NET(net)’s Perspective: Microsoft’s New Agreements
Author: Steven Zolman
As you may have noticed, Microsoft recently revised the terms and conditions of most of its major agreements effective as of 3 October 2011. In this blog, we will provide our take on these changes, and provide a unique, exclusive opportunity to existing Clients only. For prospective clients, contact NET(net) for more information on our comprehensive services including: Advisory, Optimization and Negotiations, and Managed Services as it relates to Microsoft investments.
Once again, Microsoft has revised its standard contract terms and conditions for customers who purchase Microsoft licenses via Enterprise Agreements, Select Agreements, and via Open Licensing Agreements. All Clients signing new agreements after 3 October, 2011 will receive these new terms, and unfortunately, there are some things to worry about.
According to the Microsoft explanation, here: http://www.microsoft.com/licensing/licensing-options/agreement-refresh.aspx, there are no major changes, just clarifications and some contract streamlining. However, remember, that is.., “according to Microsoft.”
NET(net) has reviewed the contracts and found a number of new or changed terms that will affect many Clients when your current agreements are up for renewal – terms that are not mentioned on the Microsoft website above.
Unfortunately, this is not at all surprising; Microsoft is not the only software supplier who has long been guilty of hiding unintelligible, punitive, restrictive, and potentially expensive changes in the fine print of its contract and licensing terms and conditions, but it is certainly one of the more notorious ones for doing so. In addition, it’s common for Microsoft to revise terms periodically; but this latest round of changes is almost a complete re-write of many key provisions in the licensing agreements.
While there are many changes in the documents, NET(net) has identified the top eight (8) major changes that are likely to affect most Clients. Each of these changes has material impact to the most common types of deal structures and business conditions that our Clients experience, but they are hidden in rather innocent-sounding language buried deep inside the contractual terms and conditions and licensing agreements.
What are these changes? What are the likely impacts to your organization’s costs and licensing plans? What are your alternatives to simply accepting these revised terms and conditions?
For a limited time, NET(net) is offering you a special, one-time only conversation with its SVP of Value Creation, Mr. Scott Braden, who authored the Microsoft License Secrets book, to review these changes with your team in a private conversation. Mr. Braden will offer his assessment of your potential exposure to increased risk, will voice his concerns about how this might affect your organization in the near future, and will provide guidance on how best to protect your organization as you enter into or renew your Microsoft agreements.
Because of the highly sensitive nature of this information, we must require that our mutual NDA is in place, and of course point out that Mr. Braden’s time is extremely limited, so a finite number of appointments will be accepted on a first-come-first-served basis.
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