Microsoft Action Pack subscription program FAQ

Find answers to frequently asked questions about the Microsoft Action Pack subscription program. 
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Resource Centers

Q:  There are six Resource Centers in the new Action Pack program. Do I need to choose only one for my subscription?

A:  You can explore one, many, or all resource centers. Select the Resource Center that matches your business model or the one most relevant to your business. Each resource center features content, resources, and benefits based on partner core lines of business:
  • Application Builder 
  • Device Design and Development
  • Hosting Provider
  • Microsoft Solutions Reseller
  • Managed Services Provider
  • Professional Services Provider

Q: How do I know which Resource Center is suitable for my company?

A: Select the Resource Center that matches your business model or the one you are interested in to start.

Following is a brief explanation of the different practices:
  • Application Builder is for partners who focus on developing commercial and consumer applications, along with custom development across Microsoft platforms, including client, server, phone, tablet, and Microsoft Azure. This Resource Center highlights developer tools, technical support, and access to various Microsoft marketplaces.
  • Device Design and Development is focused on partners who build devices, initially centered around Windows Embedded devices, and expanding to other Microsoft devices over time, by highlighting access to developer tools, technical support, and training.
  • Hosting Provider is centered on partner needs around hosting Microsoft software, with a focus on licensing help, technical support, and training.
  • Managed Services Provider is focused on helping partners understand the managed services opportunity, building a managed services practice, and technical support.
  • Professional Services Provider is focused on a broad array of resources and benefits around integration and deployment practices, along with general services, including technical support, software, and training.
  • Microsoft Solutions Reseller is focused on helping with licensing, presales support, and compete opportunities for partners who are reselling on-premises software and cloud services, and devices.

Q:  How are the benefits different for each Resource Center? 

A:  There is a standard set of core benefits for all Action Pack partners, regardless of the Resource Center that has ben selected. However, there are also specific development tools, guides to Microsoft training courses and exams (learning paths), marketing and sales materials, program guides, technical support, and partner community resources that are matched to each Resource Center.

For more information, see the Partner Support Community.


Q:  How do I subscribe to the new Action Pack program?

A:  You can enroll by using the Subscribe tool or through the Action Pack home page.
  • If your company is not a current member of the Microsoft Partner Network, you will be prompted to register. After registration, you will be directed back to the Action Pack home page to “Subscribe” to start the purchase process.
  • During the purchase process, your company will be validated through Dun and Bradstreet (D&B). D&B verifies the company based on its name, address, website URL, and phone number.
  • Active Microsoft partners who are not validated by D&B automatically will be prompted to take the Microsoft Action Pack overview training and technical assessment. A 70 percent success rate transfers a partner to an order processing page to start the purchase process.

Q: I am currently a subscriber to Cloud Essentials, Microsoft BizSpark, or Microsoft DreamSpark. If I decide to make the transition to the new Action Pack, do I still need to meet the Action Pack program requirements and pay a fee?

A:   Yes, you will need to meet the Action Pack eligibility requirements and pay the subscription fee. Your access to Cloud Essentials, BizSpark, or DreamSpark benefits will remain through the duration of your paid subscription. If you have an active Technet subscription, it will be discontinued.

Q: I am currently a Microsoft partner, and I have completed the required assessment for the Action Pack Development Design or Action Pack Solution Provider subscription, but I have not yet initiated my order. Will there be any further requirements?

A: Yes, you will need to complete the assessment for the new Action Pack program.

Q: If I am a current Action Pack partner, how will I be moved to the new program?

A:   Current Action Pack partners will receive email and phone notifications. Partners can proactively go the Action Pack portal at any time to make the transition.

Q: I am currently a Microsoft Action Pack subscriber, but my organization is outside its renewal period. When it comes time to renew my subscription, can I enroll into the same subscription?

A: When you renew on the Subscribe page, you will be presented the appropriate controls to enroll in the new Action Pack program. The Action Pack Solution Provider and Action Pack Development and Design subscriptions are no longer available.

Q: Will the Microsoft Online Services Partner Agreement (MOSPA) be available for partners who are not Action Pack subscribers?

A: Yes, MOSPA applies to all online services licensed to Microsoft partners.

Q: Will MOSPA continue after cloud integration? 

A: Yes, MOSPA supports Cloud Essentials and Cloud Accelerate incubation programs, and will continue to support partners who are reselling Microsoft Online Services after they make the transition to Action Pack, or attain silver or gold competencies.

Q: How will my software benefits be affected if my organization upgrades from an Action Pack subscription to a Microsoft competency?

A: Partners with an active Action Pack subscription who earn silver or gold competencies are not required to uninstall the software and product keys provided to them as part of their subscription and reinstall the software and product keys provided to them for the Microsoft competency they have attained. After the Action Pack subscription ends, your organization can continue to use Action Pack bits or keys, together with the new bits or keys obtained through the earned Microsoft competency, to achieve the total license grant entitlement. (You will no longer be entitled to the licenses granted through Action Pack after the subscription expires.) Note: There can be functionality differences between the keys provided by each program.

Q: I currently have an MSDN Development and Design subscription because I like to work with Visual Studio, among other things. Is the Action Pack subscription more comprehensive or less than MSDN Development and Design?

A: Partners who are Action Pack subscribers will continue to receive the MSDN benefit, and will have access to developer tools, including Microsoft Visual Studio Express and Microsoft Visual Studio Professional. Microsoft is expanding the internal-use rights (IUR) software benefits of the Action Pack subscription to ensure all Action Pack subscribers (not only developers) have access to all the software that could previously be accessed in MSDN Development and Design subscription. 

For more information, see the Partner Support Community.


Q: What are the benefits of the new Action Pack subscription?

A: An Action Pack subscription provides you:
  • IUR software benefits, including both on-premises and cloud products and services.
  • Technical support, with access to telephone support for presales, technical, and deployment issues related to Microsoft cloud services.
  • Training guidance, such as learning paths with a curriculum of more than 2,000 training courses about selling, configuring, and implementing Microsoft products and services.
  • Developer tools, including access to world-class Visual Studio developer tools to support development across Microsoft platforms, including desktop, phone, server, and web.
  • Bing credits, US$600 Bing Ads credit (US$100 for partners, US$500 for their customers) to market products, services, and solutions.
  • Campaigns, through access to Partner Marketing Center materials for Microsoft products and services.

Q: What are the benefits of Microsoft Partner Network software licensing?

A: The intent of the software licensing benefits is to enable you to learn about Microsoft software and services, develop and support solutions on Microsoft platforms, and promote and sell Microsoft software and services. In addition, by adopting Microsoft software earlier, you can provide valuable feedback that can help Microsoft make improvements. The software licenses granted through the Microsoft Partner Network cannot be used for any direct revenue-generating activities. For example, partners may not use the software licenses to engage in website or email hosting for monetary compensation. (Hosting policies are covered under the Services Provider License Agreement [SPLA]). 

Q: How do I download my Microsoft Action Pack software?

A: You can access your software from the digital download site. See the digital download frequently asked questions guide for more information about downloading internal-use software. To use these software benefits, individuals within your organization must be assigned the following access privileges[1]:
  • View the software license statement
  • Download software
  • Access software license keys

Q: Specifically, what IUR seats am I entitled to for Microsoft Office and Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online?

A: As an Action Pack subscriber, you are entitled to the following:
  • Microsoft Office—Either five seats Office on-premises and five Microsoft Office 365, OR 10 seats Office on-premises. You can earn more seats of Office 365 after an additional cloud sale.
  • Microsoft Dynamics CRM—No Microsoft Dynamics CRM licenses are granted at the subscription point. These licenses are granted after you close one Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online deal.

Q: Are Microsoft training courses and certification exams included in the Action Pack subscription fee?

A: Action Pack provides tailored training guidance based on partner business model (development, solutions, services, devices) through learning Paths, which are linked to exams and actual training courses. Exams and training courses require partners to pay a separate fee. Exams are not mandated for partners to purchase or renew their Action Pack subscription.

Q: With the first cloud sale, (Microsoft Intune, Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online, Microsoft Office 365, or Microsoft Azure) Action Pack partners earn five advisory hours. Are the five advisory hours earned once or incrementally per sale? Can the five advisory hours be earned at the second year of renewal, too?

A: Action Pack partners will earn the five advisory hours[2] once during the subscription enrollment year, not for each deal. Unused advisory hours cannot be transferred to a new subscription year. In the consecutive subscription year, you can earn new advisory hours by closing a new cloud deal during that year.

For more information, see the Partner Support Community.

Software and services

Q: Why are some software products missing or removed from the digital download site?

A: Microsoft continually updates Action Pack software benefits to include new products and current versions of software already available to subscribers. You can use the new benefits as soon as they are updated. When an earlier software version is removed, you have 12 months from the effective date to upgrade your software to the newer version. Microsoft determines what software is offered and, while working to provide the optimal offering, maintains discretion to determine what is included. Review the software update list, including products in the grace period.

Q: What does it mean when software products are in a grace period?

A: The grace period is intended for partners who have installed the prior version in production and need time to upgrade to the latest version. You have 12 months from the effective date to upgrade your software to the newer version, by using the license entitlement through the Action Pack subscription program. 

Q: Are Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2016, Microsoft Project Professional 2016, and Microsoft Visio Professional 2016 compatible in a Remote Desktop Services (RDS) environment?

A: The software and keys issued for Action Pack subscriptions are not compatible for operating Office 2016 in an RDS environment. If you need to use Office 2016 in an RDS environment, you can acquire Office 2016 through the Microsoft Open License Program or one of the other appropriate Microsoft Volume Licensing programs.

Q: Which Windows 10 operating system edition is included in the Action Pack subscriptions?

A: Each Microsoft Action Pack includes 10 internal-use licenses for Windows 10 Pro or Windows 10 Enterprise.

Note: The product keys and the software bits provisioned through Action Pack enable a clean or custom install of the software. However, the software licenses are upgrade licenses only. By opening the Windows 10 package or by downloading through the download portal, you acknowledge that you will install Windows 10 obtained through this program only to those computers within your environment that already have a qualifying operating system installed. The software licenses provided are for your organization’s internal use only, and may not be permanently or temporarily installed on any computer outside your organization. 

Q: What happens after I have activated a product key?

A: The product keys provided with the Action Pack subscription allow a limited number of activations. Licenses are consumed when a product key is activated in one of the following ways:
  • If the software is installed on the same machine, with no changes made to the hardware, the product activation counts as one license.
  • If the software is installed on the same machine, with changes made to the hardware, the product activation counts as a new license.
  • If the software is installed on a different machine, the product activation counts as a new license.
For more information, see the Partner Support Community.

[1] The Microsoft Partner Network administrator for your organization must assign access privileges and can do so by following the steps outlined at the Partner Membership Center. Assigned individuals can then use Action Pack software benefits by signing in to the digital download site by using the Microsoft ID associated with their Action Pack subscription.

[2] To find your technical contact ID, sign in to the Partner Membership Center, click the Requirements and Assets tab and select Assign Contact Roles. (Your technical contact ID is listed next to your name.) There, you can also update your organization’s technical contacts.

Microsoft Action Pack, MAPS
Note This is a "FAST PUBLISH" article created directly from within the Microsoft support organization. The information contained herein is provided as-is in response to emerging issues. As a result of the speed in making it available, the materials may include typographical errors and may be revised at any time without notice. See Terms of Use for other considerations.

Article ID: 2932638 - Last Review: 03/09/2016 20:14:00 - Revision: 12.0

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