A topic of many conversations since the beginning of October, as well as over the SMB Nation weekend where I told those of you in attendance that we are working on a potential solution and would get back to you as soon as we had one, is the fact that SBS 2003 SKUs were removed from the Volume Licensing pricelists on October 1st and were replaced by the SBS 2008 SKUs. What this means is:
- In the month of October, there is no way to purchase SBS 2003 with Software Assurance through any Volume Licensing program.
- Even though SBS 2003 is still available through Retail Box (FPP) and OEM and Software Assurance can be added to an FPP or OEM server license within 90 days of purchasing it, Software Assurance can only be added to the CURRENT VERSION of software within 90 days of purchase. With SBS 2008 being released October 1st, SBS 2003 is no longer the current version, meaning you can no longer purchase Software Assurance to add to a Retail Box or OEM SBS 2003 license purchased on or after October 1, 2008.
- Which ultimately means there is no way to purchase an SBS 2003 License with Software Assurance in the month of October, which was a point of confusion for many Partners who were under the impression that they had until October 31st in order to get their SBS 2003 L+SA orders in.
This is what we have been working on day in and day out for the past few weeks to find a solution for to help our Partners out who are in this situation. And believe me, the number of solutions we have run through the tests to see if we could use them has been unbelievable. Finally, we have come up with the solution for Partners that wish to get their clients SBS 2003 licenses with Software Assurance that will work and can be executed in a timely manner, and here it is:
Microsoft will make a limited-time exception to the Software Assurance policy, which states that Software Assurance can only be attached to the latest software version for SBS 2003 R2. So now it will be possible to attach Software Assurance to SBS 2003 R2 SKUs, despite SBS 2008 being on the VL price list starting October 1st and this exception has been granted until 12/31/2008. This means that Partners who have sold SBS 2003 R2 between 10/1/08 and 12/31/08 will be able to attach Software Assurance to it within 90 days of the SBS 2003 R2 purchase.
In addition, because we are aware of the fact that the SBS 2003 R2 license does cost more through Retail Box than it did through the Open License programs, we are going to be increasing the SBS 2003 R2 deployment rebate by the net difference between the Retail Box ERP and the Open License (L) ERP so that ultimately, the customers are paying the same for the SBS license that they would have through Open License. What this means is that the deployment rebate amount for SBS 2003 Standard R2 will increase by $50 and the deployment rebate amount for SBS 2003 Premium R2 will increase by $100.
So, if you are looking to get your clients an SBS 2003 R2 Server license with Software Assurance, here is what you should do:
- Purchase a Retail Box SBS 2003 R2 Server license from your distributor
- Add Software Assurance to it within 90 days of the purchase (best off to do it on the same order to make sure you get it added)
- Follow the steps to claim the SBS 2003 R2 deployment rebate for your client
To make it easier for you, below are the Part #s you would use to add Software Assurance to the SBS Standard or Premium licenses. You will notice two options for each:
The first is the Part # you would use if you would like to take advantage of the spread payments benefit of Open Value. This part # would be the one you would sell and bill your clients for in Year 1, Year 2, and Year 3 of the Agreement.
The second is the Part # you would use if you would like to pay for the full three years of Software Assurance benefits up-front instead of spreading out the payments over three years. It is also the one you would use if you plan on processing this order through Microsoft Financing for spread payments.
- Software Assurance 1st year payment (spread payments): Part #: T72-00893
- Software Assurance with 3 years paid up-front: Part #: T72-00897
- Software Assurance 1st year payment (spread payments): Part #: T75-00935
- Software Assurance with 3 years paid up-front: Part #: T75-00937
Thank you to everyone for their patience as we have been working through this and trying to determine what solution(s) we could put in place here in October to address the concerns raised by our Partners about not being able to provide a way to get their clients SBS 2003 R2 server licenses with Software Assurance here in October. The solution above will provide you a way to do just that. Granted, it is not the exact same as buying the L+SA SKU through the Open License programs; however, with those SKUs being removed on October 1st, the L+SA SKU was no longer an option as a solution.
And before anyone says, “You should have just added it back to the October pricelist,” believe me, if it were just that simple, we would have. There was no way to get the SKUs added back onto the pricelist for October (and we tried evaluating many different ways to possibly make this happen), which meant we had to find an alternative solution. The solution above is the absolute best one available given the circumstances. Plus, the solution above not only gives you an answer for October, it provides an additional window of opportunity for you all the way through December 31, 2008.
Thank you and have a wonderful day,
Global Partner Experience Lead
Microsoft Worldwide Partner Group
This posting is provided “AS IS” with no warranties, and confers no rights