Improved Training Benes Under SA

Next year, Software Assurance will include a sizable increase in training vouchers. The increase can prove to be a boon to Microsoft Certified Training Partners.

Microsoft has included -- among the slew of new and upgraded benefits announced during the special Software Assurance Webcasts Microsoft conducted last Friday -- a sizable increase in training vouchers. In turn, the increase can prove to be a boon to Microsoft Certified Training Partners. The voucher increases are aimed at larger SA customers, who will be able to take advantage of the offerings in March next year.

[To read about changes to the SA program, see's postings, "Six Benefits Enhanced or Added to Software Assurance" and "EXCLUSIVE: New Software Assurance Benefits to Include 24x7 Support, Virtual PC Express." -- Editor]

According to the announcements, customers with 30,000 or more licensed desktops will receive larger numbers of training vouchers, which can be used on courses taken through any Microsoft Certified Training Partner. Those vouchers can be traded in for additional desktop deployment planning assistance, which is a new service available under the SA program.

The benefit is a worthwhile one for mid-size and enterprise customers. According to Microsoft, SA customers with more than 30,000 desktops get one training voucher for every 50 desktops that are licensed under SA. That works out to more than 600 training vouchers. Microsoft puts the upper limit at 2,100 vouchers. For comparison, the older program was limited to 165 vouchers.

"If there's one thing I got out of the confusion of [the Software Assurance] changes, it means I'll be keeping busy next year," said one MCT in Phoenix, who commented on condition of anonymity.

For more about the changes to the Software Assurance program, go to

About the Author

Michael Domingo has held several positions at 1105 Media, and is currently the editor in chief of Visual Studio Magazine.


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