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Making SA More Assured

A few years ago I wrote a feature story about Microsoft's Software Assurance (SA) licensing program. While I just analyzed this one-volume license, it took days to get my head around it. The basics are complex but not insanely complex. The trick is deciding whether it makes economic sense. That analysis also involves weighing the benefits: whether you'll actually use them and what they are worth, what your upgrade cycle is and when you actually expect new versions of Microsoft software to ship, etc.

Analyst Paul DeGroot knows a lot more about this stuff than I do, and he recently gave Microsoft 7 bits of advice to improve SA. Here are a few highlights:

  • Cut the price. DeGroot believes SA pricing is above that of most Microsoft competitors.
  • Simplify benefits. SA offers a big batch of benefits, not all of which are that useful. And few shops use all of them. Microsoft should put muscle behind the bennies that really matter.
  • Make desktop and server pricing more in line. Paul argues that desktop fees are higher and desktop benefits lower. Weird.

What are your thoughts on SA? Share your feelings at

Posted by Doug Barney on 06/20/2011 at 1:18 PM


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