Our Thoughts on IT Matters

Keep Posted on Industry News and Events

   

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 ...

Read More

Microsoft: COVID-19 Indifference, New Pricing, and Great News (for Microsoft)

The initial outreach and helping hand that many IT suppliers gave at the onset of the pandemic has already faded.  Most offers were not only insufficient to have a real impact, but instead locked companies into less favorable deals long-term in exchange for that short-term assistance.  We recently wrote another article on this called ‘Look That Gift Horse in the Mouth’. Microsoft has thus far, in our opinion, followed this same path.  Despite COVID-19 issues, Microsoft thus far is holding firm on pricing for its Office365 Enterprise Agreement renewals.  Further, we see them in many cases offering ‘list price’ and no discounts at all.  ...

Read More

Considering DaaS (Desktop as a Service)?

We’ve recently seen an uptick in interest and attention for the “Desktop as a Service” category. Spoiler Alert DaaS is just outsourcing and managed services, wrapped in a sparkly new layer of internet marketing speak. If you’re continuing to run local desktop apps that require Windows, then the fundamental TCO won't change much.  In fact, your overall long-term costs per user may increase.  DaaS is merely shifting the costs and spreading them around in slightly different ways. The Market There are many options and variations of this format depending on what the priorities are.  Supplier options might vary depending on your security ...

Read More

4 Tips to Save with Microsoft Now in Covid Response

Unprecedented times for business leaders now as the gears of industry and commerce are basically at a standstill.  Most companies have a complete freeze on spending and are contingency planning for things to get worse before they get better.  While sometimes there is ‘opportunity in chaos’ so too is the potential to make costly mistakes in our haste to facilitate immediate needs.  Today, we’ll be looking at Microsoft and some issues to consider as the economy heads for a downturn. Remote Work: Although remote/home office work is a well-established trend in many industries, others are still grappling with management and cost challenges (not ...

Read More

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