January 7 2013

Microsoft Office – Pricing Options

Posted on the 05:12 pm under Asset Management,Microsoft by Darren Boyer

How much should Microsoft Office cost and what is the most effective way to purchase it?   Perhaps there are ‘unconventional’ solutions to clients that in the end often save a lot of money.

For example, a recent customer needed 23 Office 2010 licenses.  After checking with the client and finding that their version of Microsoft Dynamics CRM wasn’t compatible with Office 2013 we discussed the remaining options.  Do they use volume licensing, retail, Office 365 or the key card version? 

Comparing the options we found that for this client it was hard to see why they should choose Volume Licensing.  The cost per license for Office Standard 2010 was $490.  Retail was $349.  Office 365 with the option to install software locally was $23.20/mo.  The key card version was $249. We estimated that the extra labour to install and manage the individual 23 licenses would take pcit, the solution provider, an extra 4 hours.   In the end pcit quoted the extra 4 hours labour and the cost for the key card version was $7,277  while the Volume license version was $11,610.  This was over $4,000 in savings by foregoing the Volume license.  Over 3 years it would save the organization $11,932 over Office 365.

The key card version was introduced with the Office 2010 license series.  It allows a user to install Office on 1 pc.  What was new about this license agreement versus the old OEM license is that Microsoft now allowed the 1 pc to be transferrable.  So if a pc gets upgraded we could still use the key card version of Office which is even better for the client.

In speaking with Microsoft about using this route as well as discussing the ramifications to this method with other solution providers we believe our methodology is sound.  Our tools help manage the licenses for the client and keep them compliant.  One possible disadvantage to this method is when staff have both a laptop and a PC.  The key card license would require each device to have a license.  Volume licensing would allow the client to install 1 copy of Office on both devices.

Simple clean with a little more work on our part but all in all the project went through fine and the client was able to keep a little bit extra for the bottom line.

Written by Darren Boyer

Darren Boyer

Darren Boyer is the founder and president of pcit.

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