By John Emmitt
Last week I attended the 2015 Gartner IT Financial, Procurement and Asset Management Summit in Grapevine, Texas which was a great event. Flexera Software was a sponsor of the conference again this year. Our Solution Provider Session on “The ITAM Program at Dell – Maximizing Return on Investment” was very well attended. Our guest speaker was Walter Darrough, Global Asset Manager at Dell. Walter discussed the substantial return on investment they have achieved to date with their IT Asset Management program, through a combination of hardware and software related cost savings.
There were a number of other good sessions, including this one: Pathway to Success in Microsoft Licensing in a Mobile First, Cloud First World, with Gartner Analyst Stephen White (@Stephen_W_OZ). He did a live audience poll on two questions:
- Choose which represents the Office 365 adoption status for your organization:
We see that almost half (47%) of the respondents said that their organization has subscribed, but Office 365 is not yet fully deployed. Only 9% of respondents said that they have fully deployed all workloads. At Flexera Software, we are seeing that customers have purchased the Office 365 subscription, but they are not anywhere near being ready to deploy this software. Microsoft is using price differentiation and other incentives to drive customers to the new user based licensing models and cloud adoption. But, in many cases, customers don’t have the IT infrastructure in place to make the move to Office 365. Browsers, clients and operating systems (OS) need to be up to date to support Office 365.
Steven also showed their Hype Cycle for Cloud Computing graph, which indicated that Software as a Service (SaaS) is already in the “Plateau of Productivity” phase of the cycle.
Among the other Microsoft licensing changes mentioned in this session, there were:
- The Office 365 E4 SKU is being retired and replaced by E5 which is expected to be 75% more expensive then the E3 SKU. The pricing for E5 will be released on December 1st. E5 will include some new capabilities including Skype for Business (Lync) with support for features including Cloud PBX and Meeting Broadcast; new analytics features, like Power BI Pro and Delve Organizational Analytics, as well as new security features. (See this recent blog on ZDNet: Microsoft to start selling new Office 365 E5 enterprise plan on December 1. The blog notes that E4 will be kept on the price list until June 30th, 2016).
- The price delta between User and Device CALs is being increased to 30% to incent customers to move to the user based model.
- Bridge CALs are shifting to user subscriptions only
The second polling question was—
2. Which of the following is your primary Microsoft licensing program:
Here again we see that almost half (47%) of the survey respondents have purchased the Enterprise Agreement (EA) subscription, while 41% have purchased the traditional perpetual EA. The Microsoft Select Plus agreement was retired back in July and has been replaced by the Microsoft Products and Services Agreement (MPSA). The MPSA allows access to online services that were not available under the Select Plus agreement.
Gartner’s recommendations include the following:
- Simulate deployment, migration and license options over two terms; your choices now will impact the cost of the following agreement
- Evaluate end user profiles to determine where per user licensing will be most effective
- Negotiate a price cap for User Subscription Licenses (USLs), protecting your commitments
In the next 90 days, they recommend that customers analyze software installed, usage and license entitlements and determine future usage against current entitlements. Do you have the Software Asset Management and License Optimization processes and tools in place to allow this to happen?
To learn more about selecting the best software asset management (SAM) tool, please attend our webinar: How do You Pick the Best SAM Tool for the Job? Martin Thompson from the ITAM Review will be our guest speaker and will provide advice on using their SAM Tool Buyers Guide for selecting a SAM solution.