March, 2012

  • Delivery of Desktop-like Functionality through Outsourcer Arrangements and Service Provider License Agreements

    Recently we have been asked whether and how Microsoft partners and outsourcers can use Windows 7 Clients on hosted server platforms to deliver desktops as a service while remaining consistent with their licenses.  Microsoft’s licensing allows the following:

    • Customers that want to work with partners to have them host Windows 7 in a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure solution on their behalf, can do so when the customer provides the partner licenses through the customer’s own agreements with Microsoft. The hosting hardware must be dedicated to, and for the benefit of the customer, and may not be shared by or with any other customers of that partner.
    • Microsoft partners who host under the Services Provider License Agreement (“SPLA”) may bring some desktop-like functionality as a service by using Windows Server and Remote Desktop Services.  Under this solution, the partner is free to offer this service to any customer they choose, whether or not they have a direct licensing agreement with Microsoft. However, it is important to note that SPLA does not support delivery of Windows 7 as a hosted client or provide the ability to access Office as a service through Windows 7.  Office may only be provided as a service if it is hosted on Windows Server and Remote Desktop Services.
  • Making Software Licensing Flexibility More Manageable

    To gain access to the software that they need to run their businesses, software customers must navigate a lot of contractual territory. Most customers are managing multiple software license contracts, and the terms of these contracts — even within the same vendor's roster of products — are almost always different. Complexity increases compliance risk and reduces customer satisfaction.

    Meanwhile, customers are also calling for increased flexibility in software licensing -- concurrent licensing, pay-per-use models, and licensing approaches that allow customers to take advantage of the benefits of virtualization — while at the same time that they are calling for increased simplicity. Market dynamics are ensuring that the complexities associated with understanding and managing software license contracts will likely increase. So, how can flexibility be simplified? How can complexity be managed?

    IDC suggests that software customers employ a three-pronged approach to dealing with this complexity — process, technology, and compromise.

  • Case Studies Provide Tips for Successful Software Licensing

    Microsoft Volume Licensing serves organizations worldwide of virtually all sizes, from those with just a few employees to those with tens of thousands dispersed across the globe. Seeing similarities between your organization’s needs and the success achieved by another company through a case study is a great way to help inform your choices.

    With this in mind, the Microsoft Case Studies website serves as the go-to resource into how customers and partners utilize the various Microsoft Volume Licensing programs, from open value to the enterprise agreement, and numerous other options which provide the flexibility and cost efficiencies to the best technology solution.