Are You Paying Too Much for Visual Studio?

By Cindy Barron-Taylor

Director of Client Services - Microsoft, NPI

September 28, 2017

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If your organization has more than a handful of developers, Visual Studio licenses are likely important to your organization. But what you may not be aware of is whether your Visual Studio licenses/subscriptions have been optimized for actual usage. That begs a larger question: How often do you reassess the needs of your developer team and take inventory of your Visual Studio users?

If the answer is “not often,” there’s a good chance you’re overspending on Visual Studio. It’s certainly not hard to do.

Microsoft changes the flavors of Visual Studio frequently and you may be paying for more functionality than you require. Be sure to reassess the needs of your developers with expiring subscriptions of Visual Studio Ultimate, Visual Studio Premium and Visual Studio Enterprise. Ask these users if they truly require functionality beyond what is provided in Visual Studio Professional. If you feel confident that advanced functionality is no longer required, these higher-level subscriptions could renew into Visual Studio Professional and that could provide future cost savings.

As a quick example, a Microsoft Level A customer on an Enterprise Agreement will pay almost $1,000 more per year for the renewal of one developer as a Visual Studio Enterprise subscription versus a Visual Studio Professional subscription.

From a compliance perspective, it’s important to reassign Visual Studio subscriptions when a developer leaves your organization. Failure to do so could result in your company losing track of who the license/subscription is assigned to and require a costly reconciliation. Most software audits will uncover flaws in your assignment of Visual Studio entitlements if you are not diligent, so staying ahead of the curve is critical.

If you have a Microsoft renewal on the horizon, it’s critical to align usage, licenses/subscriptions and costs across your entire Microsoft estate. Visual Studio is just one (often overlooked) area where unintentional overspending occurs.