Traditional Licensing versus Cloud Licensing

Even is difficult for many to define the cloud and what it is exactly, for licensing the difficulty is not definition but real software licensing compliance. Unfortunately is not easy to get a good view of what can be mixed between public and private cloud and vendors are pushing into conflicting directions. With regards to Microsoft Licensing SPLA (Service Provider License Agreement) has been in play for about 12 years and is a great licensing method for hosted providers, SPLA is taking importance as companies are looking to the Cloud for the IT of the future.

When Microsoft released BPOS and now Office 365 there was a conflict with the hosted partners, it was resolved on the premise of: “you are in or out” and slowly transition to a better SPLA pricing model that makes SPLA compete with BPOS (Office 365). What SPLA offers today is the full feature availability of products versus obstacles on Office 365, for example, BPOS or Office 365 requires a “perfect” AD, it does not offer Telephony for Lync (today) and Service is rated 3/9 (today). While SPLA is sold by hosted providers that must comply to higher standards of service if they want to be in business.

So what is the future of licensing?

In the coming posts i will try to analyze slowly the transition I think will happen as a Guru. Definitely the world is changing and licensing as we know too.

3 thoughts on “Traditional Licensing versus Cloud Licensing

  1. This is an interesting topic for me as a small hoster. Personally, I believe SPLA is on the way out especially for the areas where Microsoft faces competition from the likes of Google. There is no way that a SPLA partner can compete with Office 365 when the SPLA pricing alone for the same products is 3 to 4 time higher than what Microsoft will sell directly.

    • George, i was inthe same situation, now think about this: If you want a private cloud, Microsoft will not offer it, then Office for example will still be maintained in traditional licensing. Server products will push the cloud and for a private controlled and hosted by a direct trsuted partner cloud model Microsoft will not offer the same level ofcustmized support and services.
      It will be a competition of trust instead of purely price.
      Is not possible to compare Office price to price, I agree with you is a more difficult sale for the conditions of SPLA SPUR not that much for pricing becuause there are ways to make it competitive.
      I am sure the licensing models will accomodate the scenarios even pricing in the near future.

      • To use licenses with Software Assurance you need to dedicate a virtual server, not the hardware completely, but it has to be a dedicated VM and then you can use traditional licensing with software assurance.
        The differences between SPLA and traditional licensing are there still. but now software assurance allows moving to the cloud and a hosted provider can easily dedicate VMs for the purpose to leverage this kind of licensing.
        THe Product Use Rights will come on July for all the ins and outs of this new announcement

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