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. Most customers have managed the jump to 365 and are experimenting with azure. The good news is that the window of agreement for new cloud editions with Microsoft is still open. You may need to be prepared to go beyond the expiry date to get Microsoft`s flexibility. We`ve seen organizations that have spent two months beyond the expiration date to finally reach an agreement with Microsoft. 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. Since tight deadlines don`t have much to say, we recommend that you give yourself enough time to prepare. Before, it only took you three to six months to prepare, but now you may need nine to twelve months. The first six months should be used to make sure you have a full handle for what you actually need from Microsoft, and the remaining three to six months must be used to actually negotiate the extension. Microsoft`s “Best Offer” discounts are rarely the best in the category.

The difference between the discount a customer receives and what another customer receives with similar requirements can be significant. When a below-average discount becomes the basis for future EA renewals, spending increases exponentially. Customers should perform price-referential analyses on all facets of their Microsoft property to verify that they receive a fair offer and to ensure that they pay a price that is in the market or better. Renew an EA: When it`s time to renew an EA, you can reconsider your entire investment and make adjustments to ensure that the new agreement is tailored to current and future needs. In a three-year contract, the number of desktop computers and qualified users can be adjusted for each anniversary of the contract.