This is How to Best Optimize the Value of Your Microsoft Investments | SoftwareONE Blog

This is How to Best Optimize the Value of Your Microsoft Investments

This is How to Best Optimize the Value of Your Microsoft Investments

You face significant decisions if your organization is 12 months out from your Microsoft enterprise agreement (EA) renewal. If you’re like most businesses, you likely subscribe to a suite of services.

Are you getting the most value from the entire package? Are there areas overutilized, underutilized, unused, or unnecessary for your business? How can you optimize the value of your Microsoft investments to help you achieve your long-term goals while ensuring you’re not paying for what you don’t need?

SoftwareONE recommends two critical approaches for maximizing your investments while controlling operating expenditures. Let’s dive in.

Get Peak Value from Cloud Spending with FinOps

FinOps is a framework that helps any organization within any industry better leverage their cloud financial management to realize peak value from cloud spend and create a culture of accountability.

Utilizing a FinOps framework, your organization can gain better control of cloud spend, more accurately forecast budgetary needs, and increase value based on your company’s key performance indicators (KPIs).

Because FinOps has such a profound impact on your company’s cloud spend, we recommend you implement the framework as soon as possible and not wait until your EA renewal.

SoftwareONE’s FinOps Starter Pack will assist you in recognizing gaps in your current cloud management strategy, provide access to the knowledge of our certified experts, assist you in pinpointing improvements in your cloud financial management, and most importantly, help you achieve an average of more than 25% savings in cloud spend.

Your FinOps framework delivers the most value when implemented in tandem with our second recommendation, SoftwareONE’s Microsoft Advisory Services or MAS for short.

Slash Your Tech Budget with SoftwareONE’s Microsoft Advisory Services

MAS is SoftwareONE’s proprietary service designed to assist organizations in deriving the most value and cost savings from their Microsoft licensing spend.

Before negotiating your Microsoft EA renewal, our MAS team begins by analyzing your Microsoft usage to establish what is or is not working for your business. We’ll examine whether you’re negotiating the right solutions or even buying the appropriate technologies. We’ll also establish whether you’re purchasing more than you need or not enough.

Once we’ve thoroughly researched all these factors, we’ll advise your organization on how to best move forward negotiating your Microsoft EA renewal to ensure the optimal, most cost-effective suite of services for your business.

What Is Your Technology Roadmap for the Cloud?

SoftwareONE encourages clients to be proactive and forward-thinking in their planning. We advise you to take the time now to consider your technology roadmap for the cloud.

There are some questions you should ask yourself.

  • Are you primarily in an on-premise data center, already 100% cloud, or will you be transitioning to the cloud?
  • What hyperscaler will you move to (Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform (GCP), for example)?
  • How will you leverage your existing Microsoft investments in the cloud?

If your enterprise is discussing your Microsoft renewal now, it is critical to include FinOps as a part of that conversation.

As stated previously, developing a FinOps framework now, even if your renewal is 12 to 18 months away, is critical to maximizing the value you derive from your Microsoft investments.

Early FinOps implementation lets you ascertain what kind of Microsoft Azure consumption you want to negotiate on your Microsoft agreement, including structured query language (SQL) and Windows Service licenses. When renewal time comes, you can ensure the best possible value from your investment.

What Is Your Microsoft Office 365 Roadmap?

While your Microsoft EA renewal occurs every three years, reconciliation occurs annually. This means that while the major decisions might be three years out, it’s still crucial for your organization to identify your Microsoft Office 365 roadmap every year.

You’ll need to determine whether you will continue utilizing the same technology you’re already using or if you plan to take your enterprise beyond that.

When it comes to the three-year Microsoft EA renewal, beginning that process at least 12 months in advance is critical. When doing so, you’ll need to decide what the next four years will look like and identify any changes you anticipate making before renewal.

Even if you don’t expect to make dramatic changes, you should still start mapping your long-term goals. Strategic thinking at this point will drive down your costs while optimizing the long-term health of your licensing agreement.

SoftwareONE’s MAS will examine your current agreement line by line and feature by feature to help you clarify what solutions you should be negotiating on your EA. Aligning the right solutions empowers you to get the most value out of the Microsoft EA renewal.

While SoftwareONE’s MAS primarily focuses on Microsoft, the team also examines the competitive landscape. We do this to ensure the alignment of your entire production environment and all vendors with your Microsoft solutions.

The MAS team maps out what you’re using today and what you’ll use in the future to ensure everything supports your Microsoft offerings and bundles. In other words, what to buy, what not to buy, when to buy, and how to negotiate the most favorable agreement.

Microsoft Advisory Services and FinOps

Both FinOps and MAS are forward-looking and future-state-oriented that must be started today. The better you understand what your organization will deploy in years one, two, and three, the more value your organization will derive from your Microsoft investments.

Maximize Your Microsoft Investment

Do you feel like you’re having a hard time keeping up with the ever-evolving world of Microsoft licensing? You are not alone.

Learn More

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Author

Jim Nagurney

Microsoft Advisory Services Practice Lead

Azure, AHUB, Microsoft Licensing

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