Micorosft Software Assurance Savings

By marcandre198306 ·
Hey guys

I've recently started working for a small company as part of their sales force and I've also received the task to replace the previous IT guy.

I have experience in the IT field, having successfully managed a domain/exchange roll out at my previous job so I managed to get increased pay out of it!

However, I'm noticing that all the software they use apart from a few exceptions isn't too legit.

As we all know, that's not the best of ideas so I'd like to make a pitch to my boss to buy legit licenses for everything. It also might not be a bad idea to upgrade the server to a 64bit 2008 SMB server since we're growing at a pretty good pace, even in these difficult times.

This then seems that this could be an ideal situation for a Volume Licensing option since they have 11 laptops, 4 workstations and 1 server and the only legit software I've seen is the 11 laptop Windows (all OEM) and the server software. They also have 3 TCAL (legacy from XP Pro purchases) that are legit. That means there would be 16 Office 2007 Standard, 4 Vista Business, 3 Terminal Server SMB 2008 CAL (one workstation doesn't remotely access the server) and 16 Standard Exchange CAL that would need to be bought.

I however would not like to come to my boss with a bill of 20k for software he thinks he already owns so I'd like to know what kind of a deal vs retail pricing I could expect to see on that kind of volume so I can present him with a cost estimate of how much this all would set him back. At my previous job, all software purchasing was incremental so I never had the opportunity to work with VL so I don't know much about it. I don't know much about SA either so would that be worthwhile ? How much does SA usually cost compared to the software pricing ?


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All Answers

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Software Assurance really is only good for large business

by CG IT In reply to Micorosft Software Assura ...

You pay a fee to ensure you get the latest operating system when it comes out.

Say you buy X # of Windows Vista licenses today and also get SA with it. Windows 7 comes out in 6 months and you can get those without having to pay for the licenses again.

There are some more "benefits" with SA and I suggest you do some more research on MS site with SA or call Tech Data, Ingram Micro or the other 2 distributors and talk to the sales people about SA. Sure they will be happy to give you the low down and sales pitch for it.

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Well for starters Volume License isn't Software Assurance

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to Micorosft Software Assura ...

You need to have Volume License Product to purchase Software Assurance but if you already had Volume License Product you do not necessarily have a Software Assurance Program in place.

Anyway the Volume License can be purchased for just the Office Applications where you get 1 Install Disc and Licenses to install it on as many computers that you purchased Licenses for this is considerably cheaper than OEM Product and you need to buy a Minimum of 5 Licenses to qualify for Volume License Product.

So the Office Apps would be easy thought maybe 2007 isn't the best choice depending on what the company does and how often that they electronically share files it may result in some Documents being unreadable by the receiver or if you submit Tenders/Quotes to Government Agencies these being unreadable and rejected before they even get considered.

Vista Business requiring 4 Licenses would probably be OK as you can buy 5 and still save money over purchasing 4 OEM Copies. The Terminal Services Cal's are just a matter of purchasing another number of Licenses and the 16 Required Cal's it would probably be cheaper to purchase a 20 Pack.

Software Assurance is a 3 year program where you pay 1/3 the cost per year for the 3 years of the agreement and can result in no new software that you use being supplied by M$ so that would have to be looked into to see if it is worthwhile for that business.

Probably the easiest way of selling this is mentioning the repercussions of not using Properly Licensed Software from M$. When they catch the company they will want $250,000.00 Per Offense of Pirated Software and as companies make money from these they will most likely get it and they will take at least 18 months before they offer a Deal to the business where they Pay M$ X number of $ and allow M$ to list the Company and it's Directors and their Addresses in their Enforcement Alerts with a payout of a substantial sum of money. M$ also pay a Finders Fee to anyone reporting Piracy like this so if the previous person left under less that ideal conditions they may report this breach to M$ to get even as well as getting a few $ for their efforts.

If this isn't the first time that this place gets caught the costs will be considerably greater and if they are blatant about things M$ will insist on going through the courts which will cost considerably more than the initial quarter of a Million for a First Offense.

If nothing else you need to document to the Owner/CEO what you have found and the possible implications of it though I expect that they already know this and are not concerned by it.


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thanks and possible exchange alternatives ?

by marcandre198306 In reply to Well for starters Volume ...

Thanks for the feedback.

I'll contact Ingram and see if they can fill me in further on the SA and VL parts and I'll get a cost estimate to my boss.

It's definitely a bad idea to run like this so I'll make my case as best as I can.

However, in the case he refuses, I don't want to work with unlicensed software. I don't think the Windows licenses are going to be an issue considering the minimal cost and I know most of the free alternatives out there for productivity suites (namely open office and evolution which I would need to test in our corporate environment) but I have no idea about cost effective exchange alternatives.

My searches have mostly yielded results on linux based solutions (and I'd rather avoid setting up a linux box just for our mailserver as I have little experience with it and wouldn't feel comfortable rolling out something this important with my current knowledge about it) and the other alternatives out there such as MDaemon don't seem that much less expensive than Exchange.

Would you know of any good alternatives ? The usage pattern is mostly for e-mails, tasks and calendering. Nobody uses the IM or local folders features of Exchange. The laptops do have remote outlook integration through Outlook Anywhere HTTPS though so that functionality would still need to be available. Local backup of mail folders is obviously the main goal here along with an in-house mail system allowing out of office messages and the like. As you gathered from my previous e-mail, we have 16 mailboxes. Active directory integration would also be a big plus.

I want to have a fallback scenario to rely on before I try and bust doors open so I'd like to know all my options.


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RE: possible exchange alternatives

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to thanks and possible excha ...

Not many to chose from I'm afraid mainly because there is no one willing to take on M$ at their own Game and all of the small business that I support who use a Windows Server Product buy the SBS Version which comes with Exchange so they think that they are saving money by just buying the necessary Licenses or whatever reasoning that they use.

All of the current customers that I support who use Windows Boxes use Exchange and unless there are Complacency Issues involved I can not see any of them changing from this. In fact I've just had to move a couple over to Exchange because of Complementing Requirements as the products that they where using would have prevented them gaining Accreditation for meeting or exceeding the Complacency Requirements that they need to be accepted into the Government Agencies that they exchange Data with.

Sorry but with something to run on a Windows Server App to replace Exchange I can not help you, as you say MD costs about the same as Exchange and that was the other widely used product that I have to support.


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