Cut Microsoft Costs in 2012

Spend Matters welcomes another guest post from NPI, a spend management consultancy, focused on delivering savings in the areas of IT, telecom, transportation and energy.

Microsoft Enterprise Agreement costs account for a large portion of enterprise IT spending each year. There are many questions you should ask before signing or renewing your MSEA, here are just two that we find many companies fail to ask themselves. In fact, these two questions alone can save you as much as 30 percent over the course of your contract:

  1. What are your virtualization IT goals 12-18 months from now? Licensing for yesterday can waste money depending on your long-term virtualization strategy. Your MSEA needs to anticipate license usage and software/service needs 12-18 months from now...not just today. For example, if you expect your virtualization in the data center or on the desktop to look significantly different 18 months from now, this needs to be anticipated and reflected in the MSEA you sign today. Your server footprint may decrease, which means you could be overbuying if you don't optimize for future needs.
  2. Is Microsoft's user-based licensing inhibiting you from rolling out Microsoft technologies to employees? If you're looking to expand the Microsoft footprint across your organization for increased departmental, customer and employee collaboration (for example, Sharepoint), Microsoft offers programs that may be more cost advantageous than the published programs. Be diligent in exploring ALL license and program options. Chances are, there have been many changes to Microsoft's offerings and T&Cs since the last time you signed their EA.

Remember that maintaining the status quo is the biggest cause of IT overspending and the leading driver behind IT inflexibility. Enter your conversations with Microsoft with few assumptions, a fresh perspective and a keen eye -- you may be surprised to find where the savings lurk.

-- Jeff Muscarella, EVP of IT, NPI

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