- Microsoft licensing is complicated. Often, the same software can be licensed a number of ways. It’s difficult to know which edition and licensing model is best.
- Licensing and features often change with the release of new software versions, compounding the problem by making it difficult to stay current.
- In tough economic times, IT is asked to reduce capital and operating expenses wherever possible. As one of the top five expense items in most enterprise software budgets, Microsoft licensing is a primary target for cost reduction.
- Focus on needs first. Conduct a thorough needs assessment and document the results. Well-documented needs will be your best asset in navigating Microsoft licensing and negotiating your agreement.
- Beware the bundle. Be aware when purchasing the M365 suite that there is no way out. Negotiating a low price is critical, as all leverage swings to Microsoft once it is on your agreement.
- If the cloud doesn’t fit, be ready to pay up or start making room. Microsoft has drastically reduced discounting for on-premises products, support has been reduced, and product rights have been limited. If you are planning to remain on premises, be prepared to pay up.
Impact and Result
- Understand what your organization needs and what your business requirements are. It’s always easier to purchase more later than try to reduce your spend.
- Complete cost calculations carefully, as the cloud might end up costing significantly more for the desired feature set. However, in some scenarios, it may be more cost efficient for organizations to license in the cloud.
- If there are significant barriers to cloud adoption, discuss and document them. You’ll need this documentation in three years when it’s time to renew your agreement.
After each Info-Tech experience, we ask our members to quantify the real-time savings, monetary impact, and project improvements our research helped them achieve. See our top member experiences for this blueprint and what our clients have to say.
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