Omantel teams up with Microsoft and BPS to deliver ICT Innovations across the Sultanate

  • The partnership is guided by the Omantel 3.0 transformation strategy to innovate, streamline, and revolutionize digital smart home and business services
  • The offering will be available to individuals and Small & Medium Size Enterprises (SMEs) via Omantel Digital Channels, including Online store and Mobile Application

08 October, 2019; Muscat, Sultanate of Oman – Omantel, the Sultante’s first and leading integrated telecommunications services provider today at the 39th GITEX Technology Week – in partnership with Microsoft and BPS, announced to jointly deliver ICT innovations and services across the sultanate.

The partnership between Omantel, Microsoft and BPS is guided by the Omantel 3.0 transformation strategy to innovate, streamline, and revolutionize its digital smart home and business services. The offerings will be available to individuals and Small & Medium Size Enterprises (SMEs) through bundle and standalone packages via Omantel different digital Channels, including Online store and Mobile Application. Consumers and SMEs will be able to purchase Microsoft products such as Office 365 in a seamless digital experience.

“Our vision at Omantel is to build a totally connected community through innovation“, Said Andrew Hanna, Chief Commercial Officer, Omantel. “And this strategic collaboration with Microsoft & BPS reinforces our ICT transformation efforts to achieve this vision in the Sultanate of Oman. Our priority has been to enable both consumers and enterprises with various digital tools; hence, the combined power of Microsoft state-of-art products along with Omantel intelligent systems, infrastructure and outreach will add a significant value in our customers digital journey and boost their productivity.”

Office 365 is an integrated experience of apps and services, designed to empower users to pursue their passion, unlock creativity and productivity. With access to a suite of applications such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and security updates, it also provides Microsoft Teams, a collaborative hub for teamwork to conduct chats, organize meetings, and share files.

“Mobility, productivity and collaboration have become the core needs of every end-user and business”, said Sheikh Saif Hilal Al Hosni, Country Manager, Microsoft Bahrain & Oman. “As the modern life and workplace evolves, it is important to adopt new tools that can help you get work done. Office 365 is the ultimate mobile collaborative platform designed to supercharge user productivity and enable them make the most of their day.  Our innovations, with Omantel’s expertise and breadth of presence in the sultanate – is a perfect partnership to accelerate technology adoption, and empower consumers and SMEs in the country to achieve more”.

“Using an end-to-end integration with BPS Marketplace that supported the streamlining and the digitalization of the delivery process, Omantel will deliver, within all its channels, the full suite of Office and Office 365 Business premium to end-customers.  The partnership will provide the full catalogue of Microsoft ESD including all the app’s and, most importantly, its latest version all the time and  based on immediate customers demand.” Said  Negib abouhabib, General Manager, BPS.

Updated Microsoft licensing terms for dedicated hosted cloud services

On October 1, 2019, we’ll modify our licensing terms related to outsourcing rights and dedicated hosted cloud services. This change won’t impact the use of existing software versions under licenses purchased before October 1, 2019.

Currently, our outsourcing terms give on-premises customers the option to deploy Microsoft software on hardware leased from and managed by traditional outsourcers. The emergence of dedicated hosted cloud services has blurred the line between traditional outsourcing and cloud services and has led to the use of on-premises licenses on cloud services. Dedicated hosted cloud services by major public cloud providers typically offer global elastic scale, on-demand provisioning and a pay-as-you-go model, similar to multitenant cloud services.

As a result, we’re updating the outsourcing terms for Microsoft on-premises licenses to clarify the distinction between on-premises/traditional outsourcing and cloud services and create more consistent licensing terms across multitenant and dedicated hosted cloud services. Beginning October 1, 2019, on-premises licenses purchased without Software Assurance and mobility rights cannot be deployed with dedicated hosted cloud services offered by the following public cloud providers: Microsoft, Alibaba, Amazon (including VMware Cloud on AWS), and Google. They will be referred to as “Listed Providers.”

These changes don’t apply to other providers and there will be no change to the Services Provider License Agreement (SPLA) program or to the License Mobility for Software Assurance benefit, other than to expand this benefit to cover dedicated hosted cloud services.

Options for licensing Microsoft products

We’re committed to making Microsoft software available to customers across all environments. Beginning October 1, 2019, customers can license Microsoft products on dedicated hosted cloud services from the Listed Providers using the options below:

Frequently asked questions

Q: What products are included in this licensing change?

A: All on-premises software available through Microsoft volume licensing as of October 1, 2019, are included in the outsourcing terms change.

  1. What are some examples of dedicated hosted cloud services from the Listed Providers?
  2. Some examples include Azure Dedicated Host, Amazon EC2 Dedicated Hosts, VMware Cloud on Amazon Web Services (AWS), and single tenant nodes from Google. In addition, solutions on such Listed Providers are included.

Q: We currently are running server workloads on one of the Listed Provider’s dedicated hosted cloud services. What do the updates mean for us?

A: The outsourcing updates don’t impact your right to deploy existing licenses on a Listed Provider’s dedicated hosted cloud services. You can continue to deploy and use software under your existing licenses on Listed Providers’ servers dedicated to you; however, you will not be able to add workloads under licenses acquired on or after October 1, 2019. After October 1, 2019, you will be able to use products through the purchase of cloud services directly from the Listed Provider or, if you have licenses with Software Assurance, they can be used with the Listed Providers’ dedicated hosted cloud offerings under License Mobility or Azure Hybrid Benefit rights.

Q: We use one of the Listed Provider’s dedicated hosted cloud services and need to license more Microsoft software before October to cover our expanding workloads; how do we do that?

A: The changes don’t apply to licenses purchased before October 1, 2019. Work with your usual Microsoft partner or account team for help in this scenario. If you have questions, please contact your Microsoft representative.

Q: What happens when we renew our Software Assurance or upgrade to new versions after October 1, 2019?

A: Software Assurance renewal doesn’t affect your perpetual use rights for existing versions. If you upgrade to a new version released on or after October 1, 2019, you must deploy that new version under the updated outsourcing terms.

Q: What if we are running on a cloud provider other than these Listed Providers?

A: These changes don’t apply to deployment and use of licenses outside of a Listed Provider’s data center.

Q: Do the changes apply to third-party offerings on a dedicated hosted cloud service?

A: Yes, the changes apply to both first and third-party offerings on a dedicated hosted cloud service from a Listed Provider.

Q: How does this apply to our Windows Enterprise licenses deployed on a Listed Provider’s dedicated hosted cloud services?

A: You can continue to use Windows Enterprise under your current Software Assurance coverage or user subscription licenses; however, at renewal, your option to deploy Windows Enterprise on a Listed Provider’s dedicated cloud services will require VDA E3/E5 (per user). As an exception, customers renewing Windows Enterprise SA coverage or E3/E5 subscriptions between October 1, 2019 and October 1, 2020 will have until October 1, 2020 to move their existing Windows Enterprise workloads off Listed Providers’ dedicated cloud services.

Q: How does the Azure Hybrid Benefit work for Windows Server/SQL Server licenses on Azure Dedicated Host?

A: Customers can use the value of their existing Windows Server and SQL Server licenses with Software Assurance, or qualifying subscription licenses, to pay a reduced rate on Azure Dedicated Host using Azure Hybrid Benefit. Windows Server Datacenter and SQL Server Enterprise Edition customers get unlimited virtualization (deploy as many Windows Server virtual machines as possible on the host subject to the physical capacity of the underlying server) when they license the entire host and use Azure Hybrid Benefit.  All Windows Server and SQL Server workloads in Azure Dedicated Host are also eligible for Extended Security Updates for Windows Server and SQL Server 2008/R2 at no additional charge. Find more details here.

You can find additional Frequently Asked Questions here

Microsoft SPLA | Changes to the 2017 Partner Pricelist

Microsoft will not be announcing any price changes in January 2017 for SPLA licenses. However, Microsoft Dynamics® 365 released in SPLA on February 1, 2016, will replace the current Dynamics CRM SKUs. Microsoft Dynamics 365 is the next generation of intelligent business applications that enable organizations to grow, evolve, and transform. These applications provide CRM capabilities to help engage customers, empower employees, and reinvent products and business models. Microsoft Dynamics 365 helps customers to accelerate their digital transformation to meet the changing needs of their customers and capture the new business opportunities of tomorrow.

 Changes:

  • Dynamics 365 will include Sales, Customer Services and Team Members SALs.
  • The new SKUs/SALs will appear on the February 1, 2017 SPLA price list and the February SPUR
  • Microsoft Dynamics® 365 released in SPLA on February 1, 2016, will replace the current Dynamics CRM SKUs

The following SKUs will be removed from SPLA in February 2017:

Part Number Description
QHH-00028 DynCRMSrvcPrvdr ALNG LicSAPk MVL SAL
QHH-00089 DynCRMSrvcPrvdr ALNG LicSAPk MVL SAL Bsc
QHH-00090 DynCRMSrvcPrvdr ALNG LicSAPk MVL SAL Essntls

The following SKUs will be added in SPLA in February 2017:

Part Number Description
EMJ-00429 Dyn365ForTeamMembers ALNG LicSAPk MVL SAL
EMT-00565 Dyn365ForCustmrSrvc ALNG LicSAPk MVL SAL
ENJ-00705 Dyn365ForSales ALNG LicSAPk MVL SAL

The following table includes the mapping of the old Dynamics Sku’s (AX & CRM) to the new Dynamics 365 Sku’s:

Existing User License New User License
Pro User SAL Sales User SAL
Pro User SAL Customer Service User SAL
Basic User SAL Sales User SAL
Basic User SAL Customer Service User SAL
Essential User SAL Team Members User SAL

Benefits of Hybrid Hosting

Hybrid cloud is a term that describes when an organization uses the services of a public cloud provider which can be usually Microsoft Azure, IBM BlueMix… in addition to its private cloud. By having parallel cloud networks accessible through the same architecture, businesses have the ability to utilize the benefits of both, including faster data transfer and increased privacy.

Hybrid networks generally offer more flexibility, scalability and security over other types of hosting, whilst also being able to perform in ways that cloud and traditional hosting can’t.

Some major hybrid cloud advantages include:

  • Increased data speeds – hybrid networks can be configured to push essential data through private servers instead of public ones, greatly improving load times and data transfer speeds.
  • Improved security – Sensitive data can be secured on private servers with many layers of encryption that can only be accessed in house, whilst non-sensitive and publicly-accessible data and applications can be accessed through a public server.
  • Decreased spending – Utilizing the public cloud for applications that don’t require security is likely to be more economical in the long run.
  • Better cost visibility – Leveraging the power of a public cloud will showcase the exact amount of expenditures your are incurring making it easier to estimate your total cost and therefore estimating the right margin that is more likely to generate profit.
  • Lowering downtime risk – Most of the time, having both private and public cloud at your disposal means your end customers don’t have to worry about downtime.
  • Improving local network operations – Hybrid hosting also allows you the added advantage of being able to shift resource heavy processes through a separate private or public cloud network, greatly improving local network operations.

DoubleTake | 5 Reasons for Service Providers to consider DRaaS

Service providers have the ability to provide their end customers today with a complete Disaster Recovery as a Service solution using Double Take Cloud Protection and Recovery provides which provides low-risk, near-zero downtime DR-as-a-Service (DRaaS) for organizations of all sizes. Its usage-based pricing and compliance with SLAs and RPO/RTO guidelines make it just the solution the market needs today. Here are 5 advantages for the DRaaS every End Customer should think of when considering a DR solution:

1. Reduced Disaster Recovery Costs

if you currently have a disaster recovery site in place, you are already familiar with the high costs associated with such an infrastructure. Beyond the unavoidable investments in replication software and the required software licenses for servers, storage and security, there are a number of significant additional costs involved. Most of these additional costs are effectively eliminated by using DRaaS through a service provider:

  • Owning your own building or leasing space for your secondary datacenter
  • Alternatively, leasing a cabinet or cage at a datacenter provider
  • Monthly costs associated with power, cooling and Internet bandwidth at the secondary site
  • Purchase or lease of servers, storage and network equipment at the secondary site
  • Travel to and from datacenters or on-site staff at the secondary datacenter

2. Reduced Complexity

Building and maintaining a secondary DR site can be both costly and complex. If all of that infrastructure could be eliminated then the administration, upgrade requirements, maintenance contracts and more could be eliminated as well.

3. Achieve Interoperability

So many DR solutions are based on replication/synchronization to/from only one specific hypervisor, or may be restricted to use with one model physical server. Some solutions are even application specific. In contrast, DRaaS solutions are available that are hardware, hypervisor and application independent, so you can protect servers across different hypervisors, replicate data between dissimilar storage systems, etc.

4. Save Time

By reducing complexity and simplifying the disaster recovery solution with a single provider, IT groups will save a tremendous amount of time as compared to managing their own disaster recovery site. Additionally, if you have yet to deploy your own DR site, you’ll be able to deploy DRaaS within hours or days (depending on your number of servers) as compared to the weeks or months it can take to deploy your own site.

5. Provide a Comprehensive DR Solution

In many cases companies who implement their own DR site have to do it in phases and only protect the most critical servers first (In many cases, never even being able to protect all servers). Because DRaaS is so much easier and more affordable, many companies are able to protect all of their servers (physical and virtual), providing a complete DR solution.

Microsoft | Licensing SharePoint Hosting in SPLA

hosting

As it is known in Microsoft SPLA, SharePoint Server Standard and Enterprise licenses are provided under the Subscriber Access License, which means that each end customer’s internal users who can directly or indirectly access the SharePoint Server would need a license. Service Provider will use the software in this case to provide internal users access to content, information, and applications. Therefore, use of SharePoint Server software to provide content, information, and applications that are limited to internal users must be licensed under SharePoint Server SALs.

SharePoint Hosting – Licensing Based on Processors Used

In contrast and in order to provide SharePoint Server as a Website or Hosted and therefore, allowing an unlimited number of external users to access it, in this case, the licensing scheme would shift from SAL to Processor License. Customer may use the software to provide External Users access to content, information, and applications. Customer may also use the software to provide internal users access to content, information, and applications so long as that same content and information and those same applications are also accessible by External Users.

To run Instances of the server software in the Physical OSE on a Server, you need a license for each physical processor that the Physical OSE uses.

To run Instances of the server software in the Physical OSE on a Server, you need a license for each physical processor that the Physical OSE uses. 

Scenario 1

SharePoint Hosting roles are deployed on 1 physical server with 2 physical processors. Therefore, in this case, SharePoint Hosting would require a total of 2 licenses equal to the number of physical processors.

To run Instances of the server software in Virtual OSEs on a Server, you need a license for each virtual processor that each of those Virtual OSEs uses. If a Virtual OSE uses a fraction of a virtual processor, the fraction counts as a full virtual processor.

Scenario 2

SharePoint Hosting roles are deployed on 1 Virtual Machine with 8 Virtual Cores. This Virtual Machine is created on a Physical Server with 2 physical processors and 4 Cores per Processor. In this case partner would need 8 (Virtual Cores) / 4 (Cores per Processor) = 2 licenses.