While the provider introduces its most powerful research and development, sales and marketing resources into the cloud, some Microsoft corporate customers are still stuck in on-premise implementations. This has led the provider to take aggressive steps to migrate these customers to the cloud. The results include several price and licensing changes, an increase in formal and informal licensing audits (often disguised as asset management software commitments) and increased complexity and rigidity of the contract. There are increasingly licensing and subscription optimization challenges in Microsoft transactions, as well as new cost, flexibility and licensing/subscription opportunities you can capitalize on. As Microsoft continues to make a transformation and business demands and usage requirements are changing rapidly, customers should prepare for a more demanding purchasing and supplier management environment. Changes in today`s business climate, coupled with Microsoft`s mission to relocate businesses to the cloud, are changing the way it does business with its largest customers. Companies considering renewing their enterprise agreements or acquiring supplier offers for the first time can use the forces that fuel Microsoft`s behavior at the negotiating table. There are many ways to license and/or subscribe to Microsoft products. The Licensing Solutions Provider or the account employee of a given company may not be well aware of all the options available.

However, they are well trained (and motivated by incentives) to encourage customers to increase the cost of licensing. Make sure you ask Microsoft`s licensing specialists how to better structure licensing for reduced expenses and consider getting impartial expertise to help the sourcing team review the recommendations. Microsoft`s mission is to transfer its customers within the traditional on-premise software company to its subscription-based cloud services. Revenue from its cloud commercial offerings is growing strongly, while traditional software sales are declining and the mix is weighing on Microsoft`s ability to support a multi-faceted business. Microsoft`s success will be measured against the success of this mission, and customers will be under increased pressure to travel to the cloud or to pay for on-prime-price solutions through increased contract and price complexity.