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There are many ways to license and/or subscribe to Microsoft products. The Licensing Solutions Provider or the account employee of a given company may not be well aware of all the options available. However, they are well trained (and motivated by incentives) to encourage customers to increase the cost of licensing. Make sure you ask Microsoft`s licensing specialists how to better structure licensing for reduced expenses and consider getting impartial expertise to help the sourcing team review the recommendations. As a public company, Microsoft`s mission is to accurately predict revenue. To do this, the company must have a clear overview of its sales pipeline and be able to close purchases and renewals faster and earlier in the quarterly sales cycle. There are a limited number of legal resources and license desks to process these transactions, and it is almost impossible to process paperwork less than two weeks before a calendar year, fiscal year or end of the quarter. Managing these largest volumes in deal volume is a challenge for Microsoft`s operations, and delays in this pipeline can have a domino effect on quarterly and annual revenue, share price and overall market perception. Customers should use the supplier`s desire to prevent purchases and extension periods accordingly. Contrary to popular opinion, Microsoft may be more flexible in negotiations outside of their peak sourcing periods. Microsoft`s mission is to transfer its customers within the traditional on-premise software company to its subscription-based cloud services.

Revenue from its cloud commercial offerings is growing strongly, while traditional software sales are declining and the mix is weighing on Microsoft`s ability to support a multi-faceted business. Microsoft`s success will be measured against the success of this mission, and customers will be under increased pressure to travel to the cloud or to pay for on-prime-price solutions through increased contract and price complexity. Most customers have managed the jump to 365 and are experimenting with azure. The good news is that the window of agreement for new cloud editions with Microsoft is still open. While the provider introduces its most powerful research and development, sales and marketing resources into the cloud, some Microsoft corporate customers are still stuck in on-premise implementations. This has led the provider to take aggressive steps to migrate these customers to the cloud. The results include several price and licensing changes, an increase in formal and informal licensing audits (often disguised as asset management software commitments) and increased complexity and rigidity of the contract. While the vendor`s cloud offerings may be the future of its business, most Microsoft customers are still operationally and contractually blocked in on-premise deployments.