Release of Window 10, Version 1803 for Volume Licensing Programs

Microsoft  04/05//2018

Effective 7th May 2018, Microsoft announces the release of the latest feature update to Windows 10, version 1803, to commercial customers. Commercial customers will have access to the latest version of in-market Windows 10 media, which includes all updates released for Windows 10 since its original release, including security and non-security updates.

Please get in touch with your Account Manager if you have any queries.


Release of Window Server 10, Version 1803 for Volume Licensing Programs

Microsoft  04/05//2018

On 7th May 2018, Microsoft is pleased to announce the release of Windows Server, version 1803, in the Semi-Annual Channel. As part of the Semi-Annual Channel cadence, this new release will help update your products with container and micro-services. This will help you with your move to the cloud. This is for VL users with active Software Assurance.

Please get in touch with your Account Manager if you have any queries.


End-of-Life for Cyberoam OS

Sophos  17/03/2018

With all the security, performance, and reliability enhancements available in the CyberoamOS 10.6.x firmware updates, we are announcing the End-of-Life (EoL) for earlier CyberoamOS versions 10.01x through to 10.5x effective May 31, 2018.

Along with this we are announcing the End-of-Life (EoL) for the Cyberoam Central Console (CCC) firmware versions 02.00.x to 02.02.x effective May 31, 2018.

Learn more at www.cyberoam.com/endoflife.html


Azure Overage

Microsoft  20/03/2018

From 1st May 2018, new and renewing EA customers will be billed each month for Azure overages. This impacts both Direct and indirect EA customers. This change will not impact users with current Enterprise contracts.

As the Azure overage billing frequency moves to monthly, the Server and Cloud Enrolment (SCE) will update to align to the Extended Term conditions. The Enterprise Enrollment and the Enterprise Subscription Enrollment will not change. The Extended Term conditions for these enrolments already contains the monthly frequency.


Dynamics 365 Spring Wave

Microsoft  21/03/2018

Microsoft announce Dynamics 365 for Marketing and Dynamics 365 for Sales Professional. The first is a new marketing application for organisations that need to move beyond basic email marketing, and it will be available in April 2018. The second is a new licence for Dynamics 365 sales, which gives access to a subset of the functionality focussing on core Sales Force Automation capabilities.

Find the Microsoft announcement here: https://blogs.microsoft.com/blog/2018/03/21/accelerating-digital-transformation-with-the-spring-2018-release-for-dynamics-365-and-business-application-platform/


Introducing Windows Server 2019 – now available in preview

Microsoft  20/03/2018

Microsoft announce that Windows Server 2019 is now available in preview with general availability in the second half of 2018, along with System Center 2019. This release will be a Long Term Servicing Channel release and there will be a corresponding Semi Annual Channel release at the same time. Licensing will be the same as for Windows Server 2016 but with a likely increase in CAL pricing.

More information here: https://cloudblogs.microsoft.com/windowsserver/2018/03/20/introducing-windows-server-2019-now-available-in-preview/


Microsoft expands cloud services in Europe and into Middle East to meet growing customer demand

Microsoft  14/03/2018

Microsoft plans to deliver the Cloud from ther first datacenter locations in Switzerland and the United Arab Emirates, and expand the cloud options for customers in Germany. Microsoft Cloud in France is officially open with the general availability of Microsoft Azure and Microsoft Office 365 today, and Dynamics 365 will follow in early 2019.

Learn more: https://blogs.microsoft.com/blog/2018/03/14/microsoft-expands-cloud-services-in-europe-and-into-middle-east-to-meet-growing-customer-demand/


Veeam Management Pack v8 Update 5

Veeam  06/03/2018

Veeam® Management Pack (MP) for System Center™ Update 5 is now available.

This update provides immediate benefits, including:

  • Built-in monitoring for Veeam Agent for Microsoft Windows, ensuring that your Microsoft Windows-based servers are always available with real-time monitoring and alerting for all your Windows agent-based backup jobs.
  • 52 New VMware Virtual SAN & vCenter Alarms, allowing enterprise businesses to proactively track individual vSAN health checks and assess overall health of vCenter services.
  • Monitoring for VMware Cloud on Amazon Web Services (AWS), helping you maintain a consistent and consolidated view of your VMware vSphere environments — even if they are deployed in AWS.

Azure Advanced Threat Protection

Microsoft  01/03/2018

Microsoft announce the General Availability of Azure Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) to help organisations detect advanced attacks in a hybrid environment.

Learn more: https://cloudblogs.microsoft.com/enterprisemobility/2018/03/01/introducing-azure-advanced-threat-protection-2/


Common Area Phone SKU Live 1st March

Microsoft  01/03/2018

This new SKU will allow customers with phone devices not assigned to users and used in areas such as reception areas, break rooms, shop floors, or conference rooms to purchase just one SKU in order to enable those devices with the ability to make and receive calls. It is a standalone licence with no purchase prerequisites.

The introduction of this SKU is intended to provide Microsoft customers the flexibility needed to license all calling devices in their Enterprise appropriately and compliantly without over licensing.


Now Available: Sophos Phish Threat 2.0

Sophos  22/02

With 62% of organizations still failing to test user awareness, Sophos Phish Threat 2.0 is packed with new features to help you take advantage of this opportunity  learn more.


VMware Price Amendment Coming in March!

VMware  19/02/2018

Avoid any forthcoming pricing changes by renewing your support and subscription contract on or before the 5th March 2018. Be aware: renewal quotes delivered on or after the 5th March 2018 might have a different pricing to what was originally presented to you. Do not miss the opportunity to secure pre-price change pricing by renewing for multiple years, as this also provides an additional 12% discount!


Microsoft announce new Digital Transformation Arrangement for UK Public Sector

Microsoft  07/02/2018

Crown Commercial Services (CCS), in partnership with Microsoft, have announced a new non-binding Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to support the government's ongoing digital transformation agenda, replacing the existing Cloud Transition Agreement (due to expire on 30th April 2018).

Effective for three years from 1st May 2018, Digital Transformation Arrangement will enable all eligible UK public sector organisation to benefit from a range of discounted Microsoft cloud services and solutions, as well as an enhanced 'Security & Compliance Package'.

This new agreement encompasses shared principles between Microsoft and CCS Cloud First, Cybersecurity & Compliance, Customer & Partner Satisfaction, and Consumption – which demonstrates an understanding of evolving public sector needs.

To learn how you can benefit from DTA, please get in touch, and a COMPAREX Microsoft expert will be in touch.


Microsoft 365 A3 & A5 Coming to CSP!

Microsoft 01/02/2018

Microsoft is excited to introduce Microsoft 365 Education (M365 A3 and M365 A5) is scheuduled to be made avalible on CSP on 1st February 2018. These new cross-product suites bring together Office 365, Windows 10, EMS and Minecraft: Education Edition, and both new plans include the server and CAL benefits that our education customers expect, as well as System Center rights. The Microsoft 365 Education suites will be available in EES and CSP only and priced at $5.75 pupm and $10.75 pupm (Faculty), respectively.


Intercept X - Now with Deep Learning

Sophos 30/01/2018

Ramp up your customers’ protection against ransomware and never-seen-before threats with Sophos Intercept X, the world’s most comprehensive next-gen endpoint protection.

Learn more: https://www.sophos.com/products/intercept-x.aspx


New ways to use apps and get more done in Microsoft Teams

Microsoft  29/01/2018

Microsoft announced new features in Microsoft Teams that make it an even more powerful hub for teamwork, enabling you to use apps in new ways, customize your personal workspace, and take quick actions. This marks the biggest single release of new functionality since Teams launched last March.

Read about the all-new features.


Sophos Mobile 8 Launch Update

Sophos 24/01/2018

With modern operating systems on all platforms moving to a release pattern of smaller and more frequent updates than ever before, the trend in endpoint management is changing from heavy-handed to light-weight. Sophos Mobile 8 adds modern 'unified' endpoint management (UEM) capabilities like macOS management and Windows 10 app management that allow admins to manage and secure corporate-owned or personal macOS, Windows, and mobile endpoints in one system.

Learn more here: https://community.sophos.com/kb/en-us/128005


Changes to VLSC Login Process

Microsoft 19/01/2018

Microsoft is changing the way in which customers can access the Volume Licensing Service Center. As of 19th January 2018, users will no longer be able to sign into the VLSC using a Microsoft account (e.g. hotmail.com), but instead will be asked to sign in using a work or school account.

This is part of a move to centralise access across Microsoft services and provide centralised user management. Users will be able to use the same work account to access VLSC and other services to enjoy a single sign-in experience, whilst also allowing organisation admins to control access to the various Microsoft services/portals.


Veeam Acquires N2WS to deliver industry-leading Availability and protection for AWS Cloud

Veeam  16/01/2018

N2WS is a leader in IaaS data protection, providing a cloud-native backup solution specifically designed for AWS workloads, enabling organizations to back up data and applications as often as needed and recover them in seconds. N2WS grew revenues by 102% in 2017. The acquisition strengthens Veeam as a leading provider of Availability for any app, any data, across any cloud, and its ability to protect AWS deployments. N2WS will operate as a standalone company, keeping its brand name and becoming 'A Veeam Company.'

Learn more.


Sophos Security Update

Sophos 09/01/2018

Sophos wants to make you aware of the memory isolation issues affecting Intel, AMD, and ARM processors and what actions you can take now. The flaw enables attack code to read anything in memory, which could lead to data or credential theft. The vulnerability is known by names such as Meltdown, Spectre, KPTI, KAISER and F**CKWIT. Patches were released by Microsoft, Linux, and other platforms on 3rd January 2018. Because exploitation requires the execution of some form of attack code, Sophos products, which do not allow for any form of unauthorised code execution, are not at a high risk of attack.

For more information, please read the following KBA on the Sophos support website: https://community.sophos.com/kb/en-us/128053


Microsoft Azure Updates: Azure HDInsight, Azure Cosmos DB, and more.

Microsoft  02/01/2018

Ensure you read the latest version of Last Week in Azure to stay up-to-date with all changes and annoucements.


Service Provider License Agreement (SPLA) price changes

Microsoft  02/01/2018

Effective 1st January 2018, Microsoft has introduced SPLA price changes for Windows Server, SQL Server, Core Infrastructure Server (CIS) Suite, and Remote Desktop Services (RDS).

If you have any queries regarding SPLA within your organisation, please contact:

Will Bishop | SaaS Account Manager | will.bishop@comparex.co.uk | +44 (0) 208 515 0455


Increased availability of Skype for Business 120-Minute Calling Plan

Microsoft  02/01/2018

Effective 1st February 2018, 120 Minute Calling Plan will move to public price lists in the following Calling service markets:

  • Belgium
  • France
  • Germany
  • The Netherlands
  • Puerto Rico
  • Spain
  • United Kingdom

This offer applies to Enterprise, Government, and Academic customers. The 120 Minute Calling Plan continues to provide flexibility in both minutes and price for customers. Customers can purchase Calling Plans to fit their unique business needs.

Please review the Skype for Business Services License FAQ at the following link: https://partners.office.com/search?q=dkype+for+business+faq.


Updated login process for process Volume Licensing Services Center (VLSC) users

Microsoft 20/12/2017

Effective 19th January 2018, users will no longer sign in using a Microsoft account (e.g. john.smith@hotmail.com). VLSC users must sign in using a work or school account (e.g. john.smith@yourorgdomain.com) from this date.

Microsoft is introducing the use of work accounts across Microsoft services so that organisations can gain centralised user management benefits. Employees can use the same work account to access VLSC and other services to enjoy a single sign-in experience. Organisations can maintain control of work or school accounts and disable them when necessary. This change will align the VLSC sign-in experience to the current Store for Business (SfB) experience.

Should you have any questions in relation to this notification, please do not hesitate to contact your Regional Operations Center using the Call Logging Tool (CLT) at https://clt.partners.extranet.microsoft.com/CLT or via Explore.ms.


2018 Microsoft Spotlight Calls announced!

Microsoft

Every month Microsoft trainers host a Spotlight Call for customers as a way of keeping you current and up to date with the monthly changes in licensing.

Topics change on a monthly basis and are recorded, should you not be able to join live

Click here to register for each month's call.


Veeam Availability Suite 9.5 Update 3 available for download

Veeam  19/12/2017

Veeam® Availability Suite™ 9.5 Update 3 (build 9.5.0.1536) is now available for download, bringing new powerful capabilities originally planned for Veeam v10.

Download now to get the latest release of Veeam Availability Suite, as well as the new versions of Veeam Agent for Microsoft Windows and Veeam Agent for Linux.

Learn more here: https://www.veeam.com/data-center-availability-suite.html


Calling in Microsoft Teams – Next Step for Intelligent Communications!

Microsoft  13/12/2017

In September, Microsoft introduced a new vision for intelligent communications including plans to evolve Microsoft Teams into the primary client for calling and meetings in Office 365. As part of this, Microsoft is bringing comprehensive calling and meeting capabilities into Teams, along with data and insights from the Microsoft Graph, and a strong roadmap of innovation to empower teams to achieve more.

Today Microsoft is releasing new calling capabilities in Teams, providing full featured dialling capabilities, complete with call history, hold/resume, speed dial, transfer, forwarding, caller ID masking, extension dialling, multi-call handling, simultaneous ringing, voicemail, and text telephone (TTY) support.

Read the full blog here.


Azure Monetary Commitment updates

Microsoft  29/11/2017

Effective 1st December 2017, Azure product terms are changing for Azure Monetary Commitment.

New or renewing customers who choose to pre-pay their new Azure MC purchase will gain access to the full MC value upfront. That value will not expire until the end of the agreement term.

Existing customers who already purchased MC via the pre-pay option should already notice changes to their MC availability, for example, the remaining funds:

  • Are available immediately.
  • Will not expire until the end of the agreement term.
  • Customers will be able to realize the full value of Azure pre-pay MC upfront. It allows those funds to be available for an agreement's entire term instead of expiring any unused funds annually at the agreement's anniversary.
  • Pre-pay reduces customer anxiety associated with forfeiting funds. Use all existing budget without worrying about consuming in 12 months.
  • Simpler mid-term MC additions: adding extra funds via pre-pay, ensures that additional MC will be available for the remainder of the agreement term.

Learn more about Azure in Open Licensing here: https://azure.microsoft.com/en-gb/offers/ms-azr-0111p/


Backup Exec Subscription editions now available

Veritas 21/11/2017

Veritas have announced the availability of simplified licensing with Backup Exec Subscription. New customers can now choose between three options - Bronze, Silver and Gold - depending on their specific needs and on subscription licence based terms

Download the subscription guide for further details.


Now available! Azure Reserved Virtual Machine Instances.

Microsoft  20/11/2017

Azure Reserved VM Instances are now available in all EA programs and on Azure.com

For more detailed information, please download this presentation, or get in touch with your account manager.


Pre-made Packages now available for team products in VIP

Adobe 15/11/2017

Customer administrators now have the ability to select pre-made packages in the Admin Console for the deployment of team products purchased through the Value Incentive Plan (VIP). This allows the VIP admin to choose between using pre-built and build-your-own packages when deploying team or enterprise products.

Learn more about packages here.


Coming soon: Azure Reserved Virtual Machine Instances

Microsoft

Reserve virtual machines in advance and save up to 82% when combined with Azure Hybrid Benefit.

  • Exchange or cancel reservations as business needs evolve
  • Easily purchase in a few steps
  • Budget and forecast better with upfront payment for one-year or three-year terms
  • Gain peace of mind with prioritised compute capacity

Learn more: https://azure.microsoft.com/en-gb/pricing/reserved-vm-instances/


Azure retires from the Microsoft Products and Services Agreement (MPSA) on July 1, 2018

Microsoft  10/11/2017

From July 1, 2018, Azure will no longer be available through MPSA and will be retired from MPSA completely on that date. Customers who currently purchase Azure through the MPSA have until that date to migrate their Azure account or subscription from MPSA to another licensing vehicle:

  • From MPSA to Enterprise Agreement (EA)
  • From MPSA to Cloud Solutions Provider (CSP)
  • From MPSA to Web Direct

If you believe this applies to your organisation, please get in touch to discuss your migration options.


Microsoft 365 Business Goes Live

Microsoft  01/11/2017

Microsoft 365 Business is a complete, intelligent solution designed to help small and midsize business (SMB) customers:

  • Achieve more together by better connecting employees, customers, and suppliers
  • Empower employees to work anywhere, on any device
  • Protect company data across devices with always-on security

This offer is now available on the Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) price list.

Please note that any customers currently using the Microsoft 365 Business preview offer will need to transition to the new Microsoft 365 Business paid offer.

Learn more here: https://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/microsoft-365/business

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