I was reading the email about the changes mentioned here: http://page.techsoup.org/microsoft-discount-announcement and had some questions.
Microsoft is optimizing its ‘on-premises’ product donations to meet the needs of smaller organizations. Standard versions of all Microsoft ‘on-premises’ products will continue to be available as donations to eligible nonprofits and libraries through TechSoup. Premium versions of Microsoft ‘on-premises’ products will no longer be available as donated offers on TechSoup, but will be available with the same eligibility at a nonprofit discount. There are no changes to donated cloud offers available from Microsoft.
What does this count as Premium on-premises products?
Is it the difference between Server Standard and Server Datacenter or different levels of SQL server?
I'm also confused on the change with the 10 Title Groups. What does that mean?
Was wondering the same thing regarding each of the points expressed above. With an upcoming order pending, we're interested in some clarification.
Thank you for your questions, we are currently working on our FAQs. We will have more complete information at a later date, but hopefully this answers some of the questions you have.
In regards to your question about title groups: they are currently part of the rules for the Microsoft donation program. Currently, eligible organizations can request up to 50 licenses (quantity) from a maximum of 10 title groups. For more information: https://www.techsoup.org/support/articles-and-how-tos/microsoft-eligibility
Starting April 1st, title groups will be eliminated and eligible organizations can choose among any of the Microsoft donated products without being limited by the title groups. Also, unless otherwise stated, organizations can request up to 50 licenses of each product.
The premium products are usually referred to as ‘professional’ or ‘enterprise’ and the standard products are usually referred to as ‘standard’. For example, Office Professional vs. Office Standard. Standard products will still be available as donations.
There will not be a difference in cost for SQL Standard, which will remain in the donated catalog. As far as the discounted versions of the products, we don’t have exact pricing yet, but Microsoft’s blog post (https://blogs.microsoft.com/on-the-issues/2018/02/21/accelerating-transformation-nonprofits-technology-social-impact/), does describe the discounts this way:
Predictable pricing with standardized discounts One clear message from nonprofits worldwide is that predictable pricing is critical to strategic IT planning. We are creating a standard discount model across cloud and on-premises products that provides the transparency required for effective IT planning. A majority of our standard software and SaaS solutions, such as Office 365 E3, will be available at affordable prices — on average, 75 percent off commercial pricing. Likewise, a majority of our software and SaaS cloud solutions, designed for premium enterprise-class scenarios, such as Office 365 Enterprise E5, will be available for an average of 60 percent off commercial pricing.
We hope this answers some of your questions, and we are working with Microsoft to get exact details worked out.
Autumn Teeter | Forum Moderator for TechSoup Customer Service
So then SQL Server Standard and Microsoft Server Standard would stay, but SQL Server Enterprise and Microsoft Server Datacenter would move over to standard charity pricing?
I believe that is the case, but the final information will confirm when it's available.
Is there follow-up on this with pricing changes?
While the price of SQL Server Standard (Server/CAL) did not change price, the donated core-based SQL Server is gone and has been replaced by the "discounted" $2,000+ version.
My take away from all this, "Microsoft is optimizing its ‘on-premises’ product donations to meet the needs of smaller organizations... while gouging all other sized nonprofits." The real motivation behind these changes is to get us all onto Office 365 and Azure. Up until now it was "Sorry Micro$oft, I can run my workloads for much less on-premise"...now it isn't so clear. Either way, most of our licensing costs doubled after this "optimization".
We are sorry to hear about the impact of these changes. Microsoft has been making changes to its nonprofit offers for both on-premise and cloud software regularly for many years. As with any program change, some organizations benefit more than others in the near term, but there are also many new updates to Microsoft’s cloud solutions that are hugely beneficial to nonprofits in the way of data security, compliance assistance, and overall ease of management.
Check out our free courses on Microsoft’s cloud offers for nonprofits (https://techsoup.course.tc/catalog/track/ms-bootcamp) or get some help specific to your organization’s needs by filling out this form: https://www.techsoup.org/microsoft-cloud-solutions
Your understanding is correct. SQL Enterprise and Windows Sever Datacenter have now moved under the Discounted price listing found here: https://www.techsoup.org/microsoft-discount
Microsoft’s goal is to enable even more nonprofit organizations to have an even greater impact. However, it takes a new philanthropy model to sustainably scale software donations in a subscription (or cloud) model.
Microsoft's new Tech for Social Impact team is organized as a social enterprise, where profits will be reinvested into providing more support for nonprofits. You can learn more here.
This whole thing is utterly disappointing and seems to be a cash grab from the organizations who can afford it the least. The stated reason of "optimizing" for non-profits doesn't hold up. All they've done is *removed* options that were previously there. The other side of this seems to be to push these organizations into the cloud, but that doesn't really hold up either. The allotments for Azure, for instance, don't even come CLOSE to the value we received through these on-prem donations. Same with Office 365. Previously I was able to purchase Office Pro for about $40 and re-purchase every two years. Based on O365 non-profit discounts, I'm paying almost double that every two years. Meanwhile, they still offer Exchange std, which seems redundant. Further, there are some products they removed with either no cloud analogue, or the cloud costs are vastly higher. We purchased SQL enterprise for around $2k last year. Now that would cost us almost $8k with the "discounted" option. In Azure, a managed SQL instance would cost around $15k/year, which is 3x the Azure credit allotment. Another example is Visual Studio Enterprise, which was removed and has no cloud-equivalent (obviously). The cost for that has now increased from about $450 to $3200.
This is ABSURD, Microsoft. Pure cash grab. If they really wanted to help non-profits, they'd leave the items with no cloud equivilent as they were and then increase the Azure/O365 allotments to compensate for the vastly higher licensing costs we're all now having to deal with.
Edit: To make matters worse, I somehow never saw any notification of this. We've been planning a DR rollout at another office, which required a second copy of SQL Enterprise. Now that we're about to roll it out, I find out NOW that my licensing cost has quadrupled. Had i known earlier, I would have stocked up on licenses. Microsoft apparently didn't do a very good job of making sure this change was publicized very well.
We made our planned purchases for the next few years just before the price jump even though we didn't hear any confirmations before it happened.
We are looking into non-microsoft options for the future where possible and planning to squeeze some extra years out of what we won't be able to afford upgrading.
"We are looking into non-microsoft options for the future where possible"
I've been using LibreOffice for years and am very, very pleased.
-=-=-=-=-=- Jayne Cravens Author, The LAST Virtual Volunteering Guidebook
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