Despite the fact that Microsoft's new enterprise licensing structure announced last week involved a price hike over its predecessor, it is still proving to be popular with resellers and even end users alike, channel partners claimed.
The bottom line for resellers is that the restructure of licensing fees under a new enterprise agreement, as opposed to a single licence model, is delivering higher revenues.
"It's actually better for us, because we get a percentage of licensing fees," said Laslo Kovacs, the software product manager for ASI Solutions, a Microsoft reseller. "It's also a regular revenue for us, because they're locked in to pay an annual fee for three years."
Yet the advantage for the corporate user is a simplified licensing structure that ultimately saves money by providing free upgrades and eliminating the administrative work associated with licensing.
"It's getting very popular," said Nick Shaw, channel and sales manager for Microsoft partner and software house Computing Edge Australasia. "It lets you get all the Microsoft products in one go so it's easier. Administering licensing is much more simplistic for the end user so in the long term it is more cost effective, especially for big corporates with more than 10,000 seats. It helps us because if they sign onto the enterprise agreement, they get Microsoft System Management Server (SMS) and they are more likely to implement our product, which enhances SMS."
The gist of the enterprise agreement is that businesses lock into a three-year contract to pay $400 per desktop per year for the entire Microsoft suite of products and free upgrades. After three years, the company can either buy the licence out for $1000 or return to the point they were three years previously. Currently Microsoft sells perpetual licences for each individual piece of software for $500-$600, and companies can continue to do this if they prefer.
It definitely helps," said Gillian Lau, purchasing manager for PC assembler and Microsoft reseller, Hallmark Computers. "It encourages the corporate to use Windows 2000. It's ultimately cheaper, because they're entitled to upgrades. We sell Microsoft operating systems and now that it's bundled together, there's more revenue and more avenue than in the past when it was just one copy and one licence. It's popular with corporates and schools."