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The Latest News On IT Sourcing

  • Microsoft – Big Changes to Dynamics 365 Licensing Joshua Osborne
    Director of Client Services – Microsoft, NPI
    09.17.20

    Recent changes to Dynamics 365 licensing underscore the one constant in Microsoft licensing. Just when you think you have a good understanding, even for just one particular offering, Microsoft changes the whole thing. That’s exactly what Microsoft did this past April with Dynamics 365. Previously, customers could purchase a suite that would include the primary...

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  • Microsoft M365 Changes – What’s New? Dan Brewster
    Director of Client Services, Microsoft, NPI
    07.27.20

    The pandemic has caused many shifts in the enterprise IT landscape, including the hastening of new changes from Microsoft. This is especially true as it relates to Microsoft’s security and compliance offerings – particularly numerous M365 changes in the last few months. Microsoft released several new bundles in April: M365 E5 Information Protection and Governance,...

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  • Behind the Microsoft PowerApps Cost Increase Joshua Osborne
    Director of Client Services – Microsoft, NPI
    06.22.20

    Microsoft has a storied history of subtly and not-so subtly making changes to its licensing methodologies. These changes can have variable impacts on cost – sometimes small or, in the case of the latest changes to Microsoft PowerApps licensing, quite material for some customers.

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  • Which Microsoft Subscription Options are Best for Your WFH Requirements? Dan Brewster
    Director of Client Services – Microsoft, NPI
    04.16.20

    Most technology workers are now working from home, and to their credit, most technology providers have risen to the challenge to support this unprecedented event. Zoom, LogMeIn, Slack, Google, Microsoft and others are offering their services for free for these displaced workers. Understandably, these vendors are hoping you will continue to use their tools when things return to normal.

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  • Understanding the Microsoft EA True-Up and Reservation Process Dan Brewster
    Director of Client Services, Microsoft, NPI
    12.12.19

    Microsoft’s EA program is designed for firms that are making large commitments to Microsoft products. There are three types of products one may purchase under the Enterprise Agreement: Enterprise Products, Additional Products and Online Services.

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  • Deep-dive Into Microsoft E5 Pricing – Is This Bundle Optimal For Your Needs? Dan Brewster
    Director of Client Services – Microsoft, NPI
    09.13.19

    Microsoft loves bundles. Case in point? Microsoft E5, E3, E1, etc. – the list truly does go on. In fact, Microsoft is somewhat of a legend in this regard. Microsoft’s use of bundles dates to 1990 with the release of Microsoft Office 1.0. At that time, the Office bundle included Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, and...

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  • Keeping Up with Microsoft 365’s Product Terms and Impending Deadlines Cindy Barron-Taylor
    Director of Client Services, Microsoft, NPI
    06.28.19

    As many of Microsoft’s customers are in hybrid states between cloud and on-premise usage, it’s important to consider Microsoft 365’s Product Terms – specifically how often they change (hint: quite frequently!). It can have a significant impact on your organization’s compliance.

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  • The End of O365 E4 – What Are Your Options? Cindy Barron-Taylor
    Director of Client Services, Microsoft, NPI
    05.30.19

    Still in an agreement where you’re purchasing Office 365 Enterprise E4 (O365 E4)? You’re not alone. While this offering was retired in 2017 and Microsoft permitted customers to switch to a new plan at any time, Microsoft did not require that switch until renewal time. Now, many enterprises are facing that milestone – a renewal...

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  • Following Microsoft Acquisition, GitHub Gets Tough at the Negotiation Table Chris Vicknair
    Client Services Director, NPI
    05.24.19

    It’s always interesting for NPI to watch what happens when a technology vendor is acquired by another larger company. Will the acquired company fold right into the culture and operations of the acquirer, or will they continue to operate relatively independently and maintain their pre-acquisition culture? Will there be a big push to close lots...

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  • Should You Agree to a Microsoft Audit? Dan Brewster
    Director of Client Services, Microsoft, NPI
    05.22.19

    As previously discussed in another blog post, you should always seek assistance before you agree to a Microsoft audit. Why? It’s simple enough – the findings will rarely be in your favor and preparation is a must. There are two ways in which Microsoft conducts audits. The first is called a Software Asset Management (SAM)...

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  • Microsoft Azure Hybrid Benefit – Great Way to Save on Cloud or Compliance Trojan Horse? Joshua Osborne
    Director of Client Services – Microsoft, NPI
    03.25.19

    In its quest to outshine Google and AWS – specifically when it comes to cost – Microsoft introduced the Azure Hybrid Benefit for Windows Server. Per Microsoft’s website: The Azure Hybrid Benefit for Windows Server allows you to save up to 40% on Windows Server VMs in Azure by utilizing your on-premises Windows Server licenses...

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  • Licensing with the Microsoft Products & Services Agreement (MPSA) Dan Brewster
    Director of Client Services – Microsoft, NPI
    03.08.19

    Are you a large enterprise client with Microsoft who hasn’t bought off on the concept of Software Assurance? If so, the Microsoft Product & Services Agreement (MPSA) may be for you. The Microsoft Products and Services Agreement is a transactional licensing agreement for commercial, government, and academic organizations with 250 or more users/devices. MPSA works...

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  • The Microsoft Enterprise Agreement Renewal and Enterprise Renewal Form – It’s Worth a Second Look! Cindy Barron-Taylor
    Director of Client Services, Microsoft, NPI
    12.21.18

    When thinking about your upcoming Microsoft Enterprise Agreement Renewal, you’re probably eager to make the process as simple as possible by removing any unnecessary steps and cutting back on the amount of content you, or others in your organization, must review. But there are some things you really need to inspect. The Enterprise Renewal Form...

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  • Microsoft Step-up License: Step Up and Get Your Money’s Worth! Cindy Barron-Taylor
    Director of Client Services, Microsoft, NPI
    10.23.18

    Reducing TCO is an ongoing challenge for Microsoft customers especially as the enterprise Microsoft estate expands. Enter the Microsoft Step-up License. For some customers, it’s a helpful (and cost-effective) way to “grow” into Microsoft’s more advanced technologies.

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  • Why Microsoft’s Product Terms are Important Dan Brewster
    Director of Client Services – Microsoft, NPI
    08.29.18

    As a former auditor for Microsoft, I’ve seen a lot of creative posturing around Microsoft’s product terms. A common statement often heard from Microsoft customers is: “Microsoft doesn’t say I can’t do it that way.” Unfortunately, that’s not how it works. Microsoft (and other software vendors) don’t have to think of all of the potential...

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  • Stay Current with Microsoft’s Product Terms to Avoid License Compliance Issues Dan Brewster
    Director of Client Services – Microsoft, NPI
    06.01.18

    As a former auditor for Microsoft, I’ve seen a lot of creative posturing around Microsoft’s product terms. A common statement often heard from Microsoft customers is: “Microsoft doesn’t say I can’t do it that way.” Unfortunately, that’s not how it works. Microsoft (and other software vendors) don’t have to think of all of the potential...

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  • Microsoft Going After Google Chrome Browser and Others…Again Joshua Osborne
    Director of Client Services – Microsoft, NPI
    05.16.18

    A big issue for a lot of us as we use modern internet browsers is continuity across platforms and devices.  Historically, Microsoft has been rather late to the game. Google Chrome and even Firefox have had cross-platform browsers that worked very well across your various devices. Things that are important such as UI, cookies, favorites...

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  • Want to Cut Microsoft Licensing Costs? Know Your User Profile Options Cindy Barron-Taylor
    Director of Client Services – Microsoft, NPI
    04.27.18

    There are a lot of ways to reduce Microsoft licensing costs – but there’s one that should be at the top of every enterprise customer’s list. If you are continuing year after year to license your organization exactly the same way for all users, it’s probably time for a change! By taking the time to...

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  • Microsoft License Downgrade Rights – Know Them! Dan Brewster
    Director of Client Services – Microsoft, NPI
    03.30.18

    Did you know that Microsoft only sells current versions of its products? What happens if you purchase a current version of Office Professional, yet your firm has not yet deployed that version throughout the organization? What are your Microsoft license downgrade rights? Well, like a lot of things licensing-related, it depends.  If you purchased the...

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  • What You Need to Know About Windows Server Licensing and External Users Dan Brewster
    Director of Client Services – Microsoft, NPI
    02.15.18

    Microsoft has made many changes in the last several years relating to Windows Server Licensing –specifically as it relates to external user access. First, what is an external user? Look to the Microsoft Product Terms document for the definition: “External Users means users that are not either Customer’s or its Affiliates’ employees, or its affiliates’...

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  • Microsoft Volume Licensing Update: The Fine Print on Server and Cloud Enrollment (SCE) Cindy Barron-Taylor
    Director of Client Services, NPI
    01.24.18

    If you’re a seasoned Microsoft Volume Licensing customer, you’re probably familiar with Microsoft’s Enrollment for Core Infrastructure (ECI). This Enterprise Agreement enrollment was originally designed to simplify licensing and help  Microsoft Volume Licensing customers manage their core infrastructure more efficiently. In 2013, Microsoft announced that it would replace the ECI with a new enrollment –...

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  • Microsoft Contracts 101 Dan Brewster
    Director of Client Services – Microsoft, NPI
    10.05.17

    It’s no secret that sourcing Microsoft contracts, products and services is a complex undertaking. One of the first things IT buyers should get their head around are the various Microsoft contracts – and the multi-level “architecture” of how they relate to each other. There are several different types of agreement documents to review: The Microsoft...

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  • Azure Update: Microsoft Acquires Cloudyn for Cloud Optimization and EMS Admin Finds New Home Joshua Osborne
    Director of Client Services – Microsoft, NPI
    09.11.17

    Microsoft’s promise to rapidly grow Azure services continues to play out as the vendor invests heavily in internal development and acquisition. The most recent evidence is Microsoft’s acquisition of Cloudyn, which was finalized at the end of July.Cloudyn helps enterprises and managed service providers optimize their investments in cloud services – a continuing challenge for...

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  • Device vs. User – The Microsoft Counting Game Cindy Barron-Taylor
    Director of Client Services - Microsoft, NPI
    07.24.17

    Whether you are a new Microsoft enterprise agreement customer or have been one for years, Microsoft licensing counts are tricky business. How can you be sure that the true up-counts you provide to your Licensing Solutions Partner are correct?

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