, and reduce costs.
• Windows Vista Enterprise helps organizations lower costs, reduce
Building the Case for Value
Q: I don’t have budget allocated for Software Assurance. What are
risks, and stay connected.
• Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP) increases desktop
my options? Software Assurance offers a Spread Payments benefit
that translates to a first-year calculation at one-third of the total
manageability, reduces total cost of ownership, and enables
• Start the conversation early and make sure the customer understands
cost and is much less than the cost of a new license. Microsoft
delivery of applications as services.
the business value proposition of Software Assurance.
Financing for hardware, software, and partner services is also avail-
• E-Learning offers self-paced interactive training designed for
• Position Software Assurance as part of a complete solution—includ-
able so you can get what you need up front.
end-users and IT Professionals.
ing software and services.
Go to www.microsoft.com/financing for more information.
• Training Vouchers provide in-depth technical classroom training
for IT Professionals and Developers.
• Identify customer pain points and align them with Software Assurance
Q: Why should I purchase Software Assurance instead of just
benefits to demonstrate how they contribute to business value.
purchasing new licenses when I need them? Software Assurance
• Home Use Program increases productivity by giving employees
Emphasize how Software Assurance helps boost productivity, aligns
is the most cost-effective way to acquire future releases, plus you
licensed copies of Microsoft Office programs for their home
IT with business strategy, and position the technology infrastruc-
receive all the benefits that help extend the value of your technol-
ture as a strategic asset.
• Microsoft Office Multi-Language Pack (MLP) enables IT to deploy
a single Office 2007 image with support for 37 languages.
• Build a proposal based on your knowledge of the customer’s needs
Q: I already have Premier, so why do I need Software Assurance?
• Employee Purchase Program contributes to employee satisfaction
and incorporate appropriate Software Assurance benefit value mes-
Software Assurance provides many valuable benefits in addition
by providing discounts on Microsoft products.
saging to demonstrate a customer’s potential ROI. In your proposal
to support. You’ll also receive training, deployment, and manage-
compare the costs and benefits of Software Assurance with the cost
ment benefits in addition to unlimited Web support for servers
• Enterprise Source Licensing provides access to Microsoft
of training, consulting services, support, and acquiring full licenses
and Software Assurance phone support incidents that can be
Windows source code for internal development and support.
every three years.
transferred to Premier.
• 24x7 Problem Resolution Support enhances existing Premier
Support agreements by providing around-the-clock incident support.
• Address the competitive discussion head-on by demonstrating that
Q: I already acquired Windows with my PCs, so why do I need
• Cold Backups for Disaster Recovery helps maintain IT operating
Microsoft Software Assurance typically costs less than maintenance
Software Assurance? Windows Vista® Enterprise, offered exclusive-
efficiency and protect mission-critical solutions.
programs offered by competitors, and it includes a more compre-
ly to Software Assurance customers, provides additional valuable
hensive range of benefits to address customer needs throughout
services to help you protect sensitive data, improve application
• TechNet Benefits through Software Assurance give IT staff easy
the software lifecycle.
compatibility, and simplify IT management and deployment.
access to experts and technical information.
• Extended Hotfix Support reduces support costs and makes it
• Underline that Software Assurance is the most cost-effective way to
Q: Will I have access to the new benefits if I already have Software
easier for customers to get the support needed.
acquire licenses for the next release.
Assurance? Yes. Software Assurance customers can begin using the
benefits when they become available.
• Windows Fundamentals for Legacy PCs reduces the costs of owning
legacy PCs, while improving their management and security.
Q: If I acquire Software Assurance today, will I be able to take advan-
Promote the consumption of key benefits:
tage of the New Version Rights benefit and get the next versions
of Windows and Office? With Software Assurance, you wil receive
• Early: Soon after signing or renewal
all product updates and new releases leading up to a major prod-
Case Studies: Find testimonials from Virgin Entertainment,
• Often: To use benefits across the software lifecycle
uct release. In addition, you will be able to take advantage of the
Fair Isaac, Weyerhaeuser, CH2M Hill, Corillian, and others
Software Assurance benefits that help your organization during
• Deep: To exemplify the anchor benefits that prove return
the software lifecycle and its stages.
Partner Strategy Guide: Find additional information
on how to effectively sell Software Assurance at
• Broad: By many people throughout the organization
Resources: Find the Software Assurance Benefits Chart and sales
1. Ensure the right people in the organization know about
• New Version Rights provide new software version releases so you
tools at www.microsoft.com/licensing/programs/sa.
Software Assurance benefits.
can have access to the latest technology.
Licensing Competencies: Find out how attaining the Licensing
2. Revisit your customers’ entitlement and consumption quarterly.
• Step-Up License Availability enables you to migrate your software
Competency can help you build your Software Assurance business
from a lower-level software edition to a higher-level edition of
3. Help customers understand which benefits help deliver solutions.
Microsoft provides this material solely for informational purposes. Please direct customers to their agreements for a ful understanding of their rights and obligations under Microsoft’s Volume Licensing programs. Microsoft software is licensed, not sold. The value and benefit gained through use of Microsoft
software and services may vary by customer. Customers with questions about differences between this material and the agreements should contact their resel er or Microsoft account manager. Microsoft does not set final prices or payment terms for licenses acquired through resel ers. Final prices and
payment terms are determined by agreement between the customer and its resel er. Eligibility for Software Assurance benefits varies by offering and region and is subject to change. The Terms and Conditions of Volume License Agreements and the Terms and Conditions under which any specific Software
Assurance benefits are offered will take precedence in the case of any conflict with the information provided here. For eligibility criteria and current benefit program rules, see the Microsoft Product List at http://www.microsoftvolumelicensing.com/. Part No. 098-111032