Our Thoughts on IT Matters

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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 Still Number One in the Audit Game

The adage goes: "The more things change, the more they stay the same." Although technology moves at a rapid pace, the predatory behavior of software vendors does not really change. Certainly, it works for them as the numbers show: Microsoft net income: $44.2B Oracle net income: $14.1B IBM profit: $5.6B Not coincidentally, these are the top 3 suppliers most likely to audit you according to a recent ITAM study of 465 IT Executives conducted by Flexera. This fact comes as no surprise to us, as we wrote about this in 2019 in an article titled: The Top 10 Audit Crazy Suppliers, where our top 3 mirrored the IT Executive survey exactly. In fact, 9 ...

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Microsoft Pricing and EA Evolution: Disruptor to Dominator

Prior to establishing Microsoft, Gates and Allen had already formed another company while they were both still students at a high school in Seattle. They designed a computer system that automatically processed traffic counting data called Traf-O-Data. The aim of this was to read the raw data that was produced by roadway traffic counters and transform these into reports for traffic engineers. Apparently, they had a limited amount of success with the company, but it helped them to develop the computer programming skills that was instrumental in founding Microsoft. It also gave them the opportunity to develop their business skills, turning ...

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Calling All Budget Heroes: Seven Strategic Supplier Strategies for Year End

As we've been saying for months, post (hopefully) pandemic Market Conditions are ripe for you to act in driving business value into your company. If you've ever dreamed of being the budget hero, this is it. With the tumult in the supplier marketplace around M&As, shifts of products to the cloud, small company disruptions, the supplier competition has never been as robust. Once you digest the list below and want more, we're happy to talk. There's nothing we like better than chatting about how to get more value from technology suppliers - especially now. Big Software SAP Nearly 100% of SAP deals come due in December. This is driven by ...

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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 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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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.  ...

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