Microsoft Director of Business & Sales Operations - Eric Ligman

Eric Ligman, Microsoft Director of Business & Sales Operations Blog

How do we go from SBS 2003 Standard to SBS 2008 Premium?

This is a question I received through one of the online Partner groups, so I thought I would share it with all of you in case you have the same or similar question. The foundation of the question received was:

“We have a client with SBS 2003 standard user with 50 additional CALs upgrading to SBS 2008 Premium. They require 10 CALs to be Premium and the others can be Standard. How do we do this?”

First, if your clients have Software Assurance on the SBS 2003 CALs, remember that they can already get SBS 2008 Standard or Premium CALs through their upgrade protection benefit of Software Assurance. Whether they have SBS Standard or Premium Server determines whether they will receive SBS 2008 Standard or Premium CALs through this benefit. I have more on this in my If I have Software Assurance on my SBS 2003 CALs now, do I get Standard or Premium CALs when SBS 2008 launches? post if you are interested. Also, if you have clients buying SBS 2003 today, remember they can still get Software Assurance on those until December 31, 2008 and take advantage of this. The details on this are in my How do I still get SBS 2003 R2 + Software Assurance in October since it was removed from the Volume License pricelists? Final Solution post if you want to know more.

So what if your client does not have Software Assurance on their SBS 2003 Server and CALs? Then Solutions Pathway is an option to help you make the transition from SBS 2003 Standard to SBS 2008 Premium and here is how you would do it:

First, realize that this will be a two stage upgrade process as there is no direct SBS 2003 Standard to SBS 2008 Premium path.

Your initial purchase would be the SBS 2003 Standard Server and CALs to SBS 2008 Standard Server and CALs upgrade. Then from there, you would have to purchase the SBS 2008 Standard to SBS 2008 Premium Server and CALs upgrade for each of the SBS 2008 Standard CALs that they wanted to convert to SBS 2008 Premium CALs, as well as the server (assuming you are upgrading it to SBS 2008 Premium). Based on the question this Partner presented, on the CAL side, they would only need to upgrade ten of those SBS 2008 Standard CALs to SBS 2008 Premium CALs since only tem of their people need to access the premium solutions of SBS 2008 (SQL Server).

OPTIONAL SOLUTION: Now here is another option that you may want to seriously consider for multiple reasons: 1) Price savings, 2) Flexibility today and moving forward, 3) Budgeting & licensing ease, and more…

Take a look at the Microsoft Open Value Subscription Program to make this move. Because the SBS CALs are Enterprise products through Open Value Subscription, the SBS 2003 CALs they have today would be eligible for the 50% first-year discount through the Up-to-date discount for both the SBS 2008 Standard and SBS 2008 Premium CALs. This means that for however many SBS 2003 CALs they have today, their first year cost for SBS 2008 Standard CALs would be $11.00 each and SBS 2008 Premium CALs would be $27.00 each. This not only includes the rights to the SBS CALs but also full Software Assurance benefits as well. Also, because the SBS CALs are considered Enterprise products through Open Value Subscription, you get the “get it and forget it” benefit that makes their licensing and budgeting process very easy (just count computers once a year). So you would just purchase SBS 2008 CALs (you can mix Standard and Premium) for all of your client’s computers and the SBS 2008 Premium Server directly through the Open Value Subscription program.

Just a thought on another way to help your clients move to SBS 2008 easily and cost effectively while providing additional benefits and ease of license management.

Thank you and have a wonderful day,

Eric Ligman
Global Partner Experience Lead
Microsoft Worldwide Partner Group
This posting is provided “AS IS” with no warranties, and confers no rights

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