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Microsoft contract 3.0 on state level starting from 01.05.2021

Get all the latest news on the new state contract for Microsoft product procurement.

The current state contract with Microsoft expires on 30.04.2021.
The new federal contract version 3 was negotiated by the Leibniz Computing Center with the participation of other colleagues from the ZKI Software Working Group and was not submitted by Microsoft for signature until mid/late December. At the beginning of January 2021, the LRZ signed and from then on it was available to us. This federal contract is the basis for entering into individual EES (Enrollment for Education) contracts with Microsoft. By comparison, the current state contract (led by the University of Tübingen) is also based on an EES contract.
The federal contract itself is a 5-page addendum, which unfortunately contains less attractive clauses for the federal universities.
Pros of the federal contract:
In terms of content, Microsoft was only willing to negotiate with regard to the accession of smaller universities (100 employees* or more). As one can conclude, this was never a problem for the University of Freiburg.
Another pro (which might also be an advantage for university, especially for members of the medical faculty) would be that university hospitals that have joined the framework agreement for university hospitals are allowed to cooperate. What this will mean in practice, however, we do not know yet...
Contra of the federal contract:
Microsoft insisted that the calculation basis for counting employees* be redefined. In the future, the EQU model will apply:
With the new contracts, every user must be counted. This means that every employee and every person who uses the university's Microsoft systems must be counted. Who exactly this will be in the end has not yet been conclusively clarified, as it also depends on which Microsoft services (e.g. Azure, Office 365) are to be used.
Important in this context is: Only if the entire campus is licensed (at staff level and beyond) will students receive the benefit desired by all, so that lecturers and students can also work together in one tenant, although there are still organizational and licensing issues that Microsoft must answer urgently. The costs will increase considerably due to the new counting. For comparison: Currently, the university pays a flat rate, which is settled via the full-time equivalents of the facilities. Since the university currently has about 3900 FTEs but about 6800 employees (without the hospital) (see statistik.uni-freiburg.de), it can be extrapolated from the number of people alone that a significant factor will drive up the total costs here (in addition to the prices for the various licenses: M365 A3 and A5, Office 365 A3 and A5, Azure P1, P2, etc.). To this number, according to Microsoft, we must add all the teaching assistants (i.e., people without an employment contract or any other contractual relationship) if they use Microsoft systems or services. For example, if we were to actually implement Microsoft Teams, we would need to consider whether or not these individuals can use Teams. If they are to use it, appropriate licenses would also need to be purchased. Fortunately, we can still make many deductions at the University of Freiburg, because, for example, we do not use an Exchange Server centrally for the mails, but a system independent of Microsoft. If this were not the case, we would actually have to license all mailbox owners through Microsoft (including students).
Despite the assurances of Microsoft employees, the licensing of Microsoft products is not getting easier, but much more complicated, because the assignment of personalized licenses in a heterogeneous environment like the university, where roles are not always clearly assigned, becomes extremely complicated.
But regardless of these problems and still many open questions, the implementation of the federal contract and the new EES will be implemented in the following steps (according to our estimation so far) as follows:
- On Wednesday, February 24, 2021, we will receive information from the University of Tübingen as to who won the reseller's bid, so that we can then order the licenses from them.
- In parallel, a team from the Uni IT Services is working on an M365 test platform to test how best to synchronize the university's AD as a hybrid to the Azure AD.
- In addition, in the meantime we will meet with the staff council and the data protection officer so that a deployment can also be formally approved.
 --> The RZ is also participating in a ThinkTank with other universities in the country, which is trying to negotiate with Microsoft again regarding data protection regulations. The goal could be to agree on an addendum.

- When the test for the synchronization of the AD has been successfully completed and the data protection and employment law issues have been clarified, the university's AD will be synchronized with the Azure AD.
 --> Only from this point on, licenses and products from the online offer can be obtained by employees of the university. This then concerns Office 365. How the purchase of licenses then takes place, must still be clarified. If we license the entire campus, all employees of the university will automatically receive the corresponding licenses.
 --> As far as we currently know, the previous MAK (and presumably also KMS) keys will be retained, so that the activations of the Windows and Office Pro Plus installations will not be affected by the new federal/state contract for the time being. Whether this is really the case, we know hopefully from Wednesday (24.02.). It is most likely that employees who have Office Pro Plus installed on two personal devices will be forced to remove one of the installations, since in the future only one installation of Office 2013, 2016 or 2019 may be made by a user. These users can then, if the tenant of the university is available and the users are registered, access the Office 365, which can be installed on up to 5 devices, provided that an Office 365 A3 or A5 license is available for the user.
 --> The RZ will then pre-configure Office 365 Pro Plus in parallel in a data protection compliant manner.
- The next steps are to decide which services from Microsoft's online offering may be used at the university (in the following order):
 --> Sharepoint / OneDrive ?
 --> Exchange ?
 --> Teams ?
If you are wondering at this point why the use of Teams is the last to be reviewed and implemented: For the functionality of Teams it is necessary to configure all the services mentioned before. It is possible to use Teams without Exchange (e.g. there is no shared calendar), but using Teams without OneDrive or Sharepoint is actually pointless, e.g. because you would not be able to exchange data.
- Downstream, many other functions and services of M365 are checked and activated if necessary.
- Likewise, it is then checked how and whether students can be accommodated in the tenant of the university.
The list of TO DOs regarding the new state contract is unfortunately very long and due to the very late availability of the federal contract as well as the many changes that are constantly taking place on the part of M365, unfortunately not very many preparations could be made.
BUT: Since we have been observing the developments at M365 for years and are also in constant exchange with other colleges and universities, but also with Microsoft itself, we assume that there will be no significant restrictions for most users after April 30, 2021. Of course, we cannot promise this, but we are trying hard to make the transition as smooth as possible.
Finally, we have just one request: Please refrain from inquiries about how things will proceed. We will keep you informed of the latest status via the various channels, but most importantly via our website, should there be any news. We need to handle the upcoming changes with the existing staff resources, which, as you may know, are already very busy.
Thank you for your understanding
Your Uni IT Services


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