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Microsoft Expands Volume Licensing
Says Program is Simpler, More Navigable

Solution providers often describe an ideal sales scenario as being one that allows them to help customers decide what type of technology solution they need, how they'll finance it, and the licensing they should have – in one fell swoop. After all, being able to address licensing and financing at the beginning of the decision-making process, rather than sometime afterward, helps customers make their purchasing decisions more easily, especially if the financing arrangements enable them to implement more of the total solution earlier than they had planned.

As part of what the company says is its overall commitment to make it easier for its partners and customers to do business with Microsoft, the company is announcing several enhancements to its volume licensing and financing programs today at the annual Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference. Microsoft is taking another step in simplifying volume licensing programs by consolidating the various flavors of the current Open Value program into one worldwide program and streamlining the operations of Microsoft Financing.

PressPass spoke with Brent Callinicos, corporate vice president of the Worldwide Licensing and Pricing group, and Brian Madison, general manager of Microsoft Financing, to find out more about how today's announcements.

PressPass: Why is Microsoft consolidating the Open Value program and how will that improve the process of licensing for customers and partners?

Callinicos: We’re continually looking for ways to improve the quality and comprehensiveness of our licensing programs and models. Over the past two years, the Microsoft Open Value program, a software-license payment program for small and mid-market businesses, has morphed into a couple of different programs worldwide, such as Multi Year Open (MYO). Whenever a particular geographic region of the world or a particular industry segment required a slightly different flavor of Open Value, we created a new program – a slightly localized version, or a version that addressed the needs of that industry. These various flavors have done a good job of providing what small and mid-size businesses need in the way of licensing, but when customers merged their businesses, crossed geographic boundaries, or had different entities that required different types of Open Value licenses, customers and partners told us they ended up wrestling with the complexity and lack of consistency across the programs.

As a result of that feedback, we're streamlining our Open Value licensing program and expanding its reach into Latin America and select Asia Pacific regions. While our customers and partners have clearly communicated to us that they want simplified licensing, they have just as loudly communicated that they also need flexibility. Because our customer base is global, we need to provide flexible programs that meet a wide variety of needs. Open Value is a great example of that commitment – we've taken the best of the many flavors of that program, including flexibility and best practices, and consolidated them into a single offering that will be available worldwide in October.

Brent Callinocos, Corporate Vice President, Microsoft Worldwide Licensing & Pricing Group
Brett Callinicos

In addition to making the program more globally consistent, we’ve reduced the contract size by half, as well as increased efficiencies of the process for our partners. This announcement represents the kinds of ongoing developments that customers and partners will see coming from Microsoft moving forward -- we are committed to making it easier for customers to understand licensing and not have to deal with as many point solutions as they have in the past. These steps also enable our partners to spend more time adding value for our mutual customers rather than getting mired in the licensing processes.

The remainder of this interview can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/features/2005/jul05/07-09OpenLicense.mspx

About .NETDJ News Desk
.NETDJ News Desk monitors Microsoft .NET and its related technologies, including Silverlight, to present IT professionals with news, updates on technology advances, business trends, new products and standards, and insight.

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Being able to address licensing and financing at the beginning of the decision-making process, rather than sometime afterward, helps customers make their purchasing decisions more easily, Microsoft says, especially if the financing arrangements enable them to implement more of the total solution earlier than they had planned.




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