On August 1 a range of prices in the Microsoft ecosystem are going up:
– the User CAL for on-premises software (including Exchange, SharePoint, and Lync) is increasing by 13%; and
– pricing for enterprise cloud products, including Office 365 and Azure in certain regions, are increasing by between 8% and 26%. In Australia, Azure is increasing by 26%; Office 365 is increasing by about 10%.
Microsoft’s rationale for the second is partially about currency fluctuations (which may be fair enough right now, but to be more than a convenient justification at this time, would need to be followed by reduced pricing the next time currency fluctuates the other way), but its rationale for the first is increased value:
Following the device growth trends we are seeing, and the ways in which Microsoft is making users more productive on tablets and phones, the value of per user licensing is increasing for our on-premises customers. Today, more than half of information workers use three or more devices for work. In response to this growing trend, Microsoft is investing heavily in multi-device, cross-platform productivity scenarios that are tied to the on-premises servers licensed with CAL Suites.
Hence the question: given that most organizations are facing increased licensing costs from Microsoft based on an argument of increased value due to the availability of better tools, what deliberate strategy are you pursuing to ensure your people actually become more productive? If availability isn’t sufficient to drive increased productivity, what is required to get there?