12 days of ITAM: Day 6 - Microsoft licensing

30 December 2022
4 minute read
ITAM News & Analysis

12 days of ITAM: Day 6 - Microsoft licensing

30 December 2022
4 minute read

12 days of ITAM would not be complete without tackling everyone’s favourite software publisher…

In the final quarter of 2022, Microsoft got busy. There have been a dizzying number of changes, announcements, and updates flying out of Redmond – at least some of which are sure to have an impact on you and your organization. I discussed some of them at Wisdom APAC 2022 and will be covering them at Wisdom North America 2023 too…plus any more that occur in the meantime!

I wanted to give you a quick overview of some of them just to help prepare you as we go into 2023.

A snapshot of changes

These are some of the largest and most interesting changes that Microsoft made towards the end of 2022 – but far from all of them!

We can see that a range of well established Microsoft product areas were involved including:

  • Azure
  • Microsoft 365
  • Windows Server
  • SQL Server
  • Teams

As well newer areas such as:

  • Azure Stack HCI (Hybrid environments)
  • Azure Kubernetes Services (Containers)
  • Microsoft Viva (Employee experience)
  • Microsoft Sentinel (Security monitoring & protection)

There’s lots of innovation from Microsoft, which can be great, but all this change means ITAM and licensing professionals need to pay particular attention to usage and contract terms to ensure compliance. For example, SQL Server Standard 2022 per-core now requires Software Assurance in order to license by individual virtual OSE. At the same time, they’ve expanded the rights for licensing SQL Server within container environments too.

Price increases

While the first increase listed above happened several months ago, many organizations won’t have felt its effect yet. Those of you with the affected products on Enterprise Agreements are still paying your original price – but at your next renewal those new prices will kick in.

The wonderfully termed “price harmonization” changes won’t be a one-time event, they will happen every 6 months to help keep local currency pricing in line with the US dollar price list. Currently the Euro is around 15% cheaper while other regions see a price difference of up to 40%.

Those of you with offices in India, Japan, and/or Korea will also see price rises in 2023 across the large breadth of Microsoft’s portfolio.

Pay As You Go pricing

The Pay As You Go (PAYG) pricing model is becoming a firm favourite for Microsoft. While initially associated with Azure cloud services, it is spreading throughout the Microsoft portfolio with:

  • Power Apps
  • Power Automate
  • Microsoft Syntex
  • Microsoft 365 APIs

All being available under this model and now SQL Server 2022 also has a PAYG option when connected to Azure Arc.

Considering how you monitor and manage PAYG usage within your on-premises and cloud environments should definitely be on your 2023 to-do list. If it isn’t, you could well find yourself paying more than you need in more areas than you’re aware.

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