Our Thoughts on IT Matters

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Europe’s Growing Energy Crisis and the Impact to Your Cloud Capacity & Pricing

There is a growing energy crisis in Europe that may have a significant impact on availability and pricing soon for consumers of cloud providers like AWS, Microsoft and Google. With an ongoing war in Ukraine and green energy policies taking effect all over Europe, the pressure on energy has never been greater. And with a supply that could be constricted coupled with growing demand, may equal a business risk for you. The big three customers may take all that on-demand capacity for granted, but those days may be numbered.  As French President Macron recently underscored, “We are no longer living in a world of abundance.” Supplies for every ...

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Six More Things You Haven’t Done to Optimize Your Microsoft Costs (why not?)

We know. Making a difference can be tough in IT given the multiple layers of bureaucracy, sacred cows, and politics that is ever present in almost every organization. And of course, there are often sound and practical reasons why change is not a good idea, but what is almost always a good idea, is to at least investigate and plan for change. Only in this way are you actually ready (mentally and physically) to propose and follow through with it. So, as you read through the below items, some may sound familiar and or best practices while others could be a fresh initiative to take on that may get you on the path of significantly lowering your ...

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June is Coming, What’s Microsoft Going to Surprise You with This Time?

If you’re reading this article, it’s probably because you have a Microsoft Enterprise Agreement that’s about due to renew. Most of Microsoft EA’s expire / renew in June because that’s Microsoft’s fiscal year-end. Of course, here we are in late May and so the fun has barely started! A few questions to ask yourself:  Did you get your renewal quotes back yet?     How are you liking the massive price increases compared to your expiring deal?    Happy with those?    Has Microsoft been exceptionally accommodating and responsive throughout the process?  If you answered yes to all the above - good. No need to keep reading. For the 99% of the rest of ...

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Memo to CFOs: 6 Things IT Didn't Tell You About Microsoft Spend

The pace of change today is to say the least – breakneck.  Leveraging tech to get closer to your customers, drive revenue, and increase margin (i.e., save money) is at the forefront of initiatives for most companies.  At the same time, layer in the levels of complexity in understanding every supplier’s value add in that mission, along with each having their own rules for pricing, agreement frameworks, and  legal terms, it’s no wonder companies frequently have sub-optimized supplier agreements, investments, and relationships.  One area that I have focused on in the last three decades specifically, is Microsoft.  I’ve negotiated and reviewed ...

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Guide: Selecting the Right Microsoft LSP (Licensing Solution Partner)

Microsoft has always been a Partner-centric company. While it’s common to talk about Microsoft Enterprise Agreements as being “direct deals,” in every case there is a Partner involved. Microsoft calls these “Licensing Solutions Partners” and they are certified by Microsoft to be competent in the details of Microsoft’s enterprise volume licensing deals.   At NET(net) we hear many of the same questions from our clients about how these relationships work, and what exactly the role of the LSP should be. What is an LSP? An LSP is a Microsoft Partner who is authorized by Microsoft to be named as the Partner of record in enterprise licensing deals. ...

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Microsoft Announces Price Increases and Terms Changes That Will Affect All Enterprise Customers

Microsoft has a long history of confusing customers with multiple pricing models and several different agreement types.  With Cloud services, some of that has been simplified on the surface, but still leaves customers typically paying more (not less) over time.  Microsoft really is not in business to help their customers spend less on Microsoft, but we are. In that spirit, as many of you already know, Microsoft announced new global price increases set to go into effect March 1, 2022.  In addition to the 365 increases, there are other important changes coming to their CSP (Cloud Solution Provider) partner programs that could also impact your ...

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Microsoft Wants To Be Your Sole Solution Provider for Security and Compliance. Do You Really Want That?

The news has constant reminders of the risks of an unsecure infrastructure.  The Colonial Pipeline ransomware event recently caused blood pressure spikes in boardrooms and C-Suites all over the world.  Microsoft continues to expand their security and compliance offerings, with a dizzying and confusing array of services, bundles, and add-ons to your 365 subscriptions.   As we come into June, the end of the Microsoft fiscal year, clients are getting heavy pressure from management to “do something” about the very high-risk security and compliance requirements in today’s enterprise – and Microsoft is happy to sell “solutions”.   But are they ...

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Opportunity in Chaos: WFA Enablement can Help Clients Reduce Costs by Up to 75%

Changes in the market forcing clients to embrace Work-from-Anywhere (WFA) employees creates opportunities for clients to transform technology enablement; improving collaboration, increasing productivity and corporate knowledge management, while reducing security threats and end user computing costs (by as much as 67-75% in ideal cases). The 2020 scramble to re-equip and upgrade workers to enable productivity “from home” or “from anywhere” has changed the nature of end-user computing, maybe forever.  However, our clients continue to seek ways to help employees, contractors, suppliers, and customer ecosystems to collaborate better, boosting ...

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Microsoft: Security and Compliance Driving Increased Consolidation (and cost)

Scott Braden
Oct. 28,2020 |

Pre-COVID, the worldwide climate of increasing regulatory compliance and associated requirements, was already forcing a more stringent approach to security of data and Intellectual Property protection.  With that heightened environment, Microsoft’s “365” series of enterprise cloud app bundles, has been winning increased investment and spend from clients and enterprises worldwide.  COVID-19 and the rapid switch to remote / home-based workforces has only accelerated that trend.  Clients have told us that although they are aware of, and often have already deployed, competing solutions they are happy with for compliance, governance and security ...

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Microsoft Alert: September Outage and What You Should Know

Microsoft’s cloud services experienced a significant outage yesterday.  There were reports that Microsoft’s efforts to repair the problem affected some customers for more than 6 hours.  We are not yet aware of any customer data that was lost. Microsoft customers from all over the world reported significant issues with access to critical functions.  In the United States, several 911 Emergency reporting facilities from Atlanta, Georgia to Tucson, Arizona were down.  In addition to emergency services, virtual learning in colleges and public schools took a major hit as students, teachers, and administrators all over North America were forced to ...

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