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The adoption of cloud services and virtualization may add layers of complexity to product licensing; therefore, customers must be become even more diligent with volume licensing practices. To better understand the challenges and opportunities that customers are facing, Microsoft (WWLP) has established a Volume Licensing Customer Advisory Board to solicit and track feedback on licensing programs, elicit new ideas and validate strategy, in order to build long-term satisfaction among customers.
The board is made up of 80 highly engaged worldwide customers, including executive decision-makers from IT, corporate strategy and strategic sourcing, across a range of industries and organizational sizes. The Volume Licensing Advisory Board meets regularly under NDA in both in person and virtual meetings. The board represents an expansion of efforts that were begun with the European CIO Association, when Microsoft WWLP corporate vice president Joe Matz and the general manager of the business and marketing group for WWLP, Richard Smith, met with CIOs from a number of European companies focused on supplier relationships. Recently, the North American and European boards held two day-long sessions on a series of licensing-related topics.
During the meetings, three key issues emerged that are top-of-mind for customers as well as vital areas of focus for WWLP:
Planning tools that Microsoft has recently made available include these:
All these resources are designed to help customers get full value from their licensing and more easily implement the most appropriate options for their organizations and budgets.
Advisory board members also wanted advance information on critical licensing changes, so they can prepare their organizations for transitions and manage budgets — an area where many customers have limited flexibility.
We heard this and much more during the advisory board discussions, and are already taking steps to implement much of the feedback and suggestions. It’s important to Microsoft to make sure that customer voices are heard, and that as products and programs evolve to keep pace with a dynamic marketplace, they do so in ways that not only meet customers’ needs but anticipate and solve their problems.
In upcoming posts we’ll be sharing more topics that the advisory board members discussed, along with steps Microsoft is taking inresponse to customer input. The advisory board will continue to meet throughout the year, supplementing in-person meetings with virtual meetings, one-on-ones and workgroups to continue to help Microsoft better understand customer needs and goals.
is not enough, a guideline of the road map for licensing changes is necessary to protect VL investments moving to a Microsoft based Cloud not the uncertainty of just controlling assets waiting on it.