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Tag Archives: licensing

Micromail has once again won Microsoft Ireland’s prestigious LSP Partner of the Year award. The 2016 award was presented at Microsoft’s annual Irish Partner Awards dinner at the Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) in Toronto on 12th July.

The LSP Partner of the Year award recognizes excellence in licensing solutions & services, along with the highest levels of customer service. It confirms Micromail’s position as the most successful LSP (Licensing Solutions Partner) in the country.

Congratulations to all the Micromail team. This award is a tribute to their expertise in software licensing, and their dedication to exceptional customer service.

Adobe Select – New Licensing Options from Adobe

Adobe today have launched a major update to their VIP (Cloud) licensing program for Commercial & Government customers – and it’s good news for customers already on the Cloud or contemplating joining. These new licensing options, dubbed Adobe Select, offer great value and budget predictability. Furthermore, they bring structured discounts within the scope of a regular Cloud user.

Changes in discount structure

This is the main update that will interest & affect Adobe users. Previously Adobe Cloud programs had discount bands, but they were unrealistically high. An order for 50+ seats was required to access any additional discount from Adobe! This was completely out of the scope of most Irish Creative Cloud customers. The new reduced discount bands offer a great opportunity for savings – an order of 10+ seats of either Creative Cloud or individual Apps (like Photoshop) provides access to an additional 5% discount, possibly rising to 10%.

The old and new bands:

Screen Shot 2016-03-11 at 14.14.39

10+ seats opens a new Adobe Select Agreement, or converts your current agreement to Select

Current Customers

What of companies who already have an Adobe VIP Cloud agreement in place with over 10 seats? Well, good news. Once you reach your Adobe ‘lookback’ period (31 days before VIP Agreement anniversary) you will be automatically upgraded to the level which you qualify for – and can then avail of the new rate of discount for renewals and new licenses.

3 Year Extended Term

Further good news – Adobe Select customers (10+ seats) will now also be able to lock down their pricing for three years. Once an order is placed, contact Micromail and request a 3-year commit – this will allow you to pay annually for three years, with price protection in place. Even better, Adobe will offer an additional 10-15% discount for committing to the three years.

Don’t have the necessary 10+ seats currently, but interested in securing Adobe Select pricing? It’s possible to commit to a 10+ seat purchase so you can avail of the additional extra discount immediately – simply contact Micromail for further details.

Adobe have just announced that CS6 perpetual software will no longer be available via volume licensing to educational users from the 28th of February on. This isn’t surprising, given that CS6 hasn’t been available to purchase in the commercial & government sphere for quite some time. However this will have an impact on institutes still relying on CS6.

So what options are available from March on?

The only purchase offer available under volume licensing will be Creative Cloud for Teams subscription – so this means a 12-month access to the latest version of Adobe’s Creative products, CC 2014. Not ready to switch to CC 2014? Well – good news – the Creative Cloud subscription also offers access to CS6; so you can install CS6 instead, or even install both CS6 & CC 2014, and run them side by side. So CS6 isn’t going away, and will still be readily available, but only via an annual subscription. CS6 itself is now over two years old, so the switch to CC 2014 is recommended, to avail of the latest Creative toolsets from Adobe.

In the meantime, CS6 perpetual licenses will still be available to purchase until the 28th of February, so you have over a month to consider your options and requirements.

Finally, we are expecting some attractive promotions from Adobe to ease the transition from perpetual to subscription – more to follow.

Regards,

Fionán Ó Cinnéide

Like many other major software vendors, such as Microsoft & Adobe, Autodesk are moving down the road towards a subscription service for their customers. It’s a great fit for Autodesk products, which are already updated annually, are often project orientated and require flexible access to software, and already have an extremely high take up of maintenance subscription (new version cover & support).

However, the move towards subscription has resulted in some significant licensing changes, which are important to understand for users with legacy Autodesk products in place, or new users.

Upgrade Policy Change

As of February 1st 2015, you will no longer be able to upgrade any older version of your Autodesk products. At the moment, it’s still possible to upgrade from 6 versions back (and Autodesk have a great legacy upgrade promo this month as well) allowing customers to skip releases; but this will no longer be an option as of February next. Let’s have a look at how this could affect an AutoCAD LT transactional purchase customer, who likes to skip versions, and purchase sporadically.

A new LT licence is approx. €1200 ex. Vat. Previously, this could be upgraded in future for approx. €840 ex. Vat; however from Feb 2015 on, an upgrade to any new version will cost the full price- €1200 ex. Vat.

This does not affect customers who already have an active maintenance subscription in place, as new version cover is included in this option.

So how best to react to this significant change?

Desktop Subscription (Rental)

This is an ideal solution to the removal of upgrades. Some of the great benefits:

Highly recommended for users seeking project & budget flexibility, plus all the great features of Autodesk products & support services.

Upgrade before February 2015 – and include Maintenance Subscription

For users with Autodesk legacy products, it is strongly recommended to upgrade to the latest version of the product today – and include maintenance subscription. This allows perpetual licence purchasers access to new version releases, support, cloud services, and flexible use rights.

Autodesk are currently running several promotional offers to upgrade with maintenance subscription – so anyone with legacy Autodesk products should seriously consider upgrading today, before their assets are reduced in value.

Regards,

Fionán Ó Cinnéide

Mindjet MindManager
MindJet have reviewed their recent move to a ‘subscription only’ model and decided to make MindManager perpetual licenses available again.

Mindjet MindManager is now available as a perpetual licensed package for both Windows + Mac at a new lower price.

A single license of Mindjet MindManager now includes a perpetual license for both the Windows (v.11) and Mac (v.10) version of MindJet 11.

Special pricing is available until 28.06.2013 for this product – €299 ex.VAT. Be warned, the price will rise to €349 ex.VAT after this date!

There is also an Upgrade pricing available FOR ALL existing MindManager customers at €179 ex.VAT.

Click here for more details on MindManager, or email me at sean@micromail.ie

ImageSo you’re buying a server? You’ve decided on the hardware and need to address the licensing. Where to begin?!  First you’ll need to license the Server OS of course but which one and how many do you need? Below I will outline the basics of getting up and running with the licensing surrounding Windows Server OS.

At its heart, this process isn’t too complicated. You’ll simply need to license the server and then each device or user connecting to that server. You can choose which Server license suits best, depending on some factors I’ll discuss shortly. Devices and Users are licensed by purchasing Client Access Licenses, or CALs. The type of CAL needed is usually decided by which is more cost effective, again more on this later.

It is worth pointing out initially that with Microsoft licensing, you must purchase the most recent version of the license. However you can choose to deploy a previous version if you please. This ‘downgrade right’ may come into play if your hardware necessitates a previous version for example. The great thing about this licensing right is that you can always deploy the newer version at a later date if you manage to persuade your finance guys to upgrade your system!

With this in mind, new version releases can see new licensing rules come into play. While you might be planning to deploy the version‘n-1’ of the software in question, your purchase will be governed by the version and licensing rules. In my outline below I will only be discussing Windows Server 2012, as this is the current version.

So, let’s get started – you’ll need to decide what edition of Windows Server you’d like to run. The good news is that with the 2012 release things became a lot simpler – there are now 4 editions of Windows Server – Foundation, Essentials, Standard and Datacentre. I’ll be dealing with Standard and Datacentre below*

Windows Server Standard 2012 will suit standalone servers or servers with low to medium virtualization requirements, allowing two virtual instances of the Server OS to be run on up to two processors for every license purchased. The number of licenses you need per server is determined by the number of processors on that server and the number of virtual machines you plan to run. Note – each license will cover up to 2 processors on any one server. You have a server with 4 processors? You will need to purchase 2 licenses. Want to virtualise? Go for it – up to a limit of 4 Virtual Operating Systems Environments (VOSE) of course (in this case)! You can add as many licenses as you like per server but at a certain point (10 or more) it becomes more cost effective to go with the Datacentre edition, which offers unlimited VOSE.

I’ll pause a moment here to note that the product stack/features of Standard and Datacentre are identical. The difference between the editions is essentially the allowed virtual instances. Why virtual instances? Well to cut down on hardware outlay in short. As long as you can manage and maintain a correctly licensed (!) virtual load, the virtual license rights of these new editions can seriously work to your advantage, more anon…

Windows Server Datacentre 2012 is the top of the line offering – as many users as you’d like to license, unlimited virtual instances and the full stack. Remember the feature stack is the same as Standard – this is where your virtual load plans will come into play. If you’re looking at running 10 or more virtual instances, the Datacentre becomes better value. Again you’re licensing per physical processor here. If you have a server with two processors a single Datacentre license will allow you to run unlimited VOSE (remember each allows for up to two processors per server)! If you have a four processor server, you’ll need to purchase 2 licenses.

Those of you familiar with Server licensing may be confused by the ‘per processor’ terminology used here. In the past ‘per processor’ was used strictly to denote specific server licenses that did not need corresponding CALs. With the 2012 release there was a change in terminology and this is no longer the case…more on this in a later post about SQL Server – feel free to contact me if you have any questions on this. In short per processer now simply means counting the processors per server in order to purchase the correct amount of licenses.

Okay, given the brief outline above you’ve come to a decision on which edition of Server 2012 suits your needs. You will now need to consider licensing those devices and users connecting to the server…

CALs are strictly a licensing requirement. You get nothing ‘in your hand’ as such. You should receive a license confirmation and/or receipt of purchase from your reseller of course but as regard deployment – there is no work to do here. So how do you choose which you need? Again this is relatively simple…Buy Device CALs if you have more users than devices; User CALs if you have more devices than users!

The standard Microsoft scenario for Device CALs is the ‘shift worker’ scenario. A fixed desktop has three distinct users over a 24 hour period – three workers, each working 8 hour shifts. You can purchase a User CAL for each of these workers if you please, or simply 1 x Device CAL – as you can see, it is best to purchase 1 x Device CAL. Likewise there are many examples of when purchasing a User CAL is more cost effective than covering each device an employee may use throughout the day. This scenario is true for the Standard and Datacentre editions outlined above.  See here for more details.

This guide to Windows Server licensing is meant as a beginner’s guide. There are plenty of nuances to Microsoft licensing and server licensing in particular but the above info should be enough to point you in the right direction.

* These are essentially the Volume License options, there are also two options which may suit smaller set-ups:

Windows Server Foundation 2012

Windows Server Essentials 2012 

You can contact Sean: sean@micromail.ie, if you have any queries, or if you are looking for a quote. Our product pages are here (Datacenter) and here (Standard)

People often seem to think that software is a commodity – something you buy from a retailer which you then own and use. But in actual fact, with software, you license, not purchase it. Why? Well, when you license the software, the primary value comes not from an object (such as the disk it is stored on) but instead from the knowledge of the people who wrote the software – the ‘cleverness’, if you like. You can’t own that knowledge, you merely acquire a limited right to use it. Put simply, software is intellectual property.

It’s tricky to define or identify the value of intellectual property and thus, such things are copyrighted (copyrights, trademarks, and patents). This allows whoever owns the material, in this case, software to define who can access and use their property, protecting it from unauthorized use. This is in an attempt to define the value of the software.

In this line, a software license provides the legal right to install, use, access, display, run, or otherwise interact with a software program. This doesn’t always include right to media, manuals, or support. Remember checking the ‘I agree’ box whenever you install something? That is you agreeing to the terms of use of the software.

Adobe have announced the long awaited CS6, due to ship on May 7th; and with major changes to upgrade options on the way now is a great time to consider moving up to CS6.

Initial Launch Offer:

Firstly, you can buy CS5/CS5.5 now and get a free upgrade to CS6, up until May 7th; essentially get CS6 at CS5.5 prices!

CS6 Upgrade Policy:

If you have a Suite from one version back (in this case, from CS5 or CS5.5 since CS5.5 was a point release) you will qualify for upgrade pricing to a CS6 suite. Owners of individual CS5 or CS5.5 products also qualify for upgrade pricing to the same product, but can no longer upgrade to a Suite.

Under Adobe’s new policy, any version earlier than CS5 will not be eligible for upgrade pricing. However, Adobe are making a special offer to owners of CS3 and CS4 individual products and suite editions that will give them a temporary upgrade path to CS6 until December 31, 2012. After this date, only customers on CS5 or CS5.5 will qualify for upgrade pricing to CS6.

Recommendations for CS4 and CS3 Users:

If you have CS4 then it is highly recommended that you upgrade now to CS5 and receive a free CS6 upgrade; if you wait until after May 7th you will be upgrading from CS4 to CS6 (two versions back) at a higher cost. Upgrading now could save you hundreds of Euro!

For CS3 users- upgrade before the end of the year or you will be paying full price from 2013 on! For CS2 users, you only have until May 7th to upgrade!

Adobe Upgrade Matrix:

You own one of the following suite editions Upgrade to
Creative Suite 5.5 Design Premium, Design   Standard, Web Premium, Production Premium, or Master Collection Any Creative Suite 6
Creative Suite 5 Design Premium, Design   Standard, Web Premium, Production Premium, or Master Collection Any Creative Suite 6
Creative Suite 4 Design Premium, Design Standard, Web Premium, Web Standard, Production Premium, or Master Collection (special offer expires December 31, 2012) Any Creative Suite 6
Creative Suite 3 Design Premium, Design Standard, Web Premium, Web Standard, Production Premium, or Master Collection (special offer expires December 31, 2012) Any Creative Suite 6

So any questions?

by Fionán Ó Cinnéide
Licensing Specialist