Most clients, if pressed, will say that the most valuable Software Assurance benefits they receive from Microsoft are Planning Services Vouchers and Training Vouchers. If you’re not an Enterprise Agreement customer, and these are unfamiliar terms to you, here is a quick rundown: 

Planning Services Vouchers: These are vouchers that can be used with a Microsoft Certified Partner (like CDW) to perform planning services on a number of technologies. For example, if you’re looking at adding SharePoint to your environment, this benefit can be used in a couple of different ways. You can either A), have CDW perform a one-day or three-day (or more) session to help develop a plan of execution for deploying SharePoint; or B), you can subsidize the planning portion of an existing Statement of Work and have the vouchers cover the planning portions of said SOW. Each voucher is equivalent to one day of planning. Gartner places a value of $1,000 per voucher on this benefit. In my experience, customers receive three-to-seven of these vouchers per enrollment, so it’s certainly not insignificant.

Training Vouchers: This benefit works similar to Planning Services in that each voucher is equivalent to one day. However, in this case, they can be used with any Microsoft Certified training partner. (I like to recommend Directions Training.) These vouchers help you pay for your staff to maintain their certifications or to develop new skills. Essentially, one voucher equals one day of training for one person. Most customers receive 15-to-45 vouchers per enrollment, and Gartner assigns a value of $500 per voucher.

Why am I bringing this up? It’s because oftentimes, these vouchers can be overlooked. Despite the fact that they carry a very real (and considerable) dollar value, we see them being lost regularly. Vouchers of both types expire on the day an enrollment ends. They can be extended for a short time by assigning them to a partner, but once that grace period ends, they are lost forever. When vouchers are created, an email is generated with the necessary information; if that e-mail becomes lost, and your enrollment has since expired, those funds disappear.

When you think of an average enrollment that has five Planning Services Vouchers and 30 Training Vouchers, letting them expire is a waste of $20,000. Talk to your CDW rep to ensure you have a plan to use these vouchers, including looking for ways to maximize their value. There are tricks to increasing the value of these benefits.

Tell us about how you are using your vouchers or simply reach out below for more information.