Ask these 8 costs saving questions before renewing your Microsoft software licenses

As an organization using Microsoft products and services because of licenses purchased, know that there will come a period for renewal or otherwise of your license. This is an important phase of your license usage journey which has the potential to save you more on expenditure or lead to heavy financial losses.    

The entire renewal process is time consuming and needs a strategy to sail through successfully depending on what your objectives are. Your organization putting together the right stakeholders will need to come up with a plan to get the best deal out of the renewal conversation with Microsoft.   

As experts in negotiation with Microsoft and sterling rates of success on behalf of various organizations, we will in this article point you in the right direction to prepare adequately before your Microsoft software license renewal.   

Make sure you have asked these questions at your organizational level and received satisfactory answers before you embark on the renewal journey.   

1. Have your company’s needs changed since your last license renewal?   

Before renewing your Microsoft software licenses, it’s important to take a step back and assess if your company’s needs have changed since your last renewal. Perhaps your user and device base has increased due to additional numbers added to the workforce who may require licensing going forward. Bringing this up will let you know the numbers involved and what it will translate into financially.   

Organizational needs can change due to growth, shifts in business strategy, technological advancements, or changes in the market environment. Regularly reassessing needs ensures that the tools and licenses in place continue to support the organization’s current objectives and operations efficiently.    

Are there any new software products or features that may better suit your business now? Are there any programs that you no longer use or need?    

2. How is license usage like?   

Are there any unused licenses? This is taking inventory into how well your investment in buying and using licenses which can run into millions. It’s possible that some licenses may be going unused or not optimally, which means you are paying for something you don’t need. Consider reassigning these licenses to other team members or cancelling them altogether to save money on your renewal. It’s important to regularly review and manage your licenses to ensure you are only paying for what you use. We advise you to adopt a good license management system as an organization.   

3. Are you still going to use on-premises products, considering cloud services or vice versa?   

You can consider switching to a subscription model going into the cloud if your organization deems it a good move to meet your needs. Infact at your renewal, Microsoft sales representatives or negotiation team will suggest cloud related products to you. However, do you need cloud related services now as an organization, do you know how the cloud operates from allocation to billing and financially are you ready? In case you still want to remain on-premises, do you have the capacity to keep doing regular updates and monitoring on your own as an organization? Will a hybrid situation best work in your case and be sure of the various options as mentioned before going into a renewal. Know what will work for you or Microsoft will bully you into accepting what they push onto you.   

4. Can your organization consolidate licenses?   

Another question to consider is whether you can consolidate your Microsoft licenses. This means centralizing all of your licenses into one agreement with Microsoft. When this is done it is much simpler than handling numerous individual licenses. This streamlines administrative tasks, reduces the potential for errors, and makes it easier to track compliance and usage. Figuring out the possibility of consolidating all your active licenses will help ensure that your organization remains compliant with agreements you reach after renewal. Consolidation reduces the risk of over-licensing or under-licensing, both of which can have financial and legal repercussions. By doing this, you may be able to negotiate a better price and simplify the management of your licenses.   

5. Are There Any Discounts or Promotions Available?   

Before renewing your Microsoft software licenses, be sure to do some research to see if there are any discounts or promotions currently available. Microsoft often offers special deals for loyal customers or new products, so it’s worth checking to see if you can save money on your licenses.   

Also, discounts are offered based on considerations such as specific product, region, and time of year. There are also Volume Licensing discounts your organization can take advantage of based on your commitment to agreement duration be it for a 1-year or multi-year plan as compared to month-to-month subscriptions.   

6. What alternative vendors can you turn to?   

In the event your renewal plans and terms do not go as planned, you should have alternative plans to get what you are looking for from competitive vendors. Take time to seek out vendors who can give you favorable agreements and bring competition to Microsoft. Going into your renewal with such alternatives and Microsoft negotiation’s team knowing what they stand to lose, they are likely to compromise or meet you halfway in terms of your demands. There is nothing wrong with looking to leverage on what a competitive vendor to Microsoft can offer but make sure it is a viable one.    

7. Is your organization complaint or stands an Audit risk?   

Your organization may be going into a renewal conversation but be sure Microsoft’s team is keenly looking out for ways to make more cash. The Microsoft team will exploit every possible way including Audits. Audits are part of the agreements you sign for so technically, Microsoft will not be doing anything wrong in carrying one out on you. Whiles at the negotiation table, they will ask and probe various licenses in your organization to see if there is a chance to catch your non-complaint. It is therefore important to ensure you have done your homework well and fulfilled all client obligations. In recent years, the frequency of audits has shot up perhaps due to Microsoft’s revenue drive increment programs. Always be prepared for unplanned and unannounced Audits which can leave your organization in serious financial challenges. Periodically perform internal Audits to know your license position. Also learn how to work with independent experts to help you control and manage the entire Audit process.   

8. Do we really need all the products in the bundle?   

When you need to purchase a Microsoft bundle that can meet your needs, do you take time to consider if the other products in the bundle are of any use to you. A Microsoft salesperson, if you should consult them, will suggest bundles that can meet your needs and they will have been doing their job of assisting your organization. However, note that their first concern is to get you to purchase products to help them meet their sales targets. They are not likely to do an in-depth analysis of your needs and further help you do a bundle mix or combination if available, which can get you to purchase only what you need and save you money in the process.  

But speaking to a Microsoft licensing independent expert who is experienced and understands the licensing terrain, you can get an expert’s point of view to meet your needs, scenarios that answers pertinent questions and guidance on how to save on your bundle purchases.  

Talk to our team of experts ahead of your Microsoft licensing renewal   

Our team of experts know the licensing terrain and has been negotiating with Microsoft on behalf of large organizations hence have gathered enough experience to guide and support you. We can know which portions of your agreement can be optimized to your favor and save you on spending.   

We are also consistently monitoring the licensing space and are updated on what is new and how it can best serve your needs. What discounts can work in your favor looking at your licenses going into renewal, and we can tip you on how to redeem them. Talk to our team today and let’s support your renewal preparation.   

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