Microsoft Breakfast Seminar Summary

How to save money on Microsoft Licences – our seminar was held on 26th February and covered the following:

1.  Implement Software Asset Management processes, understand what you own and your usage.  Manage joiners and leavers, buy only what you need.

2.  When preparing for a renewal, always compare the cost of an Enterprise Agreement with the cost of a Select Plus (now called MPSA) – an EA has compulsory Software Assurance which adds up to 30% each year to the overall spend.  Do you need SA on your entire estate?

3.  Understand Software Assurance Dependencies – SA on SQL Server gives you licence mobility but SA on Windows Server doesn’t give licence mobility – the move to Windows Server DC does.

4.  Understand changes in licence metrics – e.g. move to processor licences for Windows Server and Systems Centre could mean that SA on existing licences and the purchase of new licences now cost you more even though your technology hasn’t changed.

5.  For international companies, make use of the difference in the global price list – Office 365 pricing is not aligned across the world – so shop around.

6.  If you are moving to Office 365, understand what is in the various O365 plans (E1, E3, E4) and components (Exchange Online Plan 1) and buy only what you need, also your past investment will determine your “add on” pricing for O365, e.g. if you already have a eCAL it will be cheaper to move to O365 E3 than if you have Core CAL.

7.  Renew your agreement in June or December – discounts could be significantly higher in May/June for products like O365, Azure and other hotspots for MS at that time.

8.  Prepare for your renewal negotiation, it can take up to 9 months to clearly understand your organisation’s current licence ownership and future IT strategy plans, so start early. Create a core team (Procurement, IT, Legal) and agree communications rules (MS will try and meet every IT person interested in their product sets and either upsell or scare your people around the risk of not renewing your SA).  Ask MS for a copy of all new agreements being considered so your legal team can review the wording well in advance. Consider hiring an expert for the negotiation phase, most procurement managers negotiate a MS deal every 3 years and the world has significantly changed since 2012.