Increasing Licensing complexity

Rebrands. New names. Different products, different suites, moving products from suite to suite. Even suites within suites! Microsoft licensing is becoming so complex and it’s giving many of its customers a headache. Microsoft seems to forget that for their customers procurement is not their main business and they don’t have a lot of time to learn all the ins and outs of Microsoft’s complicated licensing. Especially not when so many changes continue to happen.

As the world of Microsoft licensing continues to become more complex, we hope our insights will help you keep on top of your game. Read our 4th blog in our series on the major learning from negotiating with Microsoft in FY22.

Too many options

Many of our clients say they no longer understand what is included in which suite of products and we don’t blame them. Microsoft licensing is becoming more and more complex. If we look at licensing for the three main Microsoft licensing vehicles (EA, CSP and MPSA) the difference between them is astounding. Customers not only need to understand the differences between the programmes, but also for example the differences between the various license types and the impact of for instance Software Assurance. Take a product like Audio Conferencing. It’s great that Microsoft has added this to almost all the suites free of charge, but what can you do with the free version? And more importantly: what can’t you do?! At what point do you need to switch from a free version and start paying for a license?

Lack of knowledge

In our opinion, the main problem is not only the lack of transparency, but also the lack of knowledge in the market. The Microsoft sales reps themselves can’t seem to keep up with the changes and provide the support and information their customers need, so how would you be able to do this?

Take Azure as an example: The possibilities of new products within Azure are amazing and innovative, but you need to involve so many different people – like technical experts, Enterprise architects, vendor managers, procurement people- to be able to make any strategic decisions. Perhaps the complexity is part of Microsoft’s strategy, so they can sell you on their digital transformation journey.

Microsoft wants the sale, they want to increase their revenue, but this increase in complexity does not help their customers nor ours! If only they would approach their licensing from a customer perspective, this would make a massive difference. For us, transparency and intelligibility are key.

Continue reading our series on top changes in FY22: On-Time Renewal pressure

Watch our YouTube video for more context

Prefer to watch a video instead? In the YouTube video below Floris and Erik discuss the increasing complexity of Microsoft licensing. Prepare yourself for any upcoming contract renewals or mid-term new business negotiation in Microsoft’s Fiscal Year 2023.

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For even more information

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