Here we discuss step two in getting the best deal over the next three years on your Microsoft volume agreement.

Any licence or software asset management advice should be encouraging you to renew your Microsoft agreement/s before June 30th as there are great deals to be done.

But before you do, you need to know where your organisation stands in terms of its current Microsoft licence position, at least at a high level.

Conventional wisdom will now tell you that you should define your licence requirement and licence entitlement in detail before reconciling the two to establish an absolute position.

Such an exercise is laborious and time consuming and we are not here to cause you more work than necessary.

We are here however, to show you some snappy shortcuts that will assist in defining a set of numbers so that you can negotiate pricing with Microsoft from a position of strength.

There is also no need to rely on inventory tool information if you don't have one.  If you do, then these techniques are a brilliant way of sanity checking tool info, so either way it is worth a few minutes of your time.

So, where to begin?  Basically there are ten Microsoft priority products that you should focus on when conversing with Microsoft or one of their merry band of resellers.

1) - For the majority of these priority products, all you need to know is the number of PC's and employees in your organisation and you can accurately define the number of licences required.

2) - Next you need to know how many MS licences your organisation actually has.  You might have good records already, either way it is always worth checking what Microsoft actually think your organisation has by getting an MLS report run.

The MLS report can save you hours even weeks of effort in gathering licence information.

3) - And finally you need to compare (reconcile) the two sets of information.

We strongly urge you to carry out this high level exercise before entering negotiations with Microsoft.

If you have more time then spend it in areas where there are apparent licence shortfalls.

All the information you need to carry out both a high level and a comprehensive MS licence review is in The Library, just follow the links above or start here - Microsoft Licence Position Business Case...

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