Monday, January 21, 2008

LS08 BD DAY: Microsoft's Software Assurance

From what I learned and revisited in Lotusphere today.

I've written a few times about the Exchange side of the equation and even Sharepoint but I learned more today.
And now so will you.

Here's the premise:
Microsoft has offerred you or your client Sharepoint and Exchange for free.
And your client wants the same from IBM to stay with Lotus.

The reason is because they want to put you into an enterprise agreement which has Software Assurance(still an oxymoron). Software Assurance, if you do not know, allows for a company to receive "free" upgrades on their licenses IF new software comes out in the next 3 years or however long you commit to int he agreement.
You can also do this if you know you will be updating soon.
Of course you pay for this benefit...each year of the agreement.
And the cost for SA is about 1/3 of the total licensing cost. So not a small chunk of change.

So let's look at all the companies that bought into it in 2003 for example.
Name one product which you paid for an upgrade that materialized from the "Desktop Professional" or "Professional Desktop" or even the "Enterprise Desktop".

Windows upgrade from XP, nope.... Vista came out in 2007
Office upgrade from Office 2003, nope......office 2007 came out in 2007
Exchange upgrade from Exchange 2003, nope....Exchange 2007
Outlook upgrade from Outlook 2003, nope......Outlook 2007

So what did you pay all that money for in the first place?
Well, MAYBE you were on 2000 and you expected to move to 2003 someday. Fair enough.
What if you bought this in 2004? Same problem. 2005? You start to see a pattern of course.

If your company continues to do this, as one company admin told me today theirs does, not only are you wasting money, you are perpetuating the Microsoft arms in your company.
If you convinced your company to review the policy, you would see a huge reduction in licensing to MS.
Your company SHOULD care and reward you for saving them money. If your boss doesn't, go to his boss. Someone wants to pocket that budget money, trust me.

Of course Sharepoint(MOSS) is free to you, because Microsoft gets you to buy licenses for:
SQL(server and CAL)
Communications Server(server and CAL)
Groove
and if you used advanced options in MOSS you also need
Office 2007!
And more pieces I can't even remember.

Don't forget you also MUST be on Windows 2003 server and updated AD and Exchange 2007 which requires 64bit code and thus 64bit Windows Server.
PLUS the new hardware.

So Sharepoint being free is like when you buy a dining set and get the choice of seat cushion color for free.

If it's free it's for me, but in this case it isn't free and really isn't for me....or you.

You always have other options....think about it and look into it.