WPC 2013 – Microsoft Assessment Planning Toolkit 8.5

I went into this session thinking that it may be completely technical. Luckily it was not!.

I was pleasantly surprised and excited about the new improvements to 8.5 which was released yesterday. It was great to hear that the guys in Salt Lake City are releasing updates every 6 months (July – December) with over 25% of SAM engagements being completed using MAPS.

Whats New?

  • Usage Tracking for 2013 versions of SharePoint, Lync and Exchange which is great for those Enterprise feature sets
  • Collect Usage Data – Improving summary reporting – Again reducing the amount of manual time it takes to collect this data.
  • Support for VM’s – Now providing detailed Host to Guest information for both Hyper V and VMware, this will also include whether or not a customer is using a standard edition of Hyper V with more than 2 VM’s – Great licensing snapshot!
  • Volume Licensing Assessment – Solving the issues around COA and Win8 – reporting back on whether a VLK has been used and if so, whether the base license allows the upgrade. This is great news and reduces an incredible amount of time manually assessing the infrastructure as well as detecting if the original machine actually came with a license. Great for organisations with the misconception that EA’s cover the estate, therefore they can buy bare machines.

** Worth noting however, the above requires Powershell to be installed on every machine, speak to me if you require help pushing these changes out **

If the above doesn’t get you going then the FY14 planned changes might!.

The main primary emphasis on the MAPS Development is on SAM, great to hear…

  • Support for windows 8.1
  • Cloud service assessments
  • Allocate bandwith for needed infrastrcture/ refactoring

Whilst initially there is currently no support on Office 365 – it can report on client software (office)  though there is no way to detect Office as per user. This will cause potential manual issues around the allocation of User based Office 365 being allowed to install office on 5 devices. This is something that they will look into moving forward

H1 release

** Please note that the below are high level plans and not confirmed**

  •  SQL server 2012 Usage tracking
  • Remote Desktop Services usage tracking
  • Sys centre Config Manager usage tracking
  •  Software ID Tagging


  •  VM Mobility
  • Exchange Active Sync reporting
  • Windows client 8.1 readiness
  • Office 365 readiness
  • Win Server 2012 readiness
  • Virtualisation assessment for Win server 2012
  • SQL server assessment
  • VDI via device tracking
  • Sys Mgt suite usage tracking
  • MSDN license key detection

The above that really sticks out for me is the VDI and MSDN tracking. This will really start to help organisations that accidentally move development servers into production without buying the licenses.

VDI is also key when discovering customers with access gateways who are not licensing themselves correctly..

All in all a great session and I am extremely keen to get back and start using the technology!

Author: Gareth Johnson


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