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.
Starting February 1, 2021, new Software Assurance Deployment Planning Services days will no longer be allocated on new or renewing Software Assurance. If you have existing days, you can use those through December 2021.
We’re fully retiring Deployment Planning Services from Software Assurance in January 2022. You can continue to use your Planning Services days for on-premises engagements until January 2022; however, we’ve removed cloud services from Software Assurance eligibility. Microsoft FastTrack is our primary implementation support offer for cloud. You can use FastTrack for Azure, Microsoft 365, and Dynamics 365 engagements. Learn more about FastTrack.
All on-premises Deployment Planning Services offerings and the respective engagements will be available until January 2022 and you can continue to redeem your deployment planning days through the current process 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 a 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: Cloud deployments are no longer eligible for deployment planning services, as Microsoft FastTrack provides cloud deployment support.
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.
- Modernizing your Windows Server Platform
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. 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.
- Windows and Office Enterprise Proof of Concept
- Windows and Office Deployment Planning
- Mobile Productivity Deployment Planning
Learn more about DDPS (PDF, 283 KB)
DYDPS provides in-depth assessment and planning to help you upgrade your CRM or ERP solution with Microsoft Dynamics 365 or assess the path to upgrade 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 upgrade 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.
- Upgrading to Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations
- Upgrading Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Customer Engagement
- Migrating to Microsoft Dynamics 365 for 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. Plan your upgrade to Exchange Server and help ensure a smooth deployment by working with a partner to develop an end-to-end deployment plan. 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.
- Skype for Business Deployment Planning
- Exchange Deployment 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 solution. 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.
- SharePoint Deployment Planning
- Project and Portfolio Management (PPM) Solution Planning
Learn more about SDPS (PDF, 478 KB)
SSDPS provides in-depth assessment and planning for architectural and business considerations and creating a detailed implementation plan.
- Data Platform Modernization
Learn more about SSDPS (PDF, 411 KB)
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. Cloud engagements are no longer eligible as of February 2020 and Planning Services will be fully retired on January 1, 2022.
Also, Software Assurance training days can no longer be used to convert to Planning Services days.
Microsoft FastTrack is our 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 were retired.
- 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.
Training vouchers can no longer be converted to Planning Services days.