David Overton's Blog and Discussion Site
This site is my way to share my views and general business and IT information with you about Microsoft, IT solutions for ISVs, technologists and businesses, large and small. I specialise in Windows Intune and SBS 2008.
This blog is purely the personal opinions of David Overton. If you can't find the information you were looking for e-mail me at admin@davidoverton.com.

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  • What are the legal options for Licensing Windows 7 or Windows Vista? Or how to avoid mis-licensing

    I’m often told that Microsoft licensing is complex, but what I actually find are that this either translates to “I have too many choices - ahhhh!” or “I can’t license in the way I want to” or “I can’t find the information I want to”. Option 1 is always going to happen – the more choice, the more complexity in making the right choice. Option 2 is often “I don’t want to buy lose licenses, why do I have to..” and Option 3 is poor communications on the part of Microsoft. To help with the Option 3 situation there is a new guide on the Microsoft Partner portal that explains one of the areas I’m often asked about – i.e. Windows client licensing. It is really simple. Here are the rules in summary (non-legally binding and please read the guide for full details): A PC has to licensed with a Full retail product (FPP, bought from a shop) or supplied with an OEM license (the OEM option can’t be used after the PC has been bought and supplied to the end user) Volume Licenses for Windows client is only available as an upgrade to the FPP / OEM eligible license Volume Licenses upgrade only apply to business versions, not Home editions, unless you are a qualifed academic customer and there is more information in the guide. I don’t think that is complex. To “Get Legal” there are various options too. For more details, have a look at this “Windows Licensing Fact Sheet” - download from here . Thanks David Technorati Tags: Windows 7 , Windows Client , Windows , Licensing , Microsoft , Partners , MSPP , Microsoft Partner Network
  • How to sell Hosted CRM (CRM Online) in the UK and still retain your customers and a good profit – by working with Increase CRM

    [updated with contact details at 16:38] I have a partners or two that are looking to implement CRM internally and through the conversations about how they could do this came to know of the guys at Increase CRM. The good folks at Increase CRM seem to understand how SBSC partners think because the offerings they have for referral and resellers seem to be quite good to me. if you want the brochure on the subject, let me know, but here is the important piece for partners: What is the Referral Program? Partners in the Referral Program refer their customers to Increase CRM and we offer hosted Microsoft Dynamics CRM and support services directly to the customer. Typically, the partner will provide implementation consulting services and may choose to provide first and second line support. Referral Partner Commissions The Referral Program guarantees partners commissions from any customers referred to Increase CRM: Subscribers Commission 5-10 100% of the first month’s subscription fees 11-50 200% of the first month’s subscription fees 51+ 300% of the first month’s subscription fees What is the Reseller Program? Partners in the Reseller Program resell Increase CRM’s hosted services under their own brand and Increase CRM does not contract with their partner’s customer. Typically, the partner will provide all the implementation consulting, user support, system administration and billing services to the customer Reseller Wholesale Fees The Reseller Program guarantees partners a low wholesale fee for hosted Microsoft Dynamics CRM that partners can mark-up and offer to their customers, as described in the table below: No. of Users Reseller Partner User Subscription Fee 1 to 250 £30 per user per month 250+ Available on request Comparison of the Partner Programs The table below compares the two partner programs: Responsibility Referral Partner Program Reseller Partner Program Marketing Partner Partner Sales Partner Partner Setup Increase CRM Increase CRM Implementation Partner Partner First line support Increase CRM or partner Partner...
  • Where will your customers be looking for solutions – will they stick to on premise, or will they move towards a S+S or SaaS solution not from you?

    I know the table above is really, really simple, but I wanted to start the ball rolling – I have been thinking about this for ages!! Let me explain the diagram. The horizontal axis signifies how much of a solution is hosted. An example of this might be Office Live or Hotmail, where almost all of the solution is hosted. We then have the “on premise” or on-site IT going vertically. For most people, this is solutions like SBS 2003. A typical S+S solution might be MS CRM Online which has online components, but also enables you to go off-web and use Outlook or one of the mobile clients when on the road. While many thought on-line would be the next best thing even the king of on-line, Google, have recently admitted that it would not always be the answer in the posting they made on April 1st. Steve Clayton did the leg work and checked this was not form of April fool too!! Even the NY Times is talking about it, which to me says it really is going mainstream - http://www.nytimes.com/idg/IDG_002570DE00740E180025742400363509.html . Ok, so that is the picture out the way, now lets talk about the question. Which question you ask… well, this one: Will any of your customers be running in the “S+S or hosted” marketplace in 5+ years time? Now while that is a good question, I expect most of you will say … some, definitely not all, but some. How many customers can you afford to lose to a S+S provider? Now this leads to an even bigger question …. What will you have done to ensure they are still your customers, as opposed to someone who is skilled in S+S? Personally I find this question much more concerning as many people can’t articulate any plans they have to capture these customers!! So what do I suggest … If you are a services partner I recommend you start to look at SaaS services like Office Live that are slowly moving towards S+S or S+S services like CRM online and start to plan how you could add value to them and make money in the future. If you are an ISV, then now is the time to start to look at services like the Sync Framework...
  • Action Pack Subscribers get Full Windows Vista DVDs - not upgrades and they also get a copy of Ultimate too, plus a stack of materials to sell the product

    Full, not Upgrade Vista product Well anyone who says we don't listen is just talking rubbish!! What am I talking about - I'm talking about the Action Pack and Windows. We moved to non OEM media and boy did it cause a stink, but that has changed again. According to Important changes for Action Pack Subscribers regarding Windows Vista while you are still required to have a legal license for a machine (FPP or OEM) you can now apply full copies (i.e. do a bare metal install) without having to do a double install. There are also a stack of sales materials coming too (I've copied some of the points from the link below): Partner feedback has enabled Microsoft to make the Windows Vista operating system even better. Now you can reap the benefits. Sell more with hardware, software and services built around Windows Vista with Service Pack 1 (SP1). And learn how we're making it easier than ever for you to learn, use and sell Windows Vista. Based on partner feedback, we've taken action to improve the partner experience in support of Windows Vista: Mid-March 2008 delivery of Microsoft Windows Vista Business with SP1 in a special Action Pack shipment to partners worldwide. To make it easier for you to deploy the final release of Windows Vista SP1 for internal use, all subscribers will receive full code*. Not currently an Action Pack subscriber? Find out how to subscribe . New subscribers will receive Windows Vista with SP1 as part of the April 2008 Welcome Kit. One licence for Windows Vista Ultimate with SP1 (full code*) for internal use, so you can discuss this product's benefits and features with customers who need a single PC to fulfil their work, travel and entertainment needs. This software will be delivered in the regular Action Pack quarterly update (April 2008) for current subscribers and for new Action Pack subscribers starting in April 2008. A comprehensive set of readiness resources to arm you to sell and support Windows Vista SP1 solutions for your small- or medium-size-business customers as momentum...
  • Microsoft Online Services - beta in US, international .. not for a while yet, but you get to see where Microsoft is going!

    What is it? I know Vlad is not going to like this, but even he will admit that this has been on the cards for a while. Software plus services is coming to town in a bigger and bigger way. At the moment there is a limited beta in the US and (just like Google), it has the beta tag on it . So what have we seen today, well we have seen Microsoft stand up and be counted in it's commitment to the software-plus-services strategy. We have seen existing "on premise" solutions of Exchange and SharePoint be offered as a S+S (software-plus-services) alternative for those customers who don't wish to run these themselves. There is no "must switch" or "dropping" of the existing, very successful products, just more options for people. As a customer you would consider whether you get better value running these in-house yourself, or with a partner delivering them for you in-house, or completely outsources to another partner or Microsoft. As a partner you have to consider how you deliver in all worlds. While today you probably add value to "on premise" solutions you need to understand how and if you add value should your customer opt for the new services. If you want to deliver theses types of services yourself, look at SPLA agreements and the information at The Microsoft Service Provider License Agreement (SPLA) . If you want to build solutions on top of those announced today then look at http://www.microsoft.com/online/partner/learn-more.mspx . Either way you can learn more at http://www.microsoft.com/online/default.mspx . Other's reactions As you can imagine, there have been a few prople covering this, from bloggers to journalists. Below are just some of the items I've seen so far: Press Microsoft to Expand Microsoft Online Services for Businesses of All Sizes (press release) http://www.eweek.com/c/a/Enterprise-Apps/Microsoft-Expands-its-Online-Services/ Microsoft moves further into the cloud.. cautiously http://www.ebizq.net/blogs/saasweek/2008/03/microsoft_expands_ondemand_ser...
  • Open License Media can now be purchased and downloaded online

    Open Licence media now available online Open Licence customers in the UK can now buy media online directly from Microsoft, which will potentially reduce the amount of time and money you currently spend on fulfilling Open Licence media orders. Download the Open Media Re-engineering Guide for Partners and a customer-facing presentation . eOpen allows you to: Create and retain personalized views of Open License purchase history information Review your license agreement and product use rights Update your license contact information online View Open License purchases made in more than 180 countries Find and download software available under your license agreements Access your Volume License Product Key to install your software ttfn David Technorati Tags: eOpen , Open License , Licensing , Microsoft
  • Where Customers may obtain License Keys for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0

    I've been asked this a few times, so attached is the response I got from the nice Product peeps here in the UK. Since the easiest way to share was a picture - here it is :-) It covers the following license types: Trial MSDN/Technet MSPP MAPS VL BRL SPLA ISV Royalty Again, see http://www.uksmbgirl.co.uk/blog/archives/320 for more information on MS CRM and http://uksbsguy.com/blogs/doverton/archive/2008/01/17/microsoft-dynamics-crm-4-0-ready-for-download.aspx for download information. ttfn David Technorati Tags: Licensing , MS CRM , CRM
  • Want Office 2007 with a 50% discount? You have until Christmas to upgrade and get a 50% discount with Open Value Subscription

    Again, browsing the small business blog and I thought this was very interesting: Why wait? Upgrade now to 2007 Office and save 50% Until 31 December 2007 you can get a 50% discount off the 2007 Microsoft Office system when you upgrade through the Microsoft Open Value subscription programme. Why do it this way? Because you get a huge discount, you can manage your payments over three years to help your cash flow, you’ll receive a single agreement for all your software licences, and get the benefit of Microsoft Software Assurance, which offers version upgrades and training and partner services. Learn more about the benefits of upgrading here . Microsoft's Small Business Blog : Why wait? Upgrade now to 2007 Office and save 50% ttfn David Technorati Tags: Office 2007 , UK , Discounts
  • Licensing Reseller Handbook are now available for UK partners

    This little tool is something worth downloading and reading to help answer some of those licensing queries and to learn more about selling Volume Licensing and the rules and benefits of other licensing types. Get it from here It walk through: Basic licence types How to become a reseller How to sell these licence's (key messaging and operational info) Product Specific licensing ‘need to knows’ ttfn David Technorati Tags: Licensing , Tools
  • Worldwide Partner Conference - WPC in Denver - what I know so far - Dynamics CRM Live

    Microsoft Announces Product Offerings and Customer Early Access Program for Microsoft Dynamics Live CRM - This could be huge - $44 per calendar month per user for Professional CRM and $59 for Enterprise edition (Professional Edition plus offline support)!!! Then, when you thought it was not so good for partners, look at the models: With the new Live service, partners in the Microsoft Dynamics CRM ecosystem will have new opportunities to deliver value to their customers and to drive revenue for their businesses by developing and deploying solutions across the three deployment options — Live, on-premise and partner-hosted models . For revenue in the new Live model, partners will be compensated on a recurring basis, not a one-time basis; each year they will receive 10 percent of the yearly Software as a Service (SaaS) subscription revenue for each customer for whom they are the partner of record. During 2008, a special incentive will allow partners to receive 15 percent of the SaaS subscription revenue for that year Steve from BMS noted the following: Microsoft WPC 2007 notes at BMS Blog: SBS Consulting in the UK Dynamics CRM Live launched Live Demo by Brad Wilson - General Manager for CRM Ability to download and completely remodel the CRM environment via partner provided XML templates Direct competitor for salesforce.com etc. Early adopter program Only available through partners Focus on making revenue from consultation ttfn David Technorati Tags: WPC , Partner Conference , Dynamics , CRM , CRM Live , Live
  • What are the Top 5 Licensing Questions we get asked in the partner team

    Numbers 1, 2 and 3 are listed below. To be nice to the Partner team I have not included 4 & 5, so you will have to go to the link to get them. Having said that, don't forget that we have a team of people who can answer your licensing questions - not treating you as end users, but treating you as partners. Top 5 Licensing Questions I've had a chat Lisa Michigan from our licensing team, and I asked her what the top five licensing questions were asked to the Ask Partner hotline last month. Here are the questions with the answers! How useful... What downgrade rights does Windows Vista Business have? We have received this question countless times. We are able to answer this question quickly and accurately based on the OEM Vista Business Microsoft Software Licence Terms which state OEM Vista Business can be downgraded to Windows XP Professional, Windows XP Professional 64-Bit Edition and Windows XP Tablet-PC Edition. What media and key can I use when downgrading? Many partners and customers are aware that their MSLT/EULA/PUR permits them to downgrade, however we receive many questions about how customers can take advantage of these downgrade rights. We advise the customer that if their MSLT/EULA/PUR permits downgrade rights then they need to source the media and key themselves. They can use any legitimate Microsoft media that they own including FPP, OEM or Volume Licensing media and will need to use the appropriate key for the appropriate media. How are disaster recovery sites licensed? We receive many calls from partners and customers asking whether they need to acquire additional licences to create a disaster recovery site. We advise customers that all Microsoft software being used at a disaster recovery site needs to be licensed appropriately. The only exception to this rule is through the “Cold Back-Up Server for Disaster Recovery” Software Assurance benefit. Partner Perspectives : Top 5 Licensing Questions ttfn David Technorati Tags: Licensing , Partners , Microsoft
  • UK SMB Girl » First Victory for Microsoft against hard-loading reseller

    Technorati Tags: Licensing , Anti-Piracy You asked for us to get tougher and now we are telling you more about it - here is one of the cases. “Microsoft’s tactics to use the small claims courts to penalise resellers found selling counterfeit product has resulted in its first victory, with further cases waiting to be resolved. Michala Alexander, head of anti-piracy at Microsoft, said it had settled out of court for £1,800 with its first small claims target, Bargain Computers of Stoke-on-Trent, but had another eight to ten cases in the pipeline. UK SMB Girl » First Victory for Microsoft against hard-loading reseller ttfn David
  • Do you sell Microsoft product and went something to make it easier to understand our licensing and products? Something that will help you up-sell and cross-sell to your customers? If so, then the Gear Up book is for you

    In a recent mail it announced: The Microsoft Sales Toolkit is your source for driving sales. It is the licensing and sales 'product handbook' that will help you generate up-sell and cross-sell opportunities, giving you and your Partners information on the full portfolio of Microsoft products and services. You can find information on what the product is, how to sell it, relevant SKU numbers and FAQs. The toolkit is produced twice a year and is available as a hardcopy, to keep on your desk, or to download as a pdf, to take out with you to meet customers. Visit www.microsoft.com/uk/gearup for more details or to download the pdf version. Go get it, it might just answer one or two of those questions you have!! ttfn David Technorati tags: Gear Up , licensing , sales , Microsoft
  • Action Pack abuse / misuse and customers who are registered as a partner and should not be - what can be done about it?

    Over the past months I have had people say to me something like: "I have a customer who wants to use the Action Pack, what can I tell them as to why it is wrong" "I know someone who is abusing the action pack by selling it to customers" "I think someone is listed locally as a partner and should not be" I think this customer does not qualify or how do I tell people what is required to use the Action Pack So here is how we can help. To qualifty for the action pack you must (from https://partner.microsoft.com/UK/program/managemembership/actionpack/mapslicensing ) Who can subscribe to the Microsoft Action Pack? The Microsoft Action Pack Subscription is available exclusively to consultants, value-added resellers, value-added providers, system integrators, developers, system builders, hosts and service providers who are enroled as Microsoft Partner Programme Registered Members and who distribute or influence their customers’ acquisition of Microsoft software and Microsoft-based solutions. To become a partner, you need to look at the guide - https://partner.microsoft.com/UK/program/managemembership/actionpack/40005166 Who is Eligible to Join the Microsoft Partner Programme? The Microsoft Partner Programme is designed only for businesses whose primary function is to sell, service, support, or build solutions on the Microsoft platform or to provide solutions based on Microsoft products and technologies to independent third-party customers. Examples of qualifying businesses are: consulting services providers, independent software vendors (ISVs), independent hardware vendors, large account resellers, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), support providers, system integrators, system builders, training providers, value-added resellers and value-added providers who sell more than 75 per cent of their products and services to customers outside their own company. Examples of non-qualifying entities are non-profit organisations, academic institutions, students, government offices and businesses whose...
  • Help to make the Office 2007 document type a standard (Open XML) - click the link

    I love standards - they make life easier. TCP is one, ODF is one, SNA is one, ASCII and EBDIC are. Even PDF is one. It just makes life easier. In this connected world standards are a good thing and sometimes more than one standard is very good. Microsoft has offered the Open XML (Office 2007 document format) as a standard too. We can have it as a standard in a short time frame or a long time frame. I want you to sign the petition to help it happen in the short time frame. Even Novell are supporting this as they see it as just making their customers lives easier. Go here and sign the petition to help move things forward in the short time frame. If you want to see how developers could use the standard have a look at http://openxmldeveloper.org/posts.aspx . You might wonder why I am asking you to do this. Well I've read the text at the microsoft.com site on Open XML and I like the idea of this being a public standard that people can write to without having to pay for the right to do so and the knowledge that writing to the standard will give them good interoperability. My 1st three years after University was writing document converters, including those for Microsoft Office and Open XML would have made my life MUCH MUCH easier. To aid interoperability, XML-based file formats can unlock data in documents and help integrate front- and back-office processes. Recognising these benefits, Microsoft has implemented XML-based formats in successive releases of Office. Both public and private sector customers have expressed their preference for making Open XML an open standard so that they have broad rights to use, without cost, any Microsoft patents necessary to implement all or part of the format. Responding to this, Microsoft and others called for the standardisation of Open XML. On 7 Dec 2006 Ecma International, a highly respected standardisation body, approved the adoption of Open XML as an international open standard. The strengths of Ecma Open XML are clear: Ecma Open XML was developed through the collaborative efforts...
  • Top 5 Tips to start working with Open Licensing ( in the UK )

    I saw this and thought I would share Check out the Licensing Wheel in the EVO GA Kit which can be ordered on the Partner Portal. The wheel matches the type and size of customer with suitable licensing packages and is a great starting point for a discussion with your client. Have a look at Gear Up – a book available online or in print that acts as a definitive sales guide to all Microsoft’s licensing products. Gear Up gives you the background on the full range of licensing options and the advantages they will offer different customers Use the Licensing Configurator – once you have ascertained your client’s exact requirements the Licensing Configurator will give you a robust and accurate picture of the right programme for them Talk to Ask Partner at 0870 60 70 700. The team will answer any questions and help you get started with selling Open If you’d like to offer your customer Open through someone else, talk to either a Large Account Reseller or one of Microsoft’s specialist Partners with the Gold Licensing competency. Ask Partner will put you in touch. All these tools and information resources are available on https://partner.microsoft.com/UK/licensing/ or can be ordered by calling Ask Partner. To read other Partner’s stories on how they grew their key accounts with Open visit our website https://partner.microsoft.com/UK/licensing/40023302 ttfn David

(c)David Overton 2006-13