Software Assurance by benefit
New version rights, license mobility, and home use are popular benefits, but Software Assurance doesn’t stop there. You get a broad range of benefits that help you make the most of your Windows, Office, and server products. Unique technologies, services, and rights help you deploy, manage, and use Microsoft products efficiently. And specialized benefits—such as the option to spread out payments over time—can help you forecast your annual technology budget up to three years in advance.
Discover the value of Software Assurance for your business. The Software Assurance benefits interactive chart (PDF, 768 KB) provides an overview of Software Assurance benefits as well as basic eligibility information.
NEW: Beginning in February 2020, we’re retiring the Deployment Planning Services benefit in Software Assurance. We’re consolidating our programmatic deployment planning assistance to a single approach, and Microsoft FastTrack is our primary implementation support offer. You can use FastTrack for Azure, Microsoft 365, and Dynamics 365 engagements. Cloud services will be retired from Deployment Planning Services eligibility in February 2020 in favor of FastTrack deployments. Learn more about FastTrack.
Deployment Planning Services will be available until January 2022. With deployment planning you get in-depth planning assistance from qualified partners or Microsoft Consulting Services to help you plan your deployment—whether on-premises or in hybrid environments. These structured engagements help you plan your deployment of the latest Microsoft technology.
- Help ensure efficient deployments through collaborative planning built on best practices.
- Extend your IT staff with expert advice from on-site deployment planning specialists.
How it works
Your Planning Services days are based on the type and number of licenses you have with Software Assurance. Work with your Microsoft Partner or Microsoft Consulting Services to identify the right option for your needs.
- Select a qualified Planning Services Partner to complete your chosen engagement.
- Review the Product Terms to learn about the Software Assurance Planning Service benefit and how benefit’s allocation is calculated.
- Partners can go to the Planning Services Partner Portal for information on becoming an Planning Services partner and Planning Services options.
Planning Services engagements
Your Planning Services partner can work with you to understand your priorities and help you choose from the following offerings: Note that cloud deployments will be retired from deployment planning services and move to Microsoft FastTrack in February 2020.
AZDPS helps you understand what Microsoft Azure can do for your business and identify projects that are best suited for this public cloud offering. Assess web and line-of-business applications, and extend your on-premises applications to the public cloud to help reduce IT complexity and costs.
- Activating Microsoft Azure Storage
- Migrate Applications to Microsoft Azure Infrastructure Services
- Implementing Develop & Test Scenarios with Microsoft Azure Virtual Machines
- Enterprise Mobility + Security Identity and Access Management
- Enterprise Mobility + Security Identity Driven Security
- Enterprise Mobility + Security Information Protection
- Enterprise Mobility + Security Managed Mobile Productivity
- Implementing Operations Management Suite
Learn more about AZDPS (PDF, 487 KB)
PVDPS provides the fundamental analysis, business case, process, and technical procedures that you need to optimize your datacenter. Take advantage of infrastructure solutions based on Windows Server, System Center, and Hyper-V, and help reduce datacenter costs, increase business agility, and provide improved control over your physical, virtual, and hybrid infrastructure.
- Upgrading to Windows Server
- Migrating to Windows Server Hyper-V from VMware
- Accelerating Virtualization and Management Deployment
Learn more about PVDPS (PDF, 314 KB
DDPS helps you plan a successful deployment of Microsoft Office 365 Pro Plus, Office Professional Plus, and the Windows operating system—providing analysis, planning, and technical guidance. Discover the best approach for deploying Office and Windows together across your organization. If you plan on moving to the cloud, evaluate the core Office 365 service features within your own environment and address key considerations and requirements for adopting a cloud-ready desktop environment. Take the next step with Microsoft’s mobility productivity solutions and discover how activating Office applications on employees’ mobile devices will deliver productivity benefits to your business.
- Office 365 FastTrack Planning
- Windows and Office Enterprise Proof of Concept
- Windows and Office Deployment Planning
- Mobile Productivity Deployment Planning
Learn more about DDPS (PDF, 283 KB)
DTDPS provides rigorous analysis and a process-focused approach to developing a Microsoft Visual Studio custom deployment plan. DTDPS can help lower the perceived risk and cost of deployment.
- Visual Studio Team Services Deployment Planning Assessment
- Visual Studio Agile Deployment Assessment
- Visual Studio Quality Tools Deployment Assessment
- Visual Studio DevOps Deployment Assessment
Learn more about DTDPS (PDF, 427 KB)
DYDPS provides in-depth assessment and planning to help you implement or upgrade your CRM or ERP solution with Microsoft Dynamics 365 or assess the path to migrate your CRM or ERP solution to Microsoft Dynamics 365. Engagements can help you review your business processes and understand what it will take to implement a Microsoft Dynamics solution that meets your specific consideration. During the engagement, Microsoft Partners or Microsoft Consulting Services can help identify the most suitable implementation path, create a custom plan, and deliver a proof-of-concept (depending on the engagement) to help you assess the solution’s benefits. Engage with experts to realize more value from your IT investment and streamline your implementations.
- Implementing Microsoft Dynamics 365 (for Sales, Marketing, Customer Service, Field Service, Customer Engagement)
- Upgrading Microsoft Dynamics 365 (for Sales, Marketing, Customer Service, Field Service, Customer Engagement)
- Migrating to Microsoft Dynamics 365 (for Sales, Marketing, Customer Service, Field Service, Customer Engagement)
Microsoft Dynamics 365 Planning Services Datasheet (PDF, 345 KB)
S&EDPS can help your organization evaluate and plan your Microsoft Exchange and Microsoft Skype for Business implementation, whether it is on-premises, in the cloud, or in a hybrid environment. Evaluate Skype for Business Online and Exchange Online through the Office 365 FastTrack Planning Services engagements that show you the core Office 365 service features within your own environment and address considerations for adopting a cloud-ready environment. Plan your upgrade to Exchange Server or Skype for Business Server and help ensure a smooth deployment by working with a partner to develop an end-to-end deployment plan. You can also assess your network’s capability to deploy Skype for Business. Evaluate Microsoft’s latest security and encryption features by focusing on Exchange Online Protection and Data Loss Prevention to help ensure your sensitive email and data are secure with Microsoft cloud-based protection services.
- Office 365 FastTrack Planning
- Skype for Business Deployment Planning
- Skype for Business to Microsoft Teams Upgrade Planning
- Exchange Deployment Planning
- Microsoft Teams Adoption and Change Management Planning
Learn more about S&EDPS (PDF, 577 KB)
SDPS helps you develop customized deployment plans for your specific environment and assess the overall impact of implementing a SharePoint and/or SharePoint Online solution. Evaluate SharePoint Online through the Office 365 FastTrack Planning Services engagements, which show you the core Office 365 service features within your own environment and address considerations and requirements for adopting a cloud-ready desktop environment. Evaluate several SharePoint capabilities, like features for IT professionals and business users, SharePoint search, business intelligence, applications, information architecture, topology planning, and migration planning. Evaluate your options to deploy Project Online or Project Server across your organization through an envisioning and deployment planning workshop.
- Office 365 FastTrack Planning Services
- SharePoint Deployment Planning
- Project and Portfolio Management (PPM) Solution Planning
- Microsoft 365 Business Applications
Learn more about SDPS (PDF, 478 KB)
SSDPS provides in-depth assessment and planning for deploying, upgrading, or migrating to a SQL Server hybrid cloud solution. Engagements can help you review architectural and business considerations and create a detailed implementation plan.
- Deploy a Big Data & Data Warehousing Solution
- Deploy Modern Business Intelligence
- Deploy an Advanced Analytics Solution
- Application Platform Migration
- Data Platform Modernization
Learn more about SSDPS (PDF, 411 KB)
Beginning in February 2020, we’re retiring the deployment Planning Services benefit in Software Assurance. We’re consolidating our programmatic deployment planning assistance to a single approach, increasing our investment in FastTrack as our primary means of implementation support for customers. You can use FastTrack for Azure, Microsoft 365, and Dynamics 365 engagements. Planning Services will be fully retired on January 1, 2022.
Microsoft FastTrack will be the core program to help you plan for and implement our cloud technologies. FastTrack is for eligible customers that are ready to plan and implement their partial or full migration to cloud, and it provides end-to-end guidance built by Microsoft engineering. Eligible customers can use Microsoft FastTrack for deployment and planning requests for Azure, Microsoft 365, and Dynamics 365.
FastTrack is included in an eligible cloud subscription at no additional cost.
We want you to have plenty of time to use your current Planning Services days, as well as continue to accrue planning days. These are the significant dates leading up to the retirement of Planning Services:
- February 2020: Deployment Planning Services cloud engagements will be retired and you can apply to use FastTrack programs.
- February 2020: Training vouchers can no longer be converted to Planning Services days.
- February 2021: End to accrual of new deployment planning days.
- June 2021: Last day to create Planning Services vouchers.
- January 2022: Last day to redeem Planning Services vouchers.
Note there is no change to the voucher redemption process, and once a voucher is created, you have 180 days in which to use the voucher.
The number of days and hours depends on the number of qualifying Office Application, Server, and Developer Tool licenses and the number of Core CAL suites, Enterprise CAL, and SQL CAL suites for which Software Assurance is acquired. Days earned across all software purchases are pooled and can be used on any of the Planning Services offerings regardless of the software type purchased.
Planning Services are delivered by qualified Microsoft partners or Microsoft Services. You can search for Planning Services providers on the Software Assurance Planning Services Providers site. Your Microsoft reseller or Account Manager can also help you locate qualified consultants to suit your planning needs.
No. Planning Services offer structured consulting engagements provided by qualified partners or Microsoft Consulting Services to help develop a deployment plan. You may work with partner or Microsoft Consulting Services team that provided the Planning Services for the actual deployment.
Your Software Assurance manager can increase the number of available Planning Services days by converting unused Training Voucher days in the Volume Licensing Service Center. See step-by-step instructions in the VLSC Software Assurance Guide (PDF, 785 KB).
Training vouchers can no longer be converted to Planning Services days starting in February 2020.