Our Thoughts on IT Matters

Keep Posted on Industry News and Events

   

Market Alert: More Details Emerge on Microsoft’s 2018 Pricing Changes Effective October 1st

You may recall from our alert in July, Microsoft has substantial changes to their pricing due to take effect October 1, 2018.  This pricing will cascade globally from Redmond product managers.  As a result, we anticipate an incredibly busy September as customers try to understand what the impact will be and how best to optimize their agreements.  The actual pricing is due to be available to resellers on September 1, 2018 and will likely become widely available soon after. In addition to the changes we previously communicated (see below), here are a few of the latest updates that have come to our attention: “Level A” is going away.  Any ...

Read More

Microsoft Pricing Update

True to their usual schedule, Microsoft has announced some substantial changes to their pricing policies, along with some price increases to Office and Windows licenses / subscriptions, to be effective October 2018.    There are some significant changes hidden in Microsoft’s bland language – most notably “Removing the programmatic volume discounts (Level A and Open Level C) in Enterprise Agreement (EA)/EA Subscription, MPSA, Select/ Select Plus, and Open programs (Open, Open Value, Open Value Subscription)” - which will in effect cause substantial price increases for the majority of small and medium businesses with fewer than 2,400 ...

Read More

Microsoft 2017: 4 Things to Know

Microsoft is coming to the close of its first half earnings in Q4.  If you know what to look for, the timing represents a strategic opportunity to review and optimize your spend.   Did you know: When renewing a Microsoft EA or Office365 subscription, most clients experience a net increase in costs of at least 20-25% for the same services, licenses and subscriptions.  These increases result from several sources: The low, “teaser” prices offered by Microsoft to get enterprises onto Office365 are not being offered at renewal – despite that there has been no change at all in the services used, and that in general the promise of cloud computing ...

Read More

Microsoft: What to Expect in their 2017-2018 Fiscal Year

Scott Braden
Jun. 29,2017 |

June 30 ends Microsoft’s 2017 fiscal year. Undoubtedly, Redmond will report strong growth in Office365 and Azure cloud sales and corresponding strong profits overall.   Following the peak deal-making season that ends June 30th, ‘Microsofties’ begin the summer conference and vacation season with internal meetings, planning sessions, then the large public conferences – most notably the annual worldwide Partner conference, “Inspire” which this year is in Washington DC, July 9th – 13th. At these conferences, Microsoft rolls out the new year’s key products and services, talks with resellers, partners and developers about “what’s hot” this coming ...

Read More

Microsoft Premium Assurance Plans

Scott Braden
Mar. 6,2017 |

Follow up to our quote in Redmond Magazine around Microsoft Premium Assurance Plans. Many enterprises deal with the challenges of “legacy” technology solutions, that for whatever reason can’t or haven’t been updated in many years.  In our clients, we frequently see cases for example of core / critical applications running on Microsoft Windows 2008 and SQL Server 2008, or even older versions.  There are many valid reasons to keep using these older installations, including the cost to upgrade / re-platform, lack of vendor support for newer environments, and restrictive licensing rules among disparate suppliers. Whatever the reasons, the result ...

Read More

Microsoft Announces That Some “included free” Features Will Now Cost Extra: What’s Free Today, is Fee Tomorrow

Scott Braden
Jan. 30,2017 |

For some time, we have espoused the wisdom of diversification out of your ‘Microsoft’ portfolio, and look for ways to find, test and integrate disruptive suppliers and solutions.  The reason is pretty simple – with diversification comes innovation, cost reduction, and eventually transformation. However, if you never make an attempt to diversify and look at new solutions, you can hardly ever hope to achieve any of the aforementioned goals.  In fact, quite the opposite will happen.  Over time you will wonder why the organization is ‘stuck’ while costs are rising and innovation flounders.  In this kind of company, we see folks running from one ...

Read More

Microsoft Alert - United Kingdom Price Increase

Scott Braden
Nov. 1,2016 |

For those that are not yet aware, Microsoft has announced SIGNIFICANT price increases due to start January 2017. Microsoft claims that the price increases are a result of the UK's exit from the European Union and the resulting decrease in the value of the British Pound. The price increase will be as much as 22% for Enterprise Cloud Services, and 13% for on premise Enterprise Software.  Given there are only two months left before these changes take effect,  there is significant urgency around evaluating the potential impact and how to adjust and mitigate it. Additional Articles: The Guardian Engadget The Independent Email us to get in contact ...

Read More

Market Alert: Changes to Microsoft Licensing Rules

Scott Braden
Jul. 28,2016 |

Microsoft has recently announced upcoming changes to several key licensing rules and offerings for a variety of desktop, server, and virtualization products that, taken together, may significantly alter many of NET(net)'s past recommendations regarding the cost optimization as it relates to the usage of these products and features. These changes will be formally rolled out during the remainder of 2016 and unless these areas are assessed, the vast majority of Microsoft Customers (including the clients who have previously engaged us for optimization services) will be significantly over-paying based on the former methods and the prior Microsoft ...

Read More

Microsoft SAM Reviews: Incompetence or Deliberate Business Strategy?

Scott Braden
Feb. 1,2016 |

Microsoft’s Enterprise customers should already realize that “Team Redmond” is in a desperate rear-guard battle to defend its incumbent monopoly positions in infrastructure software, against the increasingly successful insurgent attacks from Amazon, Google, and an ever-growing list of startups and disruptors. The ‘softies’, with great fanfare, are using every trick in their huge, complex, ever changing book of tyrannical licensing rules, to push their customers away from traditional licenses for on premise software, towards cloud subscriptions. Why would one of the richest companies of all time intentionally cannibalize its incredibly ...

Read More

Disruptive Technology: Tame the Microsoft Gorilla One Google at a Time

Scott Braden
Aug. 11,2015 |

Gorillas.  They can be cute and seem cuddly from a distance, but up close they are probably more scary and intimidating.  There’s little doubt that Microsoft is the 800 pound gorilla in the desktop productivity market.  The real question is, how do you get away from the gorilla when you’re trapped in its domain?  Everywhere you turn…there it is, blocking your escape.  Door number 1 is blocked by the CIO who’s not a ‘change agent’.  Door number 2 is blocked by the groups who don’t ‘want their cheese moved’.  Doors number 3 and 4 aren’t even blocked…they are wide open and they have a Google or Amazon logo on them.  But you’re not so sure about ...

Read More