When (If Ever) Is SA Right?
Call for Comments: Redmond wants to know what value you place on Software Assurance.
In 2001, Microsoft announced Licensing 5.0, which included Software Assurance,
a three-year upgrade program that the ongoing customer howls indicates
is controversial to this day.
Many felt pressured to move to SA, despite Redmond remonstrations to
the contrary. In fact, a substantial number of customers report that Microsoft
threatened overtly or implied that failure to sign up for SA could result
in an audit, one of ITs deepest fears.
Heres how SA works: Every year customers pay 25 percent of the
full retail cost of the software for servers, and 29 percent for desktops.
So you buy the software, then pay a hefty sum every year for the right
to upgrade. Research firm Forrester says the average maintenance fee is
21 percent, quite a bit less than Microsoft.
But what if there is no compelling upgradeor, even more likelyno
compelling reason to upgrade? Then youve paid all that money just
for the extras, not for the upgrade.
But whether you like it or not, Software Assurance is here to say and
you need to decide whether to sign up. A lot has been written about SARedmond
Magazine is here to cut through the fluff and help you decide when or
if SA is right.
What do you think? Please contact Redmond Editor in Chief Doug
Barney at firstname.lastname@example.org
with thoughts on when SA does, and does not make sense; your comments
may appear in an upcoming issue of Redmond.
Doug Barney is editor in chief of Redmond magazine and the VP, editorial director of Redmond Media Group.