Is Microsoft's Software Assurance programme right for you? Examine the pros and cons before you sign on the dotted line, says Julie Giera.
Companies that have Software Assurance or are contemplating the purchase of Software Assurance should immediately review the various features of the new programme and calculate the return on investment.
Customers contemplating Software Assurance should also review in-process Microsoft projects to determine if the benefits of the renewed contract can assist with these project efforts.
E-learning materials, for example, can help with training requirements for an Office 2003 installation project.
Customers that did not choose Software Assurance should review the offering again to see if the benefits of the programme will outweigh the cost of the coverage. For most customers, the financial impact will be positive.
Customers should also consider the financial impact of the programme outside IT. For most companies, there will be a positive business impact for the end-user community using Microsoft software.
The suite of benefits in Software Assurance is broad enough and flexible enough to appeal to companies of all sizes. However, because the needs of each organisation are different, customers should evaluate the benefits available and craft an individual programme that best suits their needs – not all users will use all the features available on the contract.
We strongly recommend that customers nominate at least one Software Assurance benefits administrator within their organisation. There will be a cost to implement the benefits of Software Assurance, as the user will have added administrative tasks from maintaining the programme.
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Julie Giera is a research leader at Forrester Research