Monday, 17 March 2008

SBS 2003 to SBS 2008 Open Value versus OEM

Here is something to consider with the advent of SBS 2008 (Cougar): When considering an upgrade for an existing SBS 2003 Premium client to SBS 2008, ISA is no longer included for clients without Software Assurance on their current SBS 2003 Premium product. It may be a good idea to put existing or new clients into an Open Value Licensing Agreement or Subscription with a 3 year spread payment option for any new SBS 2003 install or upgrade.

This will give the client some flexibility when it comes time to upgrade them to SBS 2008 where we need an internal/Internet security option like ISA.

Given the upcoming release of SBS 2008, we have been promoting Open Value Agreement/Subscription to all of our existing clients as well as new clients with a great margin of success in winning them over from OEM licensing. Software Assurance is an option on OEM, but how many clients are going to say, "Sure, I'd love to spend $X on additional licensing costs" after the fact?

Depending on budget, it makes more sense to utilize the 3 Year Spread Payment option on Open Value Agreements and Subscriptions. This enables us to reduce the upfront cost to the client and establish a commitment with the client to purchase their licensing from us on the subsequent two Agreement anniversaries. The 3 Year Spread Payment option becomes a small additional source of revenue for us too.

One more selling feature for a Licensing Agreement in place over OEM: If the client needs to grow their hardware performance to match growth in their company, Swing their existing License Agreement SBS OS onto a new hardware rig and away they go. The Open Value OS license stays with the organization as opposed to OEM which stays with the respective hardware it was originally sold with.

Philip Elder
Microsoft Small Business Specialists

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