Microsoft Office is how billions of people around the world work, study, and collaborate. It’s a suite of applications that includes tools for desktop publishing and database management.
Microsoft has been shifting their focus toward the enterprise market. This new strategy has brought with it many benefits, but also challenges. One of these challenges is software licensing.
What is the Future of Office Software Licensing?
Managing software licensing is a costly and time-consuming process. It often requires a team of skilled professionals to effectively manage and monitor compliance. A single misstep can cost companies millions in fines and lost productivity. However, technology has ushered in new ways of working that are changing the need for software license management.
A shift to hybrid and remote work has triggered a need for more flexible licensing solutions that are more aligned with consumption. Moreover, new business models that offer more flexibility have shifted the focus from one-time revenues to long-term value.
Most software suppliers still operate with a high degree of manual and outdated processes that are difficult to scale and inherently limit the amount of flexibility that they can offer their customers. This is primarily due to the fact that they are using physical product keys or LIC files which can be extremely resource intensive and cause a lot of software downtime.
Keeping up to date with the latest software licensing technologies allows you to automate processes, improve user experiences and increase your bottom line. For example, providing granular reporting enables your customer to stay on top of expirations and renewals that would otherwise be missed. This will help them avoid service interruptions, save money and ensure that they are adhering to the terms of their license agreements. In addition, it can unearth a variety of other savings opportunities such as identifying overlapping and duplicated licenses or even unused software.
How will Office Licensing Change in the Future?
Microsoft’s suite of Office software helps billions of people work, play and communicate around the globe – whether they are working from home, the office or their favorite coffee shop. It’s available in versions for personal, small business and enterprise use. There’s also a cloud version of the software that provides access to a host of additional services including OneDrive, Skype for Business and Exchange Online.
If you are using a version of Office that’s not the latest edition, it may be time to upgrade to the most recent version. You can find more details on this here, but the main thing to remember is that the newer versions of the suite are designed for the future and feature a modern user experience. These include co-authoring features, inking tools, advanced data types, language models that help boost translation and editing, motion graphics, ease-of-use features, and more.
For companies with licenses that are on a month-to-month or open value agreement, it’s important to know that Microsoft will start enforcing their annual pricing model more strongly in 2022. This means that any monthly flex purchase will have an extra 20% markup added to the regular price and that licenses will no longer be able to be reduced at any point in time, but only during the renewal window. You can avoid this change by moving any month-to-month plans to an annual plan before the end of June, 2022.
What is the Future of Office Software Licensing in the Cloud?
Traditionally, licensing software was a one-time purchase and required substantial up-front investment. With cloud software licensing, companies can get a better return on their software investment and can easily scale up or down in line with strategic initiatives. The flexibility of cloud software licensing also offers a number of benefits such as lower maintenance costs and reduced hardware requirements.
However, many organisations are still facing challenges in the area of licensing when they move to the cloud. Many of these are linked to license portability issues, contractual obligations and early termination penalties that come with long-term software contracts. This can be a big blocker to moving towards the cloud from a licensing perspective and it is important to have a strong strategy in place to overcome these.
Microsoft’s chief partner officer, Nicole Dezen, has said that the company is addressing customer concerns regarding its licensing rules. But the changes announced by Microsoft don’t address any of the anti-competitive practices that have been brought up by competitors such as OVH Cloud, Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud Platform.
In the future, software vendors may follow Microsoft’s Windows model of regular feature and security updates that don’t result in major upgrades to an entire suite of software. This would allow organisations to stay up to date without the disruption of major upgrades and would reduce the amount of time they spend on license management.
What is the Future of Office Software Licensing in the Browser?
The future of Office software licensing looks to be a mix of perpetual licenses and subscriptions. Perpetual licenses allow users to install and use the software on multiple machines. Subscriptions, on the other hand, allow for recurring payments and a continual release of upgrades and feature improvements.
In a world where people are becoming increasingly mobile and working in hybrid environments, it’s important for licensing systems to provide for flexible work conditions. Whether it’s using cloud storage or being able to sign documents with an electronic signature, licensing and entitlement systems need to be flexible enough to support these needs.
Another way that companies can increase revenue is by leveraging the data that software licencing and entitlement management systems generate. By monitoring contract expirations and renewals, it’s possible to reduce churn rates while also identifying opportunities for upsells.
As more companies move away from purchasing software on an annual basis, they’re going to need a more flexible and customizable solution that meets their needs. One of the ways they can do this is by offering different types of licenses for different types of users. For example, Microsoft offers both a yearly subscription and an LTSC (Long-Term Servicing Channel) version of its Office suite. The difference between the two versions has less to do with payments than it does with features and functionality.