The Multi-Geo add-on SKU is finally arriving on CSP from June 1, 2023 for users licensed with:
OneDrive for Business
This add-on enables customers to manage data-at-rest locations across multiple regions within a single tenant.
As a minimum, customers must purchase a quantity of Multi-Geo licenses that is equal to at least 5% of the total number of eligible M365 licenses*. So if you have 1000 eligible licenses, you must purchase at least 50 Multi-Geo licenses.
A tenant must be configured for Multi-Geo support, a process which begins automatically once ordered licenses appear in the tenant. Interestingly Microsoft state that:
“the time required to configure a Tenant for Multi-Geo support varies from Tenant to Tenant, but most Tenants finish within a month after receipt of the feature licenses. Larger or more complex Tenants may require more time to complete the configuration process“
so make sure you leave enough time before the functionality is needed in production. You can see more details here.
Microsoft announced their Q3 FY23 (Jan – Mar 23) results recently – let’s take a look at the numbers.
Overall revenue for the quarter was $52.9 billion – an increase of 7% while net income was up 9% to $18.3 billion. The latter something of a turnaround from the 12% decrease the previous quarter.
Productivity & Business Processes
Revenue = $17.5 billion…up 11%
Office 365 Commercial up 14%
LinkedIn up 8%
Dynamics up 25%
A little higher than Q2 but still lower than we’ve been seeing for the last couple of years.
Revenue = $22.1 billion…up 16%
Azure growth was 27% again, a decent increase but continuing the ongoing shrinking of the percentage increase each quarter.
Satya Nadella stated that Microsoft continue to focus on 3 priorities:
Helping customers to get the most value out of their digital spend
Investing in AI to increase their Total Addressable Market (TAM) and be the leader
Aligning their cost structure with their revenue growth
We are now in the era of ChatGPT and AI – an area where Microsoft are expected to do very well in the coming months and years – and Nadella stated in the earnings call that they have over 2,500 Open AI Azure customers which is a 10x quarter on quarter increase. He also mentioned that ChatGPT runs on top of Microsoft’s CosmosDB.
Further updates include:
Azure Arc is up to 15,000+ customers which is 150% up year on year (YoY).
Power Platform is up to 33 million Monthly Active Users (MAU) – almost 50% up YoY.
Teams has broken the 300 million MAU mark.
Almost 60% of Enterprise customers are buying Teams Phone, Teams Rooms, and/or Teams Premium.
Almost 600,000 customers have deployed at least 4 Microsoft security workloads – a 35% YoY increase.
Amy Hood stated that, at the end of April 23, total headcount was 9% more than a year prior.
Satya mentioned Copilot several times and, in response to an analyst question, stated that:
“We do plan to monetize a separate set of meters across all of the tech stack, whether they’re consumption meters or per-user subscriptions. The copilot that’s priced, and it is there, is GitHub Copilot. That’s a good example of incrementally how we monetize the price lists out there, and others are to be priced, because we are in preview mode. But you can expect us to do what we’ve done with GitHub Copilot pretty much across the board”
Satya Nadella, Q3 FY23 earnings call
and that gives a good idea of what Copilot licensing may look like. I think my expectation of add-ons to E3 and E5 is pretty accurate.
While Microsoft’s revenue and profits are looking great, and they’re excited about all the growth ahead of them, the shine is dimmed somewhat by 2 things: the memory of the layoffs of circa 10,000 staff in January and the recent news that there are to be no pay raises across Microsoft. Give the increases in cost of living, energy, and inflation – wages staying flat can be seen as a pay cut in many ways.
Windows 365 Frontline is a new licensing option for Microsoft’s Cloud PC offering, aimed at “Frontline” workers who don’t need constant access to their own PC. This can be scenarios such as:
Staff on rota
Staff across timezones
Each W365 Frontline license allows 3 Cloud PCs virtual machines to be provisioned, but they cannot be used concurrently. The maximum active number of Frontline VMs allowed is equal to the number of licenses you’ve purchased i.e. you’ve bought 20 licenses which enables 60 VMs…but only 20 can be in use at any one time.
W365 Frontline introduces the concept of concurrent licensing – rather than licensing ever shift worker, you instead buy enough licenses to cover the maximum number of desktops active at any one time. For example, 300 users who work in 3 shifts of 100 users = 100 licenses needed.
From a management perspective, the licenses will not show as assigned to users (as they are applied at the tenant level) so you will need to use the W365 utilization report to see how many licenses are being used.
Microsoft Universal Print is a cloud printing service that removes the need for on-premises print servers and printer drivers and makes printing from anywhere easier for users and organisations.
Previously, each user licenses with Windows E3 received 5 print jobs per month which were added to a central pool. Microsoft have now added an allowance of 100 print jobs per month for Microsoft 365 E3/E5 users:
Jobs Per Month
Microsoft 365 E3, E5
Microsoft 365 A3, A5, F3, Business Premium
Windows 10 Enterprise E3, E5, A3, A5
Universal Print (standalone)
If you have 1,000 M365 E3/E5 licenses, you now have 100,000 print jobs available each month. For organisations where this pooled allowance isn’t enough, additional print jobs can be purchased:
It’s been a while since there’s been much to say about the good old VLSC (Volume Licensing Service Center) – it’s been ticking along for years – but there is an update now. Many of its volume licensing features are being moved to the Microsoft 365 Admin Center (MAC), this includes:
Downloads and keys
Note the latter two will both be found under “Contracts” in the M365 Admin Center.
This means customers will have one place to manage their VL and Subscription licenses…will the MPSA Business Center be merged too?