Not an easy task. When my kindergartener teacher asked “what do you want to be when you grow up?” I can promise you SPLA was not part of my vision. (I should’ve worked harder to be a firefighter)
This post is 100% opinion based and would love the opportunity to hear/read yours. So here’s my take on SPLA and what’s next for the hosting industry.
Who will win the Amazon/Azure War?
Contrary to popular opinion, I think Microsoft has already won this battle. The reason might surprise you too as it has nothing to do with the service offerings or pricing; it has everything to do with who controls the licensing. I think we can all agree that Microsoft can make up their own rules to their own software. What happens if Amazon spins up a Windows VM in their datacenter? Amazon has to report it via SPLA. Who ultimately get’s the SPLA revenue? Microsoft. What happens if Microsoft decides to offer fully hosted Windows 8 desktops using Azure or Office 365 but NOT authorize if for other service providers? Yikes!!! What happens if Microsoft authorizes MSDN mobility rights but not offer it for other service providers? Oops…already happened. What happens if they allow Office to be installed on 5 devices? Oh man.
Will SPLA be replaced?
No. Too much revenue being generated for SPLA to just disappear. SPLA produces recurring revenue for both Microsoft and the partner community. Secondly, using SPLA does not mean that volume licensing is going away; Microsoft get’s the best of both worlds. I do foresee volume licensing changing more rapidly than it already has. I think that’s a good thing too.
Will VDI be allowed under SPLA in the foreseeable future?
No way. This will never happen in my opinion. Let’s throw in the towel on this one.
Will the cloud industry expand or contract over the next decade?
Expand. I think organizations will not only have hybrid/cloud environments but multi-cloud environments. As an example, I have multiple software vendors (such as Adobe for PDF’s, Symantec for Security, Microsoft for Office, etc) I believe organizations will use several vendors in “cloud” paving way for those service providers that have specialization and unique offerings to gain market share. Yeah, they might not be the next Amazon, but they will be critical to the next phase of cloud. Specialization = Profitability.
Are all service providers going to be audited?
Do I need to have a SAM practice?
Not if you don’t believe me in the previous question. Just don’t cry and say I didn’t warn you!
What will be the biggest driver to the cloud?
On premise compliance audits. Once they get audited, they would rather have someone else worry about it; that someone else is you.
Will License Mobility be allowed for Windows?
No. I don’t think there is a reason why it would. Windows is cheap. For those that have hosted for a while, remember the Windows Outsourcer/Non Outsourcer SKU’s? Datacenter was over $200 a processor. Standard was over $75 (US).
Will Microsoft raise rates?
Will my hosting business succeed since I can’t compete against larger providers?
Yes. You need to change the way you promote your offering. Think about this (and be honest with yourself) – what separates you from your competition? If you were a customer looking for a hosted solution…why would “they”… choose “you”? How can YOU… help ME (customer). Is it to keep compliance? Is it costs? Do your employees bring you new ideas or are they collecting pay checks? Do you worry about being the lowest price or quality/uniqueness of your service? Is it because you have an “in” and listen to SPLA Man? If it’s the latter, you will win for sure.
Who’s the biggest threat to cloud providers present/future?
Will VDI be allowed under SPLA?
NOOOOO!!!!! You asked this twice! Come on! 🙂
Who will win the World Series in baseball?
Why…the St. Louis Cardinals of course!
Who will NOT win the Super Bowl this year?
St. Louis Rams – Ugh.
Thanks for reading,