IDC believes that Microsoft has made good faith efforts to dramatically boost the
value of Software Assurance, a good step on Microsoft's part to retain a high level of
trust among customers. In addition, according to IDC's research, companies that use
the tools provided by Microsoft Software Assurance can get more out of their
Microsoft software investment. However, realizing benefits from SA is a two-way
street: Microsoft is responsible for keeping SA relevant with respect to its customers'
needs, and customers are responsible for taking advantage of the benefits that
E s s e n t i a l G u i d a n c e
Software Assurance customers should take steps to fully use the services and
products for which they have already paid, prioritized to meet current conditions and
outlook. There are many reasons this might be challenging for customers — they are
not aware of the benefits, they do not have a structure in place to consume the
benefits — but given the compelling savings that we uncovered in our analysis,
companies cannot afford to leave these challenges unaddressed. IDC offers the
following recommendations to customers:
- Educate yourselves. There is ample information on different elements of
Software Assurance on Microsoft's Web site as well as in partner-provided
literature. The problem is not lack of information but rather getting the information
into the correct hands.
- Get the word out. There are stakeholders throughout the organization. Use the
employee portal or newsletter to disseminate information on Software Assurance.
Bring together a cross-functional team from key departments and educate the
team members. Once you have spread the word to SA beneficiaries, the next
step is consuming the benefits.
- Assign an administrator. A designated go-to person is needed for all things
Software Assurance. This individual should be responsible for championing the
benefits of SA within his or her organization and ensuring that the company takes
advantage of these benefits.
To paraphrase a customer quoted earlier in this paper, a car without wheels cannot
go very far. Software Assurance is designed to help you get the most out of your
software investment. Leaving off the wheels just does not make any sense.