MS licensing plan spreads payments

A new licensing plan from Microsoft that allows businesses to pay for their software licences over a three-year period will appeal to customers keen on leasing, says one reseller.

A new licensing plan from Microsoft that allows businesses to pay for their software licences over a three-year period will appeal to customers keen on leasing, says one reseller.

The plan, Open License Value, is aimed at small and medium-sized businesses and available through resellers.

Allan Maclean, managing director of Auckland Microsoft partner Maclean Computing, says the new plan will appeal to companies that prefer to lease rather than buy.

“From the customer’s perspective, it’s just a variation of leasing,” he says. “The real advantage is in cashflow.”

Many of Maclean’s customers already lease hardware and want to bundle the hardware and software together. The term of the new licence will fit in with hardware leases, he says.

“Three years is very desirable because it coincides with the hardware cycle. The reality is that three years is the common lifecycle of equipment.”

Microsoft’s partner group manager, Steve Haddock, says the new plan includes some of the features of Software Assurance such as training and home-use provisions. Microsoft has performed “particularly poorly” at selling those features, he says. “We have got to do a fantastic job in getting the partners to see what is there.”

However, Maclean says customers are more concerned about price and cashflow than training, but will welcome the home-use provisions. “It’s always been a sore point.”

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