by Richard Smith                                                                        
General Manager in World Wide Licensing & Pricing (WWLP)

Richard is responsible for the design and maintenance of our current and new Volume Licensing Programs plus the Marketing and Readiness for Microsoft's Licensing & Pricing.

This is the first 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.

 

The “consumerization of IT” is a major technological trend changing how organizations around the world think about employee productivity.  While this term has many definitions, at Microsoft, we think of it as allowing end users to make the ultimate choice about which devices, applications and services they use to get their work done.

More and more, users are favoring the tools and devices they use in their personal lives and as with this, the line between the personal and the professional technology is blurring. This can provide potential benefits for the user and the business, it also creates control, security, data and cost challenges for IT organizations. IT has the responsibility of ensuring that checks and balances are in place and that applications and devices can be controlled in an increasingly complex world. 

Clearly, licensing needs to keep pace with changes in how our customers want to use Microsoft products. Today, with pervasive consumerization, users often have more than one device and expect to work from anywhere at any time. Microsoft responded with user-centric enhancements to licensing for Windows 8 and Office 2013 and device management. These enhancements build on existing licensing and make new consumerization scenarios easier to license and manage, while giving organizations the flexibility to adopt mixed on-premises and cloud environments.

 

New Software Assurance benefits for Windows 8

Windows 8 introduces new levels of mobile productivity, improved virtualization capabilities and a no-compromise tablet option. New user-centric licensing for these areas now supports the flexible work styles they enable. New capabilities now available with SA include:

  • Windows To Go: Run a corporate Windows 8 environment on a USB drive on any compatible computer, anywhere
  • DirectAccess: On the internet, on the corporate network, connects to corporate networks seamlessly and securely without a VPN
  • Microsoft Application Virtualization (App-V) in MDOP: Transforms applications into centrally managed services accessible on any device
  • Microsoft User Experience Virtualization (UE-V) in MDOP: Roams the user’s personal operating system experience across devices
  • Companion Subscription License (CSL): VDA/Windows To Go right can be extended to up to 4 companion devices via add-on for SA
  • Virtual Desktop Access (VDA) rights for company owned Windows RT tablets: Automatically included through Software Assurance coverage on the user’s primary PC

 

The best productivity across devices with Office 365 ProPlus through the Enterprise Agreement

Work is becoming an activity rather than a place for more and more users. Taking productivity to the next level means embracing an anywhere, anytime, on any device approach. The latest release of Microsoft Office, and specifically Office 365 ProPlus, can meet both users’ expectations and productivity growth. Licensing innovations for Office 365 ProPlus include:

  • Combine Office 365Pro Plus with on-premise Office
  • Reallocate Office users to Office 365 without incurring additional  licensing costs
  • Add and remove Office 365 users  at any time beyond your annual  EA commitment
  • Match different users to best-fit Office 365 plans

 

Unified device management with user based licensing

Consumerization brings new IT considerations, especially for management. Microsoft is delivering a new approach to IT management that combines on-premises and cloud capabilities so that organizations can choose the implementation that fits their needs and can adjust over time.

Offered on a per-user subscription license, Windows Intune integrates with the Microsoft System Center family of system management products and helps companies manage cross-platform devices with a unified
management approach.

  

Flexible & cost effective licensing for consumerization through the Enterprise Agreement

With the launch of Windows 8 and Office 2013, Microsoft offers new user-centric licensing flexibility through the Enterprise Agreement and Software Assurance (Check out the Why an updated Enterprise Agreement whitepaper). Software Assurance for Windows ensures users can access their organization’s Windows 8 environment in a wide variety of mobile, home and BYOD scenarios. Office 365 ProPlus fulfills expanding user productivity scenarios with use anywhere, multi-device user licensing available through the EA in combination with traditional on-premises versions of Office.

Download the datasheet - Licensing for the Cloud - to learn more about how your organization can embrace the consumerization of IT at your own pace.