At the end of July 2018, Microsoft announced the price for all on-premises licenses for Microsoft Office suites, would increase by ten percent in October 2018. For enterprise server products such as Microsoft Exchange Server for email, Skype for Business Server, and Microsoft SharePoint, the remote desktop per client access license (CAL) used to allocate access to each client device (most often used by companies leveraging Virtualized Desktop Infrastructure or VDI) will increase by thirty percent. While not explicitly stated, the goal is to move organizations using on-premise versions of Microsoft Office to their more secure cloud-based versions.
Although the news was objectively not as traumatic for companies as cutting off support for an old product, there was still an online meltdown over the planned price increases. Even though Microsoft had not changed the cost of licensing the on-premise Office suite of productivity applications in four years, some business leaders were rightly concerned about the hassles of renegotiating updated terms and contracts were on the horizon.
If your company is running the legacy versions of Microsoft Office, Exchange, SharePoint, or the Dynamics customer relationship management and marketing automation suites and want to move to the cloud, there is good news: Migrating your legacy software licenses to the cloud-based versions—i.e. migrate from Office 2016 to Office 365—through a certified Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) partner could result in you paying less than you are now while avoiding price increases.
"Just move to the cloud" sounds easy on paper, but we all know the typical objections to a cloud migration:
- IT managers worry about the time and effort required to migrate users and digital assets to the cloud
- Legal teams worry that they will lose control of corporate data by moving from on-premise hardware and software into the intangible world of the public cloud
- Business managers worry that by moving to the cloud they will lose a sizeable sum of money they already invested in server hardware and software licenses they bought less than two years ago
Amaxra has managed numerous cloud migrations in the past, including our own. In our experience, a company-wide move to the cloud-first versions of your existing investments in Microsoft software lowers your overall total cost of ownership (TCO) while reducing your company's carbon footprint because your IT department no longer has to maintain and support on-site servers 24/7. As a Microsoft Gold Partner who has been involved in the CSP program since it's inception in 2016, we also have a few incentives that can make your cloud migration not only painless but profitable!
How to assess your current licensing situation
It's no secret that Microsoft wants to move customers to the cloud as it's much easier to stay on top of sophisticated security threats when customers are connected to Microsoft's secure infrastrcture. From the customer standpoint, moving to the cloud improves IT infrastructure efficiency as well as optimizes and consolidates the software licenses used by a company. So, rather than paying for a set of Select Plus CALs for this, a separate Open Level C license for that, and fourteen different bills and renewal dates that are impossible to manage, you could move all your existing Microsoft software to the cloud and enjoy the simplicity of software licenses that can often be managed from a single webpage. You also don't need to "assess" total licensing for a year and can just increase/decrease according to your business requirements which can result in additional savings.
But first you must assess the current number and type of Microsoft licenses your business uses, you can get an understanding of who is using what in your IT environment. Depending on the size and scope of your business, your company might have a list of software licenses in a simple spreadsheet or in a highly-structured online database. Either way, the licensing assessment is going to take time and effort from your IT department if you do it yourself.
Assess with no risk but a lot of potential upside
However, because of our status as a Microsoft CSP, Amaxra is offering our free licensing assessment to any company before October 1, 2018. Whether you are keen to migrate to the cloud or you are already on Office 365 (maybe via Volume Licensing or even purchasing directly from Microsoft), an Amaxra licensing assessment will help your company learn exactly how much you can save especially with the impending price increases.
So, that means even if you're already in the cloud
we can probably save you money!
Best of all, any customers that purchase their software licenses of Office 365, SharePoint Online, Dynamics 365, and other cloud-based business solutions through Amaxra before October 1, 2018 will enjoy fixed pricing for at least a year. This is your no-risk chance to learn if you can avoid that price increase—and potentially lower your overall total cost of ownership for Office 365 and other Microsoft licenses.
For example, a free Amaxra licensing assessment can quickly tell you if you are wasting money on Microsoft software licenses that your organization is not using. Just by having us review your current licensing, you could learn about idle or unnecessarily duplicated software licenses that are draining money out of your budget, thereby saving you some money to invest elsewhere for revenue-generating initiatives. One of our customers saved $3,600 per year just by combining some licenses together that they had purchased separately. Your organization could potentially save thousands of dollars per year by consolidating your cloud licenses.
If you're still using on-premise collaboration via legacy servers (e.g. Exchange email, on-premise SharePoint and Lync) then a free Amaxra licensing assessment is the first step towards a successful cloud migration. For example, if you’re moving your company’s on-premise Exchange Servers to the cloud, we can perform that migration at a fixed cost of $45 per user mailbox.
The 3 big questions about switching to the cloud
We understand that some entrepreneurs and IT managers, who have long heard the "swipe a credit card and get on the cloud" hype, will have some questions about purchasing the cloud-based licenses from a CSP rather than directly through Microsoft. Amaxra consultants have heard many of these questions, but the three big ones that customers have are:
- Why would I buy from a CSP rather than directly from Microsoft?
The key reason is that Microsoft has invested the majority of their direct sales resources into selling cloud services to the largest enterprise firms only. For individual consumers, the "swipe a credit card" method works well, but what about the small-to-midsize business (SMB) that fall somewhere between the global conglomerate and modern family? Microsoft created the CSP partner channel to specifically cater to this market.
- How do I get support for cloud-based versions of my Microsoft software?
Microsoft provides tiered support options for all of their software, but the fact is that due to the scale of the customer base for Office 365 and other cloud-based solutions, direct support from Microsoft has its limitations. That's why we now offer Amaxra Support, providing your company with expert 24/7 helpdesk support on either a per incident basis for $125 or on a cost-effective $7.50 per user/per month subscription basis. Amaxra Support service also gives you the extra advantage of having the ability to escalate issues if required to higher-tier Microsoft support professionals if needed at no additional cost.
- What if I want to change CSPs?
Portability of licensing is a feature and benefit of cloud-based software. Microsoft issues the software license to you but a CSP such as Amaxra handles all the backend administration, billing, and license assigning for you. Amaxra always want to ensure you are happy with our service, but you have total flexibility to move if you want to.
Find out if you qualify for a discounted cloud-migration
The limited-time offer for our free licensing assessment is bundled with several incentives such as discounts which, as we mentioned earlier, could
result in you paying less than you are now while still avoiding the price increase on October 1, 2018. For any companies who currently subscribe
to the Office 365 E5 plan or Dynamics 365, Amaxra will include our new QuickHelp Online training for a period of time depending on your company's total number of licenses.
Contact me at Rosalyn.firstname.lastname@example.org or call 425 749 7471 if you have any questions or comments on this blog.