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SCA Shared Computer Activation: How to activate Microsoft 365 or Office 365 on hosted remote desktop server


SCA – Your Office Anywhere authorised for Shared Computer Activation to host Microsoft 365 Apps (aka Office 365) on Hosted Desktops

Your Office Anywhere are one of only a very small number of companies in the UK authorised to host Microsoft 365 or Office 365 on a hosted remote desktop server.    Why is this important?   Microsoft 365 is becoming increasingly popular as a way for businesses to licence Microsoft Office, but until recently it wasn’t possible to activate Microsoft 365 on a remote desktop server (aka terminal server).   This meant that companies running other line of business applications on this type of cloud service were not able to integrate their programs with Office using their Microsoft 365 licence, or had to pay twice for the Office licenses through a different license program.  Microsoft have since made some changes that allow Microsoft 365 applications to run on a remote desktop server.  This can be done with an “on premise” remote desktop server or on Azure, but only Tier-1 third party hosting companies that meet certain criteria, such as Your Office Anywhere, are authorised to host Microsoft 365 on their remote desktop servers.

Shared Computer Activation – SCA

A remote desktop server is an example of a “Shared Computer” i.e. a computer where multiple users connect and run applications at the same time, and the ability to run Office 365 on these computers is called Shared Computer Activation or SCA.

It’s important to note that only Microsoft 365 “Enterprise” plans will activate on a shared computer.  This list includes Microsoft 365 Business Premium, Microsoft 365 Apps for Enterprise, Office 365 E3 or Office 365 E5.

Plans such as Microsoft 365 Business Basic, Microsoft 365 Business Standard or Microsoft 365 Apps for Business cannot be used on a shared computer, they won’t activate.

Hosted Desktops/Remote Desktops

Cloud computing is about more than just Microsoft Office and hosted remote desktops give business the ability to run any Windows application in the cloud and enjoy the technical and financial flexibility that cloud computing brings.   Now with Shared Computer Activation for Microsoft 365, the ability to integrate your line of business application with Microsoft 365 means you can run all of your business IT in the cloud, removing the need for any onsite IT infrastructure.

How would you use this in real life?

A good example of using Microsoft 365 apps on a hosted desktop platform would be a business running an off the shelf accounting, CRM or stock control package.   Often an application like this will have the functionality to “Export to Excel” to generate reports, produce Quotes in Word format or email using Microsoft Outlook.   Having the ability to use an existing Microsoft 365 licence on the hosted desktop saves the need to purchase or rent additional Office licences when integrating applications with Office.

To find out more about SCA for Microsoft 365 and Office 365 please go to this article or to find out more about hosted remote desktops in general please get in touch via our contact form below. There’s also more information about SCA here.


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