Monday, 23 September 2019

Microsoft retire SATV Programme (Software Assurance Testing Vouchers)

Microsoft retire SATV programme


Starting 1st February 2020, Microsoft will begin to retire the SATV (Software Assurance Training Voucher) programme.

Across a transition period spanning several years, the existing SATV programme will be phased out in parallel with a focus on the digital Microsoft Learn platform.


What are SATVs?


If your business has purchased a Microsoft Software Volume Licensing agreement – think a bulk purchase of Microsoft software - you may have access to vouchers which can be redeemed for free training with official providers. These vouchers are SATVs, and many businesses are still unaware that they have access to them.

To find out if you have SATVs available, locate your Microsoft Licensing Agreement (usually owned by the department who purchased the licenses) and identify the Benefits Administrator (BA).

With this in hand, navigate to the Service Center portal to find out whether you have SATVs available.

You can then redeem your vouchers across official Microsoft training providers. But take note, these vouchers can only be used on MOC (Microsoft Official Curriculum) courses.


When will SATVs be retired?


The changes to your vouchers will be implemented soon, so it’s important to start preparing today. Take a look at the timeline below for more information.

  • 13th September 2019 – Microsoft announce the retirement of the SATV programme
  • 1st February 2020 – Entire Azure portfolio removed from the SATV catalogue
  • 1st February 2021 – Last day you can create vouchers for new/renewing contracts
  • 1st January 2022 – Last day to redeem your vouchers

Microsoft’s Azure portfolio is the first to be removed from the voucher offering – if you have a requirement to upskill colleagues across Azure, make sure you redeem your free training before the cut-off date.


Why is Microsoft removing SATVs and what will replace them?


Microsoft is investing in new ways to help their customers train and are aiming to streamline the benefits that businesses can access.

The current SATV programme overlaps with Microsoft’s ongoing focus on its digital Learn platform, resulting in a potentially cumbersome and confusing process for businesses.

Microsoft currently has no plans to replace SATVs with a similar type of voucher offer. Instead, they point towards their Learn platform as a way to upskill your business across Microsoft’s product portfolio going forward.

Launched in 2018, Microsoft Learn is a free and interactive platform that combines tutorials and coding/scripting environments to help you advance your technical skills. The platform includes:

  • Guided learning paths from beginner to expert
  • Integration into documentation quick starts and tutorials
  • Community contribution awards

Microsoft admit that the Learn platform does not completely cover content available through instructor-led training from Microsoft Learning Partners, like Firebrand.

It’s likely that Microsoft will be expanding its Learn platform in parallel with the retirement of SATVs. The Azure portfolio is the first to be stripped out of the voucher programme and is also the technology with the most coverage on Microsoft Learn.


Azure training vouchers: use it or lose it


The Azure portfolio will be the first to depart the SATV programme when it retires on 1st February 2020. To avoid scrambling to redeem your vouchers, we recommend you start preparing now if you need Azure training for your team.

If you have more SATV questions that you need answered fast, speak to us – Firebrand has been a Microsoft Learning Partner for over a decade and has trained thousands of professionals through the SATV programme.