Cisco ELA 2.0 becomes Cisco EA: What this means for you

The best technology companies stay in step with their customers’ needs, and for many, that means accommodating an increasingly software-heavy world.

For Cisco in particular, it means switching many services to a subscription model that’s simpler for its customers. The most recent change was the renaming of Cisco’s Enterprise Licensing Agreement (ELA) 2.0 to the new Cisco Enterprise Agreement (EA). The name change has no effect on the offering, but represents several organizational siteseekerfts that every Cisco customer—and potential customer—should know more about. Continue Reading…

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3 things to know about Symantec’s new licensing offering

Earlier this month, Symantec released its new Enterprise Subscription Agreement (SESA). Today I’ll answer your three most pressing questions about the announcement and provide information to help you understand and leverage the new program.

1. What is the Symantec Enterprise Subscription Agreement?

The SESA is a three-year contractual licensing agreement for Symantec security products available to organizations with 250+ users. The agreement allows organizations to optimize security spend, standardize on solutions from one trusted vendor, and simplify license management.

2. What’s included in the Symantec Enterprise Subscription Agreement?

The Symantec Enterprise Solution (SES) is available as part of the SESA. SES combines products to provide multiple layers of protection for mobile, endpoint, and mail and web infrastructure.

The solution integrates a number of key security products to protect your data wherever it resides. It includes three main layers of defense. Continue Reading…

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What the end of Windows XP means for reimaging rights

Microsoft plans to discontinue support for Windows XP in April 2014, and as a result many businesses are now scrambling to upgrade their operating systems. Inevitably, we’ve seen an influx of questions about the available options, the best methods for transitioning, and most importantly, the applicability of Windows reimaging rights.

Reimaging rights refer to the ability of a Windows software purchaser to copy that software onto multiple devices from a single standard image. Reimaging rights are often utilized when an organization purchases a device, or multiple devices, that are preloaded with the latest version of the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) operating system (OS). More often than not, businesses don’t run the most current software across their IT environments, or they are incapable of supporting multiple versions. In these cases, reimaging rights allow businesses to downgrade the software on the new device by running a standard image in their local environment.

Reimaging rights are directly related to how an organization procures software, whether through a reseller via a volume licensing (VL) agreement, pre-installment on a device purchased through an OEM, or a Full Packaged Product (FPP) purchased from a distributor. These unique ways of acquiring the Windows desktop OS complicate the reimaging rights allowed in certain scenarios. Continue Reading…

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What you need to know about Windows Azure’s pricing and licensing changes

This post was updated on Dec. 4, 2015.

Effective today, Microsoft is changing the way it sells and licenses Windows Azure through the Enterprise Agreement (EA) program. The changes apply to all enrollment programs, including the new Server and Cloud Enrollment (SCE), which also goes live today.

The Azure pricing update involves three major changes:

  1. Simplified pricing
  2. A new consumption allowance that eliminates overage fees
  3. A single subscription option

Below we’ll take a look at each of these changes and outline how organizations can license Windows Azure via SCE moving forward. Continue Reading…

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EAP, ECI, EWA, and SCE: The evolving landscape of Microsoft volume licensing

Remember the good old days when you likely had a simple choice between two volume licensing programs to license your Microsoft software: Select Agreement or Enterprise Agreement? Over the past three years, Microsoft has introduced new volume licensing program options that have provided organizations with more flexibility, but have also added another layer of complexity to the decision-making process. Most recently, Microsoft announced a new program called Server and Cloud Enrollment (SCE) slated for availability in the fourth quarter 2013, adding even more choices to its volume licensing pool.

SCE is designed to simplify the program terms, pricing, requirements, and decision points for organizations interested in committing to the products and technologies offered under this enrollment. As with any significant change, it is important to understand how organizations currently procure their licenses and how that process will change in the future.

Today, Microsoft offers organizations the ability to procure licenses under single or multiple enrollments depending on various factors, including:

  • License, License and Software Assurance, Subscription
  • Commitment terms (e.g., enterprise wide vs. buy as you go)
  • Price discounts
  • Bundled vs. single SKUs (e.g., Core Infrastructure Suite vs. Windows Server)
  • Program benefits (e.g., Software Assurance benefits)
  • True-up terms (e.g., one year vs. three years)

When you factor in the various volume licensing vehicles that Microsoft offers, IT and procurement managers must weigh a complex set of options during their decision-making process. Today, organizations with more than 250 desktops have the following enrollment types available to them to procure their Microsoft licenses and services: Continue Reading…

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How to prepare for Microsoft’s Server and Cloud Enrollment

Microsoft recently announced its plans to launch a new volume licensing program called Server and Cloud Enrollment (SCE). Anticipated to go into effect in the fourth quarter of 2013, this new enrollment offering will give customers the ability to license Microsoft server, applications, and cloud technologies under a single enrollment structure. The server and cloud technologies include Windows Server, System Center, SQL Server, and Azure. Customers will also have the ability to enroll their Visual Studio Developer, BizTalk, and SharePoint Server licenses.

In addition, SCE provides organizations with pricing discounts, standard program terms, and a flexible licensing approach that offers the option to procure perpetual or subscription licenses, depending on deployment needs. Here’s everything you need to know about SCE.

How does SCE work?

SCE is a three-year commitment signed under a Microsoft Enterprise Agreement (EA). It requires an enterprise-wide commitment to Software Assurance (SA) across the installed base of one or more of the components that make up the program. These SCE components are:

  1. Core Infrastructure (i.e., Windows Server and System Center)
  2. Application Platform (i.e., SQL Server. BizTalk and SharePoint can also be included)
  3. Developer Platform (i.e., Visual Studio)
  4. Windows Azure

By joining the SCE program, customers will receive the following benefits:

  • Discounts on new license and Software Assurance purchases
  • Discounts on Software Assurance renewals
  • New subscription-based licensing options, which replace the deferred SA approach offered in the EAP, and that will provide flexibility when retiring workloads or migrating to the cloud
  • Windows Azure pricing discounts
  • Full Software Assurance rights, including License Mobility and version upgrade rights
  • Unlimited problem resolution support for qualifying premier services customers
  • Consolidated enrollment covering both Core Infrastructure and Application Platform components

What does SCE mean for you? Continue Reading…

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Learn about Microsoft licensing in upcoming siteseeker Microsoft webinars

siteseeker Microsoft Webinar Series

You want the simplest, most cost-effective way to acquire the latest Microsoft technology. Don’t we all?

Do you work for a corporate, academic, charitable, or government organization that prefers to pay for software as you go? Or are you with a small-to-midsize business that wants more control over your investment and access to training, deployment planning, software upgrades, and product support?

Either way, the next webinar in our Microsoft Spring 2013 Webinar Series, “Open Value and Open Business,” is for you. We’ll cover the Microsoft Open Value and Open Business programs from head to toe so you can decide which is the best fit for your organization. Check out this feature comparison chart to get started.

It starts today at 2 p.m. EDT. Simply use these log in credentials to join:

Join online: http://www.livemeeting.com/cc/siteseeker2/join
Meeting ID: G673PH
Entry Code: 2{@kTW9
Call in US/Canada: 877.866.2469
Conference ID: 88386838

Then, come back later this month on April 25 for a webinar on the Microsoft Enrollment for Application Platform (EAP) and Enrollment for Core Infrastructure (ECI). In this session you’ll learn about licensing SQL Server, BizTalk Server (Microsoft recently changed the BizTalk Server licensing model), SharePoint Server, Visual Studio, Windows Server, and System Center, and discover how you can realize additional savings. Sign up by scrolling down to #11.

Want to join these webinars but aren’t available on those dates? Don’t worry. We’ll record the sessions and post the files online for you to watch at your convenience. Or feel free to ask us any questions by leaving a comment below.

Did I mention we’re also raffling off an Xbox 360 after each webinar?

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Upcoming siteseeker webinars: Microsoft Exchange 2013, Licensing 101, and Windows Server and System Center 2012

siteseeker Microsoft Webinar Series

What’s new in Microsoft Exchange 2013, Windows Server 2012, and System Center 2012? Why should you migrate to any of these products, and how do you license them? Which Microsoft Volume Licensing program is the best option for your organization?

Our Microsoft Spring 2013 Webinar Series will provide the answers to these questions and more. Attendees will learn about new and discontinued product features, supported migration scenarios, and the ins and outs of Microsoft licensing, whether in an on-premise, cloud, or hybrid scenario.

Here is siteseeker’s March schedule of Microsoft webinars:

  • Exchange 2013. Learn how to increase user productivity, keep your organization safe, and maintain the control you want with the newest version of Exchange. When: March 14 at 2 p.m. EDT
  • Licensing 101. Uncover the ins and outs of Microsoft product licensing for applications, systems, servers, and software-as-a-service. When: March 21 at 2 p.m. EDT
  • Managing your server environment with Windows Server and Systems Center 2012. Learn how organizations of all sizes can cloud optimize their IT. When: March 28 at 2 p.m. EDT

Registration for all three events is open now. “Exchange 2013” takes place this Thursday, so be sure to sign up soon.

As always, if you can’t make it but have questions on any of these products and/or Microsoft licensing in general, drop us a note in the comments section below.

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The impact of sequestration on IT

I chose not to blog about sequestration until now because, like most people, I never really thought it was going to happen. Much like January’s fiscal cliff, the prevailing sentiment was that the “D.C.” in Wasiteseekerngton would stand for “Don’t Cut” and that an 11th hour deal would be made.

But now that the deadline has passed and the only thing delaying the start of sequestration is a presidential signature, we must all seriously begin to consider what will happen to those affected by the automatic spending cuts.

As reported by Computerworld this morning, the potential budget cuts are already causing uncertainty within a sector that relies on secure funding to foster growth and innovation: IT. Even though the official OMB report from the White House says that “no amount of planning can mitigate the effects of these cuts,” IT organizations should still start anticipating what those effects will be in order to properly manage them.

If cuts are indeed made, here are some questions IT managers will need to consider. Continue Reading…

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