How to Get the Most Out of Microsoft Volume Licensing

By Lauren Fritsky

It’s no secret that Microsoft volume licensing can create significant cost efficiencies for businesses and enterprise-level organisations in Australia.

But optimised Microsoft volume licensing isn’t automatic – it’s the result of careful analysis and the incorporation of strategies designed to maximise the effectiveness of Microsoft software deployments across your enterprise.

For starters, the volume licensing process should begin at least three months prior to the expiration of your current licensing agreement. This provides adequate lead time to get your volume licensing strategy and execution right.

Once underway, the volume software licensing process begins with a thorough understanding of the organisation’s current licensing environment, including an in-depth evaluation of your software asset management (SAM) programme.

During this stage of the process, it’s advisable to perform a comprehensive assessment of the installed software base, paying attention to issues like existing contract terms, license types and entitlements, quantities and other variables that will inform enterprise agreement (EA) renewal.

After you have completed an analysis of your current licensing environment, your decisions regarding the scope of your licensing renewal will be determined by your standardisation goals and deployment objectives.

As you map out your needs, it’s a good idea to create a six-year financial forecast (two software upgrade cycles) to fully assess the financial outcomes associated with licensing renewal. This is especially important as more and more organisations opt for license mobility and the flexibility to deploy software hosted by service providers in the cloud.

Once you have your current state and desired future state in hand, you’re ready to evaluate your volume licensing options. Making the right choices is critically important. For example, licensees that have standardised on a primary suite of Microsoft products, require Windows 7 Enterprise features or subscribe to the Microsoft Desktop Optimisation Pack (MDOP) usually find that a Full Platform EA is the most appealing renewal option. In contrast, organisations that have mixed software requirements or are interested in standardising on a limited selection of Enterprise Products might do better with some of the other Microsoft enterprise software licensing alternatives.

To get the best possible results, it’s a good idea to tap into the expertise of IT consultants that have a strong track record in Microsoft volume licensing. Our Datacom consultants, for example, will often find ways that our clients can save as much as 40 percent on their Microsoft software licensing costs.

In an economy where every penny counts, those savings drop directly to the bottom line. More importantly, getting the right software into the hands of your employees will enhance organisational productivity, which can drive even more profits and give you a huge leg up on the competition.

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