I had a great conversation with a friend of mine who manages IT at small company on the topic of licensing. I was a little nervous when he brought this up as I don’t express to be a licensing expert. I know that it has been a hot topic and over the last few years we have gone through some major changes. Yeah, we made some mistakes and complexity has been a challenge given the breath of programs and types of customers. Yet, I thought we are getting better with the Volume Licensing programs. Today’s programs offer companies of all sizes a way to buy and manage multiple software licenses for as few as five desktops. He agreed and countered that’s not enough for Microsoft. If we really want to be leaders in the industry we need to look past simple licensing programs that offer only support and upgrades. He was impressed with how we approached the mulit-core listening model and said we should do something similar which affects the overall market. Ahh… It clicked to me his point wasn’t really about licensing it was about business value! I brought up Software Assurance and was surprised to here that he didn’t know anything about it. I consider him to be well informed and if he didn’t know, I thought it would be of value to share this information as others.
Top line - What it is:
Software Assurance is an offering available with Microsoft Volume Licensing programs that helps you get the most from your software by providing greater value, assistance, and manageability. With Software Assurance, you can access training and deployment resources that enable employees to work more efficiently than ever. Software Assurance also allows your organization to acquire the right to use tomorrow's technology at today's prices, and allows you to spread payments annually instead of paying up front in one lump sum. Organizations with Software Assurance coverage are eligible to use new versions of the covered software that are made available during their term of coverage.
You can find more info @ http://www.microsoft.com/licensing/programs/sa/default.mspx
He asked for some more info and When I got back to the office I did some research and found out there are really exciting changes to this program coming soon. I highly suggest that you check out the upcoming web-cast.
Microsoft Announces Major Software Assurance Program Enhancements
Microsoft invites all customers and partners to attend one of four global webcasts live on September 15, 2005. Senior Microsoft executives will introduce several new technology, support, planning, and training benefits that will boost the value of your Microsoft software investment and improve the way IT professionals deploy and manage technology.
Register now @ https://microsoftsoftwareassurance.savvislive.com/