Friday, May 9, 2008

Microsoft Enterprise CAL Suite, You paid what!?

They got you sucker!

And you love them for it.
My good customer, what is wrong with your thinking?

If i told you there were 2 similar cars, but one included everything (or nearly everything) in a simple tier of A, B, C and the other required an a la carte menu of numerous choices, which would you prefer?

In most cases the cheaper solution and/or the one which comes in Ferrari Red or better yet Lotus Yellow. OK some of you will argue best mileage per gallon or performance if all else is equal. But what if all else is not equal, especially the price.

I can not provide pricing here that is up to date as I don't have it, BUT I will question why someone would buy an Enterprise CAL Suite (ECALs). Why anyone would buy Office or a "Core CAL Suite" is just really a waste of money in today's world of open productivity tools from Google, Lotus, OpenOffice, Zimbra.

Even if you have a Windows infrastructure, you have choices, go investigate them.

If nothing else, did you know when you buy the ECALs you are basically paying:
2 CALS's for Exchange?
2 CALS's for Sharepoint!?
2 different CAL's for Communication Server, and this takes guts from MS, Standard and Enterprise??!!

Not enough for you?

How about the System Center Operations Manager Client that is part of the ECAls.
This product, among other things, promises to provide Agentless Exception Monitoring for "client crash" monitoring.

WOW, so you have just paid them to be a tester of their software too and they admit it crashes enough to warrant such a program...and YOU STILL PAY FOR IT!

To be fair, Microsoft is trying to build a BMC or Tivoli like product but failure should be the exception not the rule which requires this.


  1. I'm not sure the car analogy works here.

    If you offer people a BMW or a Skoda, most would prefer the BMW. The Skoda comes with floor mats, electric windows etc. All which are extras in the BMW.

    The BMW however has a different image in the market, and BMW prices their product/offerings accordingly.

    Is the BMW more reliable than the Skoda, does the BMW have more features, nope, but does their marketing make a potential customer think they do?

  2. I believe there is a price difference between the 2, and if all else was equal then i fyou had the money go for it.
    In this case Microosft portrays themselves as the cheapest choice(free usually is thrown around), but really prices itself as a BMW to unsuspecting buyers when all is said and one.
    Just like the auto dealer that gets you to pay the "service" fee or dealer fee to clean the car, AFTER you agreed on a price and go to contract.
    The problem is most executives have too much fear of looking bad in the vendors eyes when they balk at the added on agendas and money.
    They should really outsource their negotiations, which is how we help our clients.

  3. HA.. If you bought all the product in the Enterprise cal suite seprately from different vendors you'd pay out the nose - 3 times as much.

    Forefront security suite include hosted virus and content policy, exchange and sharepoint security and desktop secuity - virus scanner..

    Adobe DRM rights cost more to run than windows drm.. and only works on pdf's

    SCCM is similar to zenworks in cost but integrates better with BITS to slowly deploy accross mesh network

    Sharepoint is on part with cost with other products..

    The beuaty is that ms products they all work together... try to get openoffice to work with adobe drm and ibm content manager with zenworks... hahah and have Symantec antivirus and Some spyware software, also use someone else's file encryption.. oh use novel directory it will all work together seemlessly.. MS is all of that in a package that costs less to implement and less to manage.

  4. Naturally no one wants to buy from multiple vendors, but the reality of life shows that is prevalent.
    Is there any Enterprise which ONLY has IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, Adobe or Apple products in their offices and data center to the exclusion of anything else?
    No and there never will be.
    And MS products do not all work together, one example, they coded office 2007's format to be incompatible with prior editions of Office.
    Exchange 2007 REQUIRED 64 bit architecture and was not compatible with the prior 5 year old version.
    No one is perfect.

  5. I was being sarcastic with openoffice,ibm, novel, smantec ect.. try to get them working together for cheaper than can't..

    Yes everyone buys different products.. many people spend more money buying idividual software for solutions with no regard for the cost in maintaining that software.. Installation, reinstaltion, image management, software Usage, Updates, upgrades, training.. in toldays IT world you need to effeciently support your users.. MS products are easier to get going.. they even give you the tools to deploy it automatically.. The one offs software suck.. THey may be less in cost at first but if they take an hour or two of IT's time to learn and install that ..bout $50 and hour?

    Office 2007 is compatable with older versions with the office compatability pack - an upgrade for 2003 2002 office.. if you upgrade your MS stuff with
    WSUS update server you will have it (oh thats software is free by the way)

    Exchange only works with 64 bit to optimise performance...memory addresses.. all software for servers is being developed 64 bit then ported down to 32 if at all.. 32 is phasing out.. Exchange 2007 works with previous exchange... you can keep it along side the new, as you migrate over time - eventually moving idividual mailboxes or keep it as a mailbox server/mta ect.

    Why Build new software to support 15 year old hardware architecture.
    when their is new arcitech out.

    heck you can even have a NT box on the new 2008 AD domain..

  6. Anonymous Troll, sounds like a rock band.
    The update to the office suite was ONLY after the outcry in the real world, or so it seemed. If you are on the inside at Microsoft maybe you know more.
    64 bit may be the future but many people still run 32 bit servers and given the financial news lately, they aren't likely to spring for new equipment anytime soon.
    As to your thought "MS products are easier to get going.. they even give you the tools to deploy it automatically."

    Not so fast, it takes the same effort as it does to provide auto updates/installs of Notes as it does for Microsoft and doesn't require the SMS server or whatever it's called now.

    Easier to get going? Office, Outlook sure!
    SQL? VB? C#? .NET?
    VB in Excel?

    Not so simple.

  7. hi,
    SMS is not WSUS, but it shows, how old your informations... today SMS named to SCOM.
    WSUS is a centraly update plattform, but every WIN Client can update himself with MS update server to get automaticly the office update.
    within the last 5 months with an internal IBM Test, i can say, when i buy a IBM Collab Plattform and want the features and the easy management and the rapid deployment of features or solutions, i need 1,5 to 2,5 more euro and time (!) as when i take it with MS.
    IBM hast got a software basar but not a concret product line.

    have a nice day

  8. Almost a year later and you found this and felt obligated to comment. Thank you.

    You will see that indeed I do not refer to SMS, anywhere in this post and do use the proper named SCOM.

    If you were referring to a comment I made, 6 months ago, about SMS that may be true.

    Microsoft updates can be enabled without an enterprise lock down, but most large companies will not allow the updates until tested. So your presumption is for smaller companies.

    IBM does have a few operating systems, however Lotus Domino is NOT an operating system and I would ask that you think about how Exchange gets updated and you will see it is a similar way to Domino.
    Except Domino requires no more than 15 minutes, if that, to be upgraded.

  9. Three commets

    1 - I do believe you have a noble cause - taking Lotus software back to the masses is somewhat cool ... however, "Don Quijote" was also cool
    2 - about reducing costs - you might write about IBM and the monopoly on mainframes... how do you reduce costs along with reducing mainframe MIPs ??? - the day you answer that question (migrating it all to Open Source Software and turning off the mainframe computer?) I am likely to take evangelists the same way I take architects.

    3 - The last nbut not the least - regarding the Microsoft Enterprise CAL - depending on the maturity of the IT infrastructure, it will be the best cost reduction offering in the market (whether IBM folks like that or not) - you guys have to pack your offerings better (as well as produce better software) prior to trying to attack someone else.

  10. Anon,
    Thanks for finding this post, a year later but still relevant.

    Thanks for the 1st comment, time will tell how these posts are found until then I keep writing, but thanks for reading.

    Your 2nd comment, we partner with an organization that does reduce your MIPs count and thus can reduce your costs, usually substantially, if interested email me. There is NO cost to the customer.

    The 3rd comment, I am not inside IBM, although I was years ago, and while I may agree some packaging is necessary with certain products, it is absolutely nowhere as bad as Microsoft's bundling of everything together, especially when the MS stack doesn't talk well with each other.

    IBM has some similar issues at times, but they do get resolved.