If you have ever wondered why consulting groups such as Emerset and others exist, consider the complexity of Microsoft’s® Volume Licensing offerings and the amount of money VL customers invest in software and IT. Microsoft® attempts to “simplify” the way in which agreements are structured and products may be used, but changes in technology, usage trends, product updates, and user feedback result in an endlessly moving target. Microsoft® recognizes the complexity and even offers a document entitled “Microsoft® Product Use Rights Explained”, but that document is primarily a tutorial to help the user navigate the “Product Use Rights” (PUR) document. The PUR is more than 100 pages long. Additionally, the VL Product List is approximately 175 pages long. Both are updated monthly.
Knowledge of licensing rights is just one of the many benefits to be gained by using a third party consulting group. As with any major investment, knowledge is power and specialists can prepare you to get the most of your acquisition. They may also be able to keep you from committing to services or products you may not need. Whether you negotiate directly with Microsoft® or with a Channel Partner, both are trying to sell to you and will likely place their needs above yours. Working with a subject matter expert who is your advocate can save you a fortune.