By Richard Smith, General Manager in World Wide Licensing & Pricing (WWLP)
This is the third in a series of blog posts about how Microsoft’s licensing is evolving to enable customers to take advantage of two major trends: Consumerization of IT and Cloud Computing.
In today’s modern workplace, employees are demanding maximum flexibility in where and on what device they work. They want to be able to check their work email on their personal PC at home and access, update and email a Word document on a family member’s home laptop during a weekend visit. In the interests of travelling light, they also want the option to access their work email and documents from a shared PC at an internet café or a public library.
“Work from anywhere on any device” is one of the flexible workstyles intrinsic to the Consumerization of IT trend where end users are increasingly making choices about which devices, applications and services they use to get their work done.
The benefits of this level of flexibility are not exclusive to employees. The Yankee Group points out that when employees are empowered to work from anywhere using any device, a business’ global reach is extended. Other benefits to this kind of mobility include increasing responsiveness to customers and driving employee productivity.
Companies worldwide are making the necessary investments required to enable this flexible workstyle. According to a November 2012 Gartner survey, many enterprises are allowing personal mobile devices to connect to the enterprise network. Gartner found that many companies are taking this a step further and are providing technical support for personal devices — 32 percent of smartphones, 37 percent of tablets and 44 percent of laptops.
Enabling Work from Anywhere on Any Device World with Windows 8 and Software Assurance
Windows 8 introduces new levels of mobile productivity and improved virtualization capabilities. New user-centric licensing now supports this new work from anywhere on any device world and in many cases does not require additional licensing costs through Software Assurance, which is included with all Enterprise Agreements.
How does this work? The new Windows To Go feature of Windows 8 Enterprise Edition turns almost any PC certified for use with Windows 7 or Windows 8 into a secure corporate PC via a bootable USB drive. This feature enables users to easily work or roam across different PCs. This is an attractive option for BYOD scenarios, and it supports users who want to travel light without sacrificing productivity, and can help contingent staff get up and running quickly while minimizing infrastructure costs. Windows To Go is one of the exclusive technologies available through Software Assurance, as part of Windows 8 Enterprise Edition. Users who need to access applications and files behind the firewall when they are not at work can now leverage Windows 8 Enterprise Edition’s DirectAccess to connect to the corporate network seamlessly and more securely without needing a VPN.
The best productivity across devices with Office 365 ProPlus through the Enterprise Agreement
The latest release of Microsoft Office, and specifically Office 365 ProPlus, can meet users’ expectations as well as drive the productivity growth their employers want. Office 365 is a user based subscription license, which can exist alongside on-premises Office device licenses in the EA. Having device based and user based choices for Office means companies can cater to different types of users right away, while moving to cloud based user licensing over time.
By using Office 365 ProPlus, users can run the latest Office suite from up to five work or personal PCs or devices, with automatic access to their own documents and settings. Deployment becomes a much simpler IT task as Office 365 is deployed and installed on-demand when the user logs on and first clicks on an Office application.
Organizations can deploy the latest features as soon as they become available, depending on IT policy. Office 365 ProPlus offers the very best productivity solution on Windows 8.
Flexible and cost effective licensing through the Enterprise Agreement
Microsoft is continually evolving the Enterprise Agreement and Software Assurance to meet customer needs and anticipate industry trends such as consumerization of IT, and complements the latest products and services with new licensing choices based around the user and embracing a multi-device work environment. The EA’s evolution offers you value over time while maintaining a single agreement and budgeting plan. In addition, it ensures maximum buying power for the breadth of Microsoft products and services.
Learn more about the products and associated licensing options available to enable this workstyle.
Download the Consumerization of IT datasheet.