Do You Really Need Microsoft Software Assurance?
We field a lot of questions from software asset managers at the SAM Summit about whether or not Microsoft software assurance is really necessary.
In the old days—or even just a couple of years ago—the primary reason to purchase software assurance benefits from Microsoft was to have rights to new versions. But that's all changed, according to Stewart Rozas, Director of Licensing Training Programs for Broomstick, a software licensing advisory company. He says it's time to take a new look at purchasing software assurance, even if you don't see an upgrade happening any time soon because of new compliance implications and certain critical use rights.
"I describe it like this: If you don't buy it, it's like getting a one-way airplane ticket. You'll need to buy a whole new ticket to get home," says Rozas, who is leading two sessions about Microsoft software assurance at the 2015 IBSMA SAM Summit in Chicago, June 8-10. Rozas is a Microsoft-certified licensing professional who managed licensing compliance programs in Microsoft's U.S. license and contract compliance organization.
"Customers get tunnel vision," he says, "and think that the only two considerations are cost and cycle. If they're not planning to upgrade to the next version, then they won't buy software assurance. They think it'll be cheaper to just buy the next license some day."
An evolving offering
When Rozas joined Microsoft in 2000, the software titan offered a software upgrade program. Since then, it has evolved into today's software assurance program, a very different offering than when it was simply an upgrade program. Just as the program has changed, says Rozas, so have the reasons to invest in it.
The worst case scenario for not buying software assurance, according to Rozas, is that an organization may want to deploy the software in different ways after they've bought the license. But, without software assurance, they may find it difficult to change their deployment and stay within the licensing use rights. And, if you find yourself in that predicament, you'll have to re-purchase the license. Microsoft's software assurance must be bought along with the initial license purchase.
"Microsoft licensing is constantly evolving, and that's driving changes to the software assurance program," says Rozas. "And some of the innovative ways organizations are consuming Microsoft technology [cloud, mobile, etc.] by software assurance."
Lean more about how your organization can benefit from Microsoft's software assurance program from Rozas on June 9 at the 2015 SAM Summit. Plus, you can deep-dive into Microsoft licensing at our Practitioners Certificate Course. Course details
View the full 60-plus session agenda including the new Microsoft Track at SAMSummit.com.
Additional reporting by Leslie T. O'Neill
Photo: 2014 SAM Summit attendees by Patrick T. Power Photography
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