By Shruti Ramaswami
Over the last few months, you may have heard about various changes within TechSoup's Microsoft program. These changes can be confusing, since many of them require you to have detailed knowledge about administrative systems, licensing, and deployment. We feel it's our job to help you make the decisions that are best for your organization. In what follows, we'll walk you through the key elements of these changes so that you can best prepare your organization for what's ahead.
Three Important Changes to the Microsoft Program That You Need to Know
- In July, Microsoft made program changes to introduce new utilization requirements for product grants and a dedicated focus of donated cloud solutions on the suites of Microsoft 365 Business licensing.
- In December, Microsoft will be consolidating its licensing platforms, which will allow organizations a consistent way to manage all licenses (cloud and on-premises) in one administrative view. However, this will change the way organizations request and download on-premises licenses moving forward and the availability of certain products and features. It will also impact how libraries have been traditionally served.
- After April 4, on-premises donated software (outside of some exceptions) will only be available at nonprofit discount pricing. Microsoft will thereafter focus its donations to the nonprofit sector in cloud solutions.
Key Dates That May Impact Your Year-End Plans
If you are like many nonprofits, your fiscal year coincides with the end of the calendar year. Because many changes are happening at the end of this year, you need to be aware of key changes that may impact your year-end budgets.
In order to accommodate the fulfillment changes that will occur in January, we will not be able to offer discounted on-premises Microsoft products from December 14, 2021, until January 4, 2022. This applies only to "pay once, use forever" on-premises Microsoft products labeled "Discount" in our catalog. Key products in this group include server user or device CALs.
This will also be the last chance to request the following products.
- On-premises donations for libraries. TechSoup will continue to offer Microsoft products to public libraries, but products will only be available at Microsoft Education discounted costs.
- On-premises donated licenses that include Software Assurance. Software Assurance is an additional feature that allows you to upgrade your software to any new versions within two years of your original request. Currently, the donated version of Office Standard 2021, and all other donation offers, include Software Assurance, but this will only be available as a discount offer after January.
- The following products will only be available through cloud solutions, or as a discount, or at commercial on-premises prices.*
- Windows Pro Full Operating System (Get Genuine)
- Microsoft Access
- Visual Studio Test Professional with MSDN
- Windows Server Essentials
- Dynamics 365 for Customer Service On-Premises User CAL
- Dynamics 365 for Sales On-Premises User CAL
- Dynamics 365 for Team Members On-Premises User CAL
*Much of the functionality of these products can be accessed through cloud solutions of Microsoft or Dynamics 365.
This applies only to "pay once, use forever" on-premises Microsoft products labeled "Donation" in our catalog.
We're Here to Help
TechSoup has always advocated for the needs of the sector in order to provide organizations access to technology and support so they can use it to their best advantage. We're keenly aware that these changes may affect the day-to-day operations of your nonprofit. You may have first read about them in a blog post we published, a webinar we hosted, or an email from us.
In order to equip your organization with the most current information, we invite you to watch the recordings of the most recent webinars that are geared toward all nonprofits. Please visit TechSoup's Online Events and Webinars and go to past events, where you can find all the recordings.
This is a period of change for us all. We are learning through your questions, navigating new systems, and learning from Microsoft directly.
Above all, we want to help you and ensure little disruption to your technology, productivity, or budget planning. Reach out to us.
Technology changes, but our mission remains the same. We are here to support the ecosystem of nonprofits around the world. Thank you in advance for your patience as we try to navigate this period of change as smoothly as possible.
Vice President, Strategy and Strategic Relationships