I hate when other partners promote a SPLA price increase to gain business. Yeah, no one can control what the publisher will ultimately do and pricing is never consistent (just look at your local gas pump) but that doesn’t mean you cannot leverage use rights and other factors to lower your SPLA bill. In this article, we will look at how SPLA partners can lower their bill regardless what Microsoft may or may not do in the future. Here are a quick (some easy, some not so easy) ways to accomplish this.
- SQL Server: How confident are you that you are licensing the most expensive product in SPLA correctly? Let me provide an example, reporting SQL Web because of price is not a sound strategy. Auditors look at licensing historically, when you license incorrectly for a product like SQL Web and it should’ve been Standard, you will pay an astronomically higher price in the long run. Pay attention to your given use rights to uncover cost savings, such as SQL Enterprise for unlimited virtualization, Standard SAL licenses for multiple VM’s and Servers, etc.
- Administration Access: Why report administrators? As part of your signed SPLA agreement, you are allowed 20 admins per datacenter without the need for SPLA. Doing a demo for your customer? Don’t report it. Pay attention to the use rights in your SPLA agreement, not just the SPUR.
- SPLA Internal Use: If you have more external users than internal users, perhaps you should use SPLA to cover both. As an example, if you host Exchange for 10 users, you can use up to 5 internally. Those licenses are not free, you would report a total of 15 on your SPLA moving forward. This entitlement is called the 50% rule which states that you cannot license more than 50% of what you are hosting, internally. I like this because it eliminates two things: 1) if a user leaves your company, you simply do not license the user the next month. In Volume Licensing, you own the licenses which would force you to either reassign the license to another user internally or it goes unused. 2). You would not be required to have separate hardware for this solution. In traditional SPLA, you must have separate hardware from what you are hosting. If using SPLA for internal consumption, it can be on the same hardware since it follows the same use rights.
- Leveraging Skype for Business through Office 365: Yeah, in many cases O365 is the big bad wolf; in other cases, it’s your best friend. If you want to host Skype, you can sell your customers who purchased Skype O365 licenses, host it from your datacenter environment, and leverage the SAL for SA SKU. Skype USL (Office 365 licenses) is the only product that qualifies for SAL for SA in SPLA. If your customer purchased Skype USL licenses and are unhappy with migrating it to Microsoft datacenter, you can tell the customer that you can host it for them for little cost. It’s much cheaper than licensing/reporting the regular Skype for Business SAL. On the flip side, let’s say your customer purchased Exchange Online USL license, they would just need to purchase the Exchange Server with Software Assurance to leverage license mobility. Exchange Online does not qualify for SAL for SA.
- Private Cloud: When the public cloud is taking up all the headlines, maybe it’s time to differentiate and create a new headline. No one gets ahead by doing the same thing others are doing. If Azure offers public cloud, maybe you should start offering private cloud. In this example, private cloud is fully dedicated, isolated hardware for each individual customer. Here are three ways this could be beneficial:
- Dedicated hardware does not require Software Assurance. Your customer owns SQL 2000 or still stuck on Windows 2003? No problem, move it to your cloud. Try doing the same in Azure or other fully public clouds, they would need SA for those licenses.
- Unlimited Virtualization. Windows does not have mobility rights, but if you were to offer dedicated servers, an end customer can transfer their Windows licenses without issue. More importantly, if they purchased Windows Datacenter because of virtualization (which they did), they can still have unlimited virtualization rights as if they were running it on premise (still dependent upon the size of the server). Do the same in Azure HUB, and it doesn’t quite add up.
- No SPLA licenses, no VDI restrictions, no CSP requirement and ease of security concerns. Kind of speaks for itself.
I understand that in many situations transitioning to a private cloud is easier said than done, but it does have tremendous licensing advantages over public clouds. Worried about SPLA price increases or CSP? Private cloud might be your answer.
As always, have a question on SPLA pricing, licensing, or anything else that comes to mind, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks for reading,