Here I am with a need to select a web platform, a possible new ERP, a long term strategic IT plan to develop and oh yeah, that bloody Microsoft EA expiring this December. While part of the IT strategy will be what will be the future desktop, server, mail, and collaboration platforms which the EA could be a part of the cost efficiency that the strategy can deliver. But, EA complexity has given birth to a consulting industry. Managing the EA is not effective.
MS as listed here goes on and on about ‘More choices, more value’. Really, I doubt it. As for simplifying my license management get out of here. For us mid-size companies we are pinched by not being big enough to get the value of 1,000 plus licensing, but too big to just ignore the EA.
Open Value Subscription
Which one to choose, which one to choose? Are you going to grow over the next few years? Will you be committing to MS solutions primarily during the same time span? Will you upgrade to 2010 and Windows 7? What is the value of those two upgrades – know one knows for sure?
The questions go on and on and the variables are — well too damn many.
You have the stories about the ‘looming Windows 7 disaster’ from IBM and the similar looming story from Infoworld. So what are my choices? Stay with MS and spend weeks trying to ensure you make the right decision. Than worse than that time spent, you have to explain it to your Finance group so they understand it.
Or as this blog entry about moving away from MS by Nari Kannan is it time to plan that move away from the MS operating system. Gartner talks about
‘Windows is Broken’ and I have been wondering for a few years about whether the reason for Windows is maintaining the majority it enjoys simply because of a combination of complacency by both IT and business along
with a fear of failing with something new.
Is it time to take a long, long look at moving to a Linux based OS with using Open Office? There is that mail problem that is not quite fully solved by the available clients. Ah, but that is for another blog entry. What about just giving up on the homogeneous desktop and server platform and accept that you will need to take on the additional support staffing to offset the lower cost of OS and open source applications. And than there is Google Chrome.
Again, more on this in a future entry.
The focus here is the ineffective licensing process that Microsoft has put in place. What other vendor do you work with that you continue to stay with that makes your IT group less effective. The only good thing is it is every few years versus every year. We won’t go into the non-effective activities every Tuesday getting the latest patches from MS. Because to be fair, if Linux or Apple had MS’s install base, the bored hacking community would be focused on them instead.
From my perspective, if I give MS another 6 figure check for my next EA agreement. I am buying the right to decide 12 to 18 months from now whether I want to upgrade to Windows 7 and other products. Somehow the MS EA seems anti-nimble. The solution is simple, but time consuming. Do the homework to do a full evaluation of leaving MS. That is just as Gartner puts it, the only way to get MS to start acting in the best interest of their customers, not just their shareholders.