Update: Revoked - Microsoft retires MPN Internal Use Benefits

As per the update status on Microsoft Partner Network site on July 12, 2019 Microsoft announces that the changes to MPN Internal Use Right licensing changes are revoked. Read the full post here.

Nevertheless, changes are inevitable, so SAM4Partners remains a good idea to help you keep track of changes and stay compliant after all.


Microsoft partners receive a number of benefits with their payed partnership. One of those benefits are software licenses and cloud subscriptions to run the business. Recently Microsoft announced that it will retire the Internal Use Benefits. As of July 1, 2020 software subscriptions which come with the partnership can only be used for business development. Does that make sense? And what is the impact?

Official announcement
The official announcement was made on July 5, 2019 on the Microsoft Partner Network (MPN) website:
Effective July 1, 2020, we will retire the internal use rights (IUR) association with the product licenses partners receive in the Microsoft Action Pack and included with a competency. Product license use rights will be updated to be used for business development scenarios such as demonstration purposes, solution/services development purposes, and internal training.

Does it make sense?
Yes it does. In the ‘old’ days, with on premises software, issuing software licenses for partners to use didn’t cost Microsoft anything. But with cloud services, every subscription issued does have a cost price; the price of the Microsoft datacenter. With hundreds thousands of Microsoft partners worldwide this has a big impact on profit.
But there is more to it. Microsoft stimulated customers and partners to migrate to the cloud, a journey still on its way. Showcasing cloud benefits, developing a cloud business and train (internal staff) on the cloud will remain possible and subscriptions will be provided.

Besides the logic there is a downside too. Microsoft partners always used the latest and greatest technology, for free. Eating your own dogfood always was good to get people enthusiastic and increased knowledge. Partners use more than they would normally do, because technology is available and for free.
Now partners will have to pay for the technology to run their business, it could just be that they won’t stay updated and internally use less of the ‘shiny’ stuff than they are used to. How this impact the enthusiasm to customers has to be seen in the future.

The impact
Microsoft is known to audit Microsoft partners from time to time. With the upcoming changes this might be intensified because use terms are more strict. For partners it is essential to get thorough insights on the technology they use (discovery and inventory), assign appropriate internal use right licenses and subscriptions if available and find out how to buy additional licenses is a clever and cost effective way.

To help Microsoft Partners getting and staying compliant and to help them get the most of their Microsoft Partnership, Quexcel introduced the SAM4Partners program. We like to apply our power of knowledge, our experience with Microsoft partnership and deep understanding of the IT industry and your customers to help you. Please find our more on our SAM4Partners page.
Might you want to know more about the upcoming changes or the impact for your business? Please do reach out.

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