What’s the right path to deliver Microsoft technology for your clients?


Service providers familiar with deploying Microsoft technology and services are familiar with terms such as Microsoft Service Provider License Agreement (SPLA), License Mobility, Qualified Multitenant Hoster Program (QMTH), Rental Rights, etc. They are also familiar with the complexity of Microsoft licensing. With the expansion of use rights for program delivery and the evolution of Microsoft cloud solutions, there are a variety of ways to deliver programs and services.

Microsoft has gone “all in” on the delivery of their products and services, known as the Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) Program. It’s important for service providers to recognize the many different ways to deliver Microsoft’s products and services to their customers, since the move to CSP is not one that happens immediately.

Questions you should address

At the most basic level, if you are using Microsoft technology to provide a service to anyone outside of your own organization, then purchasing licenses in your company name under your own licensing agreement is incorrect. In this scenario, you should engage your reseller to review all options available to you.  Your reseller can help you optimize your environment to the fullest and also build your environment in a way that protects you in case of a Microsoft audit.

Let’s run through a typical example and the basic questions you should ask.

SaaS Corporation, Inc. (a fictitious company) wants to deliver an application to external users.  What should they consider?

  • Is this application SaaS Corporation, Inc.’s own custom application?
  • Will it be delivered in a physically dedicated environment per each customer’s multitenant shared environment, or on dedicated virtual machines?
  • What Microsoft products are required to support the application?
  • Does SaaS Corporation, Inc. want to leverage Microsoft Azure, another datacenter provider or host it within their own datacenter?

Different routes to market

These questions are important, as your specific responses could lead to a variety of different routes to market. Organizations can deliver services in practically any way they wish as long as they identify the correct model to use.

For instance, you have the option to:

  • Take advantage of Self-Hosted rights under traditional volume licensing to deliver your own custom application
  • Exercise your right to leverage customer licenses through license mobility in dedicated private clouds
  • Spin up a multitenant environment via SPLA
  • Leverage a customer’s Microsoft Office 365 licenses within your multitenant environments through QMTH

Just remember — whatever your chosen path, you are responsible for delivering your services in a manner approved by Microsoft.

Confused about your options?

For organizations that have traditionally leveraged the cloud, the delivery options are straightforward and there is obviously great opportunity to grow your business, exceed your expectations and realize larger profits. For all others, you need to understand the enormous potential that cloud transformation can deliver to your business and that of your customers.

Join our Service Provider Resource Community if you want our help to create your hosted journey.

Kim Kuhlmann is the worldwide Hosting Capability Lead for Software Licensing and Management Solutions in DXC Technology.


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