Why Google may win the Cloud battle in the Enterprise

Google-Apps-vs.-Office-365-change-1024x372 Since the Cloud offering of Office 365 the inconsistency of licensing purchase methods is increasing. Enterprise clients have extensive agreements with Microsoft and have maintained them for decades, however the subscription licensing has been obtained in a very confusing and additive way instead of substituting the volume licensing agreements.

First it was the Cloud addition and “bridge” licenses within the same document contracts that increased the cost, not equal or save costs to customers.

Flexibility offered by the Cloud subscription model was compromised because these old agreements had to be maintained. Microsoft could have adopted a better transition just by allowing flexibility in the licenses within the agreements when clients deployed Cloud services, it could have provided an incentive to Microsoft clients not only to license but to deploy the Cloud technologies. Instead Microsoft added costs, and pushed clients to move to the cloud within a difficult transition that will eventually fulfill the promise of being flexible.

Currently the increase to 500 users to have a large agreement, the introduction of the MPSA agreement, the discontinuation of enrolments that were sold as ultimate solutions in the last 3 to 4 years have become not only a product licensing complexity but also a management chaos for organizations in the enterprise with multiple offices, affiliates and moving numbers of workforce.

Google has offer consistency as a cloud subscription model for working tools, and has allow other vendors interacting with Google Apps for work. It is in a collaborative way that Google and other vendor partners can offer security, data jurisdiction, access to robust data servers and integration with multiple ERP and CRM systems. Google has understood of the opportunity to gain market share in the Enterprise and has started offering new interesting approaches.

The dichotomy I see is the following: Microsoft offers an All-in approach to technology buyers through complex agreements while Google offers “buy what you like” with Google and “friends” subscription models, independent to each other, including Microsoft products and Azure services.

To manage compliance and mitigate risk is better for enterprise organizations to pay for what they truly use, measure its performance and use and adapt budgets accordingly.

I am observing companies deciding on their Cloud services consumption based on flexibility and less management burden on compliance risk. The Cloud is standardizing security, integration, multiple levels of vendor to vendor development and common market approaches… it will be difficult to justify complex licensing contracts the more collaborative are the services offered in the Cloud.

Microsoft could invite more vendors to sell collaboratively on flexible plans, otherwise Google may win the presence in the Enterprise.

To know more :

Licensing the Cloud with Microsoft.

To subscribe to the Cloud directly is easy, is a simple transaction based on consumption, however the co-existence of old traditional Volume licensing, or Service Provider licensing programs with the new Cloud subscriptions is not that easy. In fact to make sure that new benefits for the Cloud enablement like the Software Assurance Mobility Rights are properly used requires attention to the licenses allocated to the servers on Windows Azure, for example. Understanding the real rights and possibilities is another variable to contemplate when measuring compliance.

Hosted providers do not offer much guidance with respect of what their clients can allocate on licensing into the Cloud environments, and is often a conflict of responsibilities when the vendor audits the hosted provider or the end-user client.

In the Microsoft Product Use Rights for example we can observe the limitations of the licenses covered by SA with respect to their Cloud options with the Mobility Rights: (see table below)

Understanding the right coverage of the license is important in order to maintain not only compliance but also to predict Cloud budgets.

Clients with an Azure consumption negotiated on their Enterprise Agreement can use any of the services and increase without difficulty, and as they evolve using the Cloud services will be important to understand the ROI of the existing licenses versus the newly consume and fully subscribed licenses. In a way Cloud has enable transitions of existing licensing investments however at the same time is creating a conflict:

Is the Cloud subscription directly on Microsoft Azure a better option than the SA Mobility Rights?

As prices vary, the Cloud footprint extends and upgrade cycles arrive, the SA renewal will be confronted by the commitment to Azure subscriptions in a way that customers will choose one or the other.

For Microsoft clients using other third-party hosted providers the question is:

Have I allocated the compliant rights of use on the Cloud? and if I consume SPLA, is my hosted provider compliant? Am I compliant? Or am I at risk due to hosted provider error?

I can confidently say that Software Asset Management has become more relevant in the Cloud era.

(SAM Mobility Rights table as per PUR July 2014)

PRODUCT LICENSINGMODEL PRODUCT OR PRODUCT TYPE LICENSE PERMITTED NUMBER OF OSES PERLICENSE/PERMITTED NUMBER OF

CORES PER LICENSE

Server/CAL External Connector Licenses Each External Connector license with active Software Assurance coverage 1 OSE per license
Server/CAL SQL Server Each Server license with active Software Assurance coverage 1 OSE per license
Per-Processor All eligible Products Each Processor license with active Software Assurance coverage 1 OSE with up to 4 virtual processors per license
Per-Core All eligible Products Each Core license with active Software Assurance coverage One virtual core (subject to the Product Use Rights including the requirement of a minimum of 4 cores per OSE)
Management Servers System Center ServerManagement Licenses

(versions prior to System

Center 2012)

Each Server Management license with active Software Assurance coverage 1 Managed OSE per license
Management Servers System Center Server Management Suites Each SMSE or SMSDlicense with active Software Assurance coverage 4 Managed OSEs per License
Management Servers System Center 2012 R2 Standard Each System Center 2012R2 Standard Server Management license with active Software Assurance coverage 2 Managed OSEs per license
Management Servers System Center 2012 R2 Datacenter Each System Center 2012R2 Datacenter Server Management license with active Software Assurance coverage 8 Managed OSEs per license
Management Servers Visual Studio Deployment 2013 Standard Each Visual StudioDeployment 2013

Standard Server

Management license with active Software Assurance coverage

2 Managed OSEs per license
Management Servers Visual Studio Deployment 2013 Datacenter Each Visual StudioDeployment 2013

Datacenter Server Management license with active Software Assurance coverage

8 Managed OSEs per license
Specialty Servers HPC Pack Enterprise Each Server license with active Software Assurance coverage 1 OSE per license

 

Calling for a change on OEM OS licensing… because I like other devices.

Windows 8 (8.1) is a single experience for all devices. It works for some people, not really for me, I like different experiences in life. Despite my personal taste on OS use, the premise behind Microsoft’s OS campaign is that one single OS can deliver the same experience on a phone, pc or tablet.

Microsoft has done a very good job at owning the OS market for many years on the pc side. Today’s evolution of devices claims a more open market. We have “phablets”, tablets and phones doing more tasks we used to do on a pc than ever before. We chose devices qualifying them for more than we used to… the graphics, size, entertainment purposes beyond work, cameras, level of connectivity etc…

As we evolve on our use of multiple devices I imagine that having a “single experience” across all devices must be a very good premise to capture market as Microsoft marketing strategy, however going back to basics, like many years ago, we should get the device we like because of the functionality we seek.

In some cases Android devices have the perfect attributes for certain jobs, still for work purposes I would prefer to combine a Windows OS on the same device as my Android OS. Taking virtualization to the device even the mobile device and tablet will help us to use them in different scenarios in life.

As the revenue war is driven more towards Office 365 these days. Productivity tools should be available on any OS. And I know that what I am asking here is hard.., but it will be so much interesting, flexible, and user-friendly if we could obtain the OS separate from the device, or add to it a partition.

I heard rumors that this is coming to the mobile world. I wonder how OEM OS licensing rights will change to enable a new reality… Diversity.

 

What is Cloud Computing?

Changing Democracy through the power of Software and Social Media

democracy's chorus

The change on democracy through the power of software and Social Media is real, and I personally think we are just starting to see how we as citizens will demand to be connected and participate on legislation directly and on real-time instead of just giving a vote every 4 years.

Let us imagine for a moment how could this work:

  • A Wiki government, where people can add text to propose legislation that representatives can take to vote in parliament or senate and vote along the people. A Wiki site is a powerful way to collaborate and contribute to the overall result of propose laws and can give voice to each citizen about subjects that matter, enhancing the reach of the work of our elected officials to read and listen the voice of the people.
  • Continue voting – online voting, having a balanced representation of collective vote and percentage of representation per parliament seat is a balance that can be adopted, and controlled through technology. A member of parliament could have more relevance to her/his constituents by allowing them to share their voice, the more participation there is on a bill, the more relevant the people become, for lesser participated votes the parliament seat becomes more relevant. This could allow significant matters to be taken more personally by each citizen and having more meaningful power in the democratic process, in other words, if a great percentage of the people vote directly on a bill the people become the decision power… technology can allow this.

Obviously enforcing transparency is key.

… is it a dream? is already happening in Brasil and Iceland.

http://culturadigital.br/marcocivil/debate/

http://betrireykjavik.is/

Social Media will play a significant role, to start debate, to share ideas, to connect with similar individuals for common goals. Public opinion will be driven by the public and not by lobby and media giants. Politicians can use Social Media to resource opinion and propose views. We can as well influence politicians we select to represent us according to democratic ways.

New generations are going to demand the connectivity we are creating these days with the Cloud and Social Media along with powerful software to be also applied to politics, that will affect us and govern our societies.

It is an exciting moment to create the necessary changes that will allow us as citizens to be more involved. This new era of participation seems to be born on the Spanish 15M or Occupy Wall Street. Social Media was key for these movements and what transpired is an example of things to come.

The revolution that each generation demands is going to take shape in the technology we use, like in the past the despotism conflicted with the “light” that the printed word provided  or the social class conflicts from the industrial revolution.

The concepts of: “direct democracy”, “wiki government”, “online vote” are extending and will be a topic of discussion everywhere more preeminently now.

I think these are interesting times…

Collaborative platforms, the workplace of the future, Social Media at work

Image representing Facebook as depicted in Cru...

 

Collaborative platforms, the workplace of the future, Social Media at work

 

The more I use Social Media the more I get use to connect and interact with it.

 

It is shaping the way we use computers today, first thing many people open in their screen is the social media network, that will include the relevant email they use. Get a peek of what is happening on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and it may be by using HootSuite to see it all.

 

The more we get use to this the more we will see the value of working in a similar environment, where work is social and we share and give opinion to our team, above and below the hierarchy.

This social culture change in IT is going to shape boss/employee relations, collaborative work, career success and definitely attract millennials to the work space for those companies that embrace the new way to work. From sales to administration, HR or the warehouse, everybody online and working together, sharing and providing feedback in real time.

 

Yammer, SalesForce, Google Plus and others are shaping the way we understand the work space  and companies developing solutions towards this are going to be the desirable developers the big names are going to be looking after.

 

It is time to rethink the company environment, the collaboration, the communications, from the systems that interact with ERP solutions to the Social Media lead generation marketing activities.

 

The power of this new way to work is the intuitive ability to enable progress through team work, feedback and compromise with the group.

 

Staying in the Jurassic is not an option, but there is a window for the change now, and it will be ideal to look at this solution in the licensing budget exercise to see when and which platform is the best for the organization.

 

I welcome this new way to work, I want it for my millennial brother and for my kids, I want it for me, to change the paradigms of the hierarchical structures to feel involved in the place I work or the organizations I collaborate and serve.

 

It will definitely influence software licensing acquisitions and the success will be for those vendors that enable this platforms easily on their contracts.

 

I will stay tune for more

 

 

 

 

Apple vs Microsoft, tablets for the Enterprise

Image representing Apple as depicted in CrunchBase

With the introduction of Surface a very interesting war has started for the conquer of the Enterprise World on the tablet space. After a horrible result for PlayBooks ( I bought one believe me it was painful) the organizations looking for the best way to deliver applications and integration of their productivity software to their people is going to be a battleground that will put the industry in motion. Is not as simple as the hardware but what it can contain.

In one hand we can have Apple Ipad running Salesforce, SAP clients and interacting with any mail system, including the apps competitors offer

Microsfoft surface will play the Microsoft stack protective strategy, good integration but all Microsoft

Google flies alone, yes there are apps as with Apple but their google platform is looking at a Microsoft type of strategy.

Apple seems to have the momentum and if they play their cards as it seems to allow people with innovation integrate systems and sale on their own the ecosystem of developers will continue to increase. Apple will keep being the number one tablet provider and may conquer the Enterprise world for a few years ahead.

we will see…

The end of the VAR and LAR

A few years ago IT started with the delivery of cloud applications of all type from major vendors to offer their own cloud solutions. Nothing strange there but a new conversation of how sales work started in IT transforming it and continuing to transform it.

Let me give you an example

When Microsoft released BPOS it was for the first time something offered for critical applications for end user level, directly licensed from a portal not necessary going through the traditional channel: vendor, distribution, reseller VAR or LAR. I remember the hard conversations that started then with the vendors. And what Microsoft does is followed by others, surely enough today the sales channel has been affected and in order not to lose the selling power of partners vendors are corresponding back with fees if they influence a sale, but the transaction happens directly with the vendor.

Apple has been selling hardware and software directly, Google has been selling its solutions directly, Microsoft sales the Office 365 and new Surface tablet directly, VMware launches new sales programs for its tokens that again is controlled and managed directly by clients, Amazon sales services directly.
I will not be surprised if suddenly HP, IBM start selling directly.

Distributors have compiled smaller cloud players on their portfolio to continue serving the resellers options to be able to strategize offering solutions. Resellers are thinking what to do and what to become.

In my opinion is the end of the VAR and LAR as we know them.

Resellers have to become solutions advisors, maximize IT services of all kinds around technologies that they used to sell or become strategic IT thought leaders to help clients as consultants

Of course others are entering the game with no transformation needed full refurbishment need so they have an advantage. More smaller startups are modeling their business by collecting the influence fees pushing the vendors direct offerings.
Many startups designing their own products skip the channel altogether

Obviously the traditional channel will not disappear right away but it’s revenue streams are rapidly changing and without adaptation there will be no survivor option.

Jobs will have to transform or be eliminated, from the traditional sales person to the manage service professional. Even the CIO responsibilities will change as IT will be delivered differently.

Now is time for the bet, where do you want to be as IT professional to ensure continuity to your skills.

Good luck

The end of hardware, the era of “Personal Satisfaction” for IT solutions

Today I had a conversation about the end of hardware and how companies need to check the new offerings consuming IT. I called it “The end of hardware, the era of “Personal Satisfaction” for IT solutions

This affects the CFO and CIO normal processes and way of understanding IT, and now that more and more solutions are going to virtualization on data centers or Cloud enabled services the projection of IT costs, budgeting and other become more complex.
Licensing being a big part of IT costs is affected however there are pathways to the Cloud or other types of arrangements/contracts that can enable flexibility to correct or advance, even scale down the costs of IT.
For this reason my comment here is how critical is to start planning NOW on the expenditures of IT and the two plans
Moving to consume IT (Cloud or related services)
Optimizing current investment (taking advantage of existing Datacenters).
The uncertainty on the platforms and future use exists, however one thing is clear, we are moving into a “personal satisfaction” use of IT. Strategies and efforts will be made to enable people to enjoy the productivity tools that will help them do their job, stay connected and socialize.
May be your end users, as we used to describe them, or the franchisees you support. As applications go to the servers on premise or Cloud, the big question will be the satisfaction of the use of applications and the productivity increase as part of the way to make those applications integrate, communicate and relate to people using IT
In a way the full transformation of the IT infrastructure is subject to a shift on IT that is no longer used at work but is just part of life and there are no more barriers between home and office, for example
Start planning today; working everyday on this I guarantee that thought leaders in their businesses will be the dominants on their markets.
Email me for a direct discussion,  

Infographic on licensing services

Cloud licensing, IT Assets