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Take Control of Microsoft Licensing and Optimize Spend

Review and assess your Microsoft contract to build a strategy that leads to dollars saved.

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  • Filip Lauwereys, ASIST
  • Josef Hans Lara, Licensing Guru at Big Bang Innovation Services Inc.
  • Paul DeGroot, Principal Consultant at Pica Communications
  • Karl O’Doherty, CEO at SAM360
  • 2 anonymous contributors

Your Challenge

  • 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.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • 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.
  • Establish licensing surpluses and deficits early on. You may already have enough licensing for your new projects or you may have a substantial shortfall that needs to be addressed. Fill in existing gaps before adding new licenses.
  • Assign a dedicated license and software administrator. With someone to keep tabs on the licensing, review and purchase planning become easier, reducing time and money spent on requirements gathering and budgeting.

Impact and Result

  • Adopt a cyclical approach to reviewing Microsoft licensing. Actively manage licensing to ease the process of defining your requirements.
  • Create a reference document to track your software needs, planned licensing, and purchase negotiation points.
  • Define business requirements and actively manage licenses.

Research & Tools

Start here – read the Executive Brief

Read our concise Executive Brief to find out why you need to understand and document your Microsoft Licensing strategy, review Info-Tech’s methodology, and understand the four ways we can support you in completing this project.

1. Establish licensing requirements

Begin a proactive Microsoft licensing journey by understanding which information to gather and assessing the current state and gaps.

2. Evaluate licensing options

Review current licensing models and determine which licensing models will most appropriately fit the organization's environment.

3. Evaluate agreement options

Review Microsoft’s contract types and assess which best fits the organization’s licensing needs.

4. Purchase and manage licenses

Conduct negotiations, purchase licensing, and finalize a licensing management strategy.

Guided Implementations

This guided implementation is an eleven call advisory process.

Guided Implementation #1 - Establish licensing requirements

Call #1 - Perform a scoping call
Call #2 - Assess the current state
Call #3 - Determine licensing position

Guided Implementation #2 - Evaluate licensing options

Call #1 - Review product options
Call #2 - Review licensing rules

Guided Implementation #3 - Evaluate agreement options

Call #1 - Review contract option types
Call #2 - Review vendors

Guided Implementation #4 - Purchase and manage licenses

Call #1 - Finalize the contract
Call #2 - Determine negotiation points
Call #3 - Discuss license management
Call #4 - Evaluate and develop a roadmap for future licensing

Onsite Workshop

Discuss This Workshop

Book Your Workshop

Onsite workshops offer an easy way to accelerate your project. If you are unable to do the project yourself, and a Guided Implementation isn't enough, we offer low-cost onsite delivery of our project workshops. We take you through every phase of your project and ensure that you have a roadmap in place to complete your project successfully.

Module 1: Establish Licensing Requirements

The Purpose

  • Assess current state and align goals.
  • Review business feedback.
  • Interview key stakeholders to define business objectives and drivers.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Have a baseline on requirements.
  • Assess the current state.
  • Determine licensing position.
  • Examine cloud options.




Understand what documentation to gather and where to find it.

  • Copy of your Microsoft License Statement

Navigate Microsoft’s Volume Licensing Service Center to obtain licensing entitlements and SA benefits.


Leverage a Software Asset Management (SAM) tool to determine software deployment and usage.

  • Software inventory report from SAM tool

Build an Effective Licensing Position to uncover license surpluses and deficits.

  • Microsoft Licensing Effective License Position Template

Meet with stakeholders to discuss the licensing position, cloud offerings, and budget allocation.

  • Microsoft Licensing Purchase Reference Guide

Module 2: Evaluate Licensing Options

The Purpose

  • Review licensing options.
  • Review licensing rules.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Understand how licensing works.
  • Determine if you need Software Assurance.
  • Discuss licensing rules and their application to your current environment.
  • Examine cloud licensing.
  • Understand the importance of documenting changes.
  • Meet with desktop product owners to determine product strategies.




Maximize the benefits Software Assurance (SA) can bring.


Microsoft wanted the organization on Office 365 yesterday, so start planning.


Choose OEM or Volume licensing as a critical component of a Windows 10 strategy.


Untangle the many methods of server licensing.


Document planned licensing changes for discussion with your reseller.

  • List of changes to be made, by product, on the Microsoft Licensing Purchase Reference Guide

Module 3: Evaluate Agreement Options

The Purpose

  • Review contract option types.
  • Review vendors.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Understand why a type of contract is best for you, whether it's an Enterprise Agreement, Select, or Open.
  • The benefits of other types and when you should change.




Decide on the agreement that nets you the maximum benefit.

  • Type of contract to be used

Module 4: Purchase and Manage Licenses

The Purpose

  • Finalize the contract.
  • Discuss negotiation points.
  • Discuss license management.
  • Evaluate and develop a roadmap for future licensing.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Discuss negotiation strategies.
  • Licensing management best practices.
  • Introduction of Software Asset Management (SAM).
  • Leveraging the work done on Microsoft licensing to get started on SAM.




Ensure the reseller makes licensing easier for you.

  • Optimized purchasing

Negotiate with resellers to get the best deal.

  • Management plan

Maximize contract value by assigning the right people to manage the agreement.

  • Future roadmap

If audited, don’t panic – create a response plan and follow it through.

  • Audit strategy

Member Testimonials

Schedule Analyst Call

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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Renown Health



Great experience, as always, with Scott. He has a wealth of software licensing knowledge!

Table Mountain Casino



Too soon to tell, but the experience was informative.

University of Calgary



Very experienced analyst.

Epson Europe B.V.



Osage Casino - Tulsa



Canadian Payments Association



Insight into Microsoft licenses was very helpful.

Seneca Gaming Corporation



COLINA Insurance Ltd



Valuable information.

Orchid Orthopedic Solutions LLC



Mostly confirmed what I had already known, but gave me some reasons to spend more money in some areas and cut back a little in others.

Plymouth Tube Company



We had two calls. The first was too high level. The second got to the root of a confusion we've had, and was an eye opener. The time and financial impact, however, were minimal.

Kennerley Spratling



Macerich Company



Very knowledgeable analysts with good insight into opportunities for reducing Microsoft costs.

Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre



Best: expert knowledge. Worst: none.

Macerich Company



Aadil brought amazing insight to our Microsoft Renewal. We touched every topic and then some that was pertinent to our organization. Answers were clear, concise, and knowledge transfer was on point. The Info-Tech team, as a whole, is extraordinarily helpful and we look forward to future conversations around the ever-changing emergence of new technologies.

Johnson County Kansas ITS



A positive, helpful call with the Info-Tech analyst.

City of Woodbury



Both conversations with Aadil have been eye opening. I really feel like that I have an advocate for me who can help me to navigate the complex world of Microsoft licensing.

Veterans United Home Loans






I was very happy with Aadil's ability to utilize his expertise and knowledge to make recommendations that were in alignment with our licensing strategy.

Heartland Co-op



Helped confirm what we were hearing form other vendors. Helped us understand our licensing options.

Farm Credit Services Central IL



Triton Management Services LLC



The experience was very professional and to the point. My questions were answered and I actually gained some info that I did not have before.

City of Lethbridge



This project was my first time through the MS renewal process. Having a resource to help understand things really helped me proceed with confidence.