By Mandi Sue Bleau
You buy a Microsoft Development Network (MSDN) subscription, you register your name on the MSDN subscription website and viola, you can start using your license entitlements. But is there something more you should know? YES!
You need someone on your team that has a good knowledge of managing MSDN subscriptions, or it can get very costly. First, registering the person on the MSDN subscription website in the Volume Licensing Service Center (VLSC) is a good a place to start, making sure to choose the edition of MSDN that was purchased. Registering on the VLSC will allow you to generate reports on your MSDN users, including which subscriptions they have chosen, along with expiration dates and other contract information. Microsoft doesn’t have a lock down on which edition can be chosen, so you can purchase Professional, but then download Ultimate. This can be a costly mistake as you will have to pay for the step up to Ultimate.
Next up is the expiration date. When your MSDN license expires it doesn’t mean that you have to stop using it, but it does mean that you no longer have rights to the latest and greatest version…including the service packs. Making sure that you monitor the expiration date is also going deliver savings since you just have to renew your Microsoft Software Assurance, which is about half of the cost of the license plus Software Assurance.
Lastly, cost effective management of your MSDN licenses requires that you keep track of your MSDN users. Its critical that you unregister developers who have left the company, for example, which then frees up license entitlements for new employees. In many of the companies that we work with, we consistently see subscribers, long gone from the company, who are still on the MSDN list, which means that the company is still paying for their MSDN license. Don't let that be your organization.
To learn more about Microsoft license optimization, please visit our website. You may also be interested in reading our whitepaper: What Does it Take to Achieve Software License Optimization?