We recently found a very interesting article on InfoWorld that highlights the pending showdown between Microsoft and certain portions of its customer base. We believe that the points raised in the piece build a solid argument for the use of a software asset management (SAM) solution.
If you’re one of those Microsoft customers facing pending contract renewals in the near future, you’ll want to be fully prepared for the negotiation process. And, SAM can provide you with insight into what you have – and what you really need – before you arrive at the bargaining table.
Just a few short years ago, Microsoft was riding high. The back-to-back rollouts of Office 2007 and Vista prompted many companies to purchase high volume licenses. As a result, Microsoft saw Q4, 2007 revenues jump $1.8 billion over the previous year.
Since most of these contracts were for three-year terms, Microsoft is bracing itself for a renewal period that probably won’t be so lucrative. Why? Because the software landscape has changed significantly since 2007. With easier and more economical options, like Google Docs, available, and initial reviews of Office 365 proving less than stellar, Microsoft customers might find it easier to switch than to do battle with the software giant.
Whether you plan to stay with Microsoft, or jump on the Google Docs bandwagon, the best approach to take is one of preparedness. You’ll want to know exactly where you stand before talks begin. Software asset management can provide valuable insight into your Microsoft software environment. Which licenses are allocated and which ones remain unused? Who’s using the applications, and how?
You may be surprised at the answers you find. In fact, many CIOs are coming to realize that the vast majority of their users don’t really need Office in the first place. They’re leveraging only the most basic features – features that are also available in solutions that are more cost-efficient and easier to use.