Microsoft Director of Business & Sales Operations - Eric Ligman

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Partners, why you don’t need to be an Administrator in VLSC

Here is a topic that has come up and is one that there seems to be a misconception about.  Why?  Well, I think there are a few reasons for the misunderstanding, but I am hoping to try and alleviate the ones I am seeing here in this post.  Here’s the conversation as I’ve seen, heard, and participated in several times with various Partners:

  • Partner – “I need to be an Administrator on my customer’s license in VLSC.”
  • Me – “Why?”
  • Partner – “Because I need to view the license information to see how many product licenses they have.”
  • Me – “I understand, but why do you need to be an Administrator?”
  • Partner – “Because I need to download the software for them to do the install.”
  • Me – “I understand, but why do you need to be an Administrator?”
  • Partner – “Because I need to access the License keys for the software to install it for them.”
  • Me – “I understand, but why do you need to be an Administrator?”
  • Partner – “Because I need to manage their Software Assurance benefits for them.”
  • Me – “I understand, but why do you need to be an Administrator?”
  • Partner – “Because I need to administer their MSDN benefits for them.”
  • Me – “I understand, but why do you need to be an Administrator?”
  • Partner – “I just gave you the reasons why!”
  • Me – “I heard your list, it’s just that you don’t need to be an Administrator to do any of those things, which is why I was asking.”
  • Partner – “I don’t?  Ok, what am I missing?”

Some Partners I have spoken with (including a GREAT impromptu discussion with a room full of Partners here on the Microsoft campus during a Usability Session) will tell me that they are the Network Administrator and Systems Administrator for their clients, so they need to be the License Administrator too.  It is the use of the word “Administrator” that seems to be causing the confusion.  In fact, what the Partners tell me they need to do is manage the licenses for their customer (all of the items listed above). 

In VLSC, one of the benefits is the ability to give specific rights to specific people based on their actual needs vs. blanket full-access rights for everyone.  This is why we have designed several different roles inside VLSC, as you can see below:

image

Whether you are the License Administrator and are granting rights for a specific user or you are a user requesting rights from the License Administrator, you will choose from the roles listed above (more than one can be chosen), based on what it is you are looking to/need to do with that License Agreement.  Below is a chart that shows all of the specific rights associated with the different roles listed above in VLSC:

VLSC User Rights – Click image for full size

As you can see in the chart above, the differentiator with the Administrator role in VLSC vs. the others roles is the ability to Manage User accounts and permissions on that specific agreement.  Now let’s apply this to the conversation with the Partner:

  • Partner – “I need to be an Administrator on my customer’s license in VLSC because:
    • I need to view the license information to see how many product licenses they have – Licensing Info role
    • I need to download the software for them to do the install – Download Manager role
    • I need to access the License keys for the software to install it for them – Product Key Manager role
    • I need to manage their Software Assurance benefits for them – Software Assurance Manager role
    • I need to administer their MSDN benefits for them – Subscriptions Manager role

    As you can see, all of those items can be accomplished without you needing to be an Administrator in VLSC.  So back to my original answer to the Partner question, no, you do not need to be an Administrator in VLSC to manage your customer’s licenses and accomplish the tasks you are referring to and I hope this helps clear up some of the confusion around the term “Administrator” and the need to “Manage” licensing rights within VLSC and how those tasks can be accomplished as a Non-Administrative User.

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    Thank you and have a wonderful day,

    Eric LigmanFollow me on TWITTER clip_image001and RSS clip_image002
    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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