The title seems obvious, if you are an entrepreneur, you should always be thinking about what’s next. I read/follow Richard Branson, who wrote an article recently on focusing on the future, check it out here. It’s all about looking forward to what’s next and dreaming big. Very few organizations are as diversified as Virgin. In a way, it might be too diversified, but the point is he does not settle for the status quo, if he doesn’t like it, he changes it. Think of all the different industries under his portfolio: Entertainment, health, financial, technology, travel, and many more. The company started out in the music industry!
What does this have to do with SPLA licensing? Over the past week alone, how many different programs and licensing nuances did I write about? (too many to count). Those changes only had to do with Microsoft! Think of all the other changes going on in the industry including security, data and backup, and development. If you do not have a plan in place or to adapt change, you might be left in the dust.
In SPLA, way too many organizations report the exact same thing each month. They even report the same quantities! They have a few loyal customers in which their hosting business depends on. My question to them – What happens if the loyal customer is not so loyal? If you are hosting, you have everyone and their brother trying to convince your customer to move to their cloud. If you are a managed service provider, forget about it. Not only are hosters your competition, everyone in the industry is your competition. What are you going to do to stand out?
This blog is about licensing, and I like to think there are ways to be creative with your SPLA usage to diversify your business. Don’t just report the same thing each month and not give it a second thought. There are always ways to reduce or optimize what you license. In a way, licensing can help expand your offering. SAL for SA, as an example, can help build your DR business and lower your SPLA costs. Check out my article here Windows Datacenter, allows unlimited VM’s which can help build your IaaS platform. Azure Stack, can help bring an Azure type offering from your own datacenter. Qualified Hosting Addendum, will allow you to offer VDI from a shared environment. My point being, don’t just settle for the same old usage report each month. Licensing is a big headache even for a guy who spends his free time writing about it, but that doesn’t mean you cannot learn to leverage licensing to your own advantage. If you understand the licensing, you can start to look at ways to really get creative and expand your offering. I’ll go back to SAL for SA. If you did not know about SAL for SA, you would be telling your customers that they cannot leverage their investment in software assurance from both your datacenter and theirs. You would probably tell them about license mobility which transfers a license over to your datacenter. That’s a big miss in my opinion.
Learn the licensing, diversify your business, and I promise your loyal customer will remain loyal.
Thanks for reading,