The SoftwareONE Guide to Microsoft Renewals

May 24, 2018
Robin Duprel


Robin Duprel

Software Asset Management Consultant

An upcoming Microsoft renewal can cause dread in the most seasoned IT and procurement professionals.  It doesn’t matter if it’s your first Enterprise Agreement (EA) renewal or if you’ve been through the process many times.  Often, this is caused by limited information, lack of time to prepare for the pending renewal, or changes within your IT environment.  According to Gartner, enterprise software growth is predicted to grow 9.5 percent in 2018 representing  a global spend of $389 billion; and a Microsoft renewal represents a significant annual spend for organizations – software is a costly yet necessary expense.

IT budgets are increasing along with the complexity of Microsoft licensing, causing our customers to ask themselves:

  1. Does the renewal represent our strategic future state and ensure we will consume products we’ve purchased?
  2. Are we overspending or under spending on our Microsoft licensing estate?
  3. Are we compliant now?
  4. How will we remain compliant in the future?
  5. How has Microsoft licensing changed in the last 3 years and how will it impact us?

What is the SoftwareONE Microsoft Renewal Approach?

The SoftwareONE Microsoft Renewal Approach is designed to take the guess work out of Microsoft renewals and reduce the level of anxiety and uncertainty for your teams.

SWO renewal approach 1

Where Do We Start?

The starting point for any Microsoft renewal is a Software Asset Management (SAM) assessment.  This engagement defines current license entitlement and how licensing is installed in your environment.  A SAM tool is helpful in this process, but often not enough to sufficiently ensure compliance is met.   SoftwareONE takes the SAM tool data to the next level applying years of experience and expertise around complex Microsoft licensing and programmatic rules to confirm our customers are compliant in their current licensing estate.

Gaining Support

The next step is to involve your IT and relevant stakeholders to determine how you may use Microsoft solutions to reach your goals in the next 12-36 months. This is achieved through review of your IT roadmap and knowledge share of current Microsoft solutions, functionality and programs.  This includes additional conversations and documentation to uncover areas of vendor consolidation, user profiling for price and consumption optimization, and determination of solutions and functionality that are required – as compared to desired —  at renewal.

A detailed License Options Analysis is created by our team of experienced Microsoft Advisory consultants.  Our consultants access the optimal licensing and contract renewal options including Microsoft program options, best pricing availability and Software Assurance needs.  This document contains comprehensive information for renewal decision making  inclusive of potential risks, pros and cons, and consultant recommendations.

SWO renewal approach 2


Pre-Contract Optimization is considered part of the entire renewal process.  First, any overages identified during the SAM engagement will be removed, if no longer needed for growth.  Next,  as part of the solution alignment, our consultants will review SQL and infrastructure server best practices to drive server consolidation, cloud migration and decommissioning for optimization prior to renewal.  Finally, user/device profiles are applied to prevent over licensing of user groups and alignment of  licensing with technology consumption.

The SoftwareONE Renewal Approach in Practice

In early 2018, a popular healthcare provider in the Midwest engaged SoftwareONE to assist with their EA renewal.  Its  primary concern was working to understand the new Microsoft cloud licensing suites, and preventing over purchasing of functionality the company would not consume. Our teams worked with the customer to gain visibility into its current entitlements, understand the overall IT goals, and align the appropriate Microsoft technology solutions to meet these goals.

The customer signed an EA renewal they feel confident includes the correct products for their users.  Due to strategic alignment between the customer’s goals and the Microsoft technology roadmap, this customer was able to secure a sizeable discount in addition to EA pricing.

Does This Fit Your Needs?

Please reach out to your SoftwareONE Account Manager to discuss how the SoftwareONE Microsoft renewal approach may assist you in ensuring the most strategic and optimized Microsoft renewal.

Leave a Reply