Microsoft's mission to simplify pricing has seen the company update its volume licensing programs for small and medium business (SMB) customers.
Microsoft's Open License Value program, for those running less than 250 PCs, will now be called the Open Value program and eliminate regional differences in Open License Value.
Sunny Charlebois, product manager for worldwide licensing and pricing, told The Register Microsoft is taking the "best" from each regional program and making it available to everyone.
Other changes include a streamlining of the license ordering process from Microsoft partners for customers, while the software contracts themselves have been reduced from 22 pages to just nine pages in length by cutting out legal jargon.
The goal is to help companies who run Windows in different geographies and are forced to negotiate different terms, conditions and offers from the same company – a fact that can cause an administrative headache for customers and partners.
Microsoft is using the changes to introduce two new software bundles under Open Value - the Professional Platform and the Small Business Platform. The Professional Platform includes Office Professional Edition and a Microsoft Core Client Access License (CAL) for Windows Server, Exchange, SharePoint Portal Server and Systems Management Server (SMS) along with a Windows Professional Desktop Upgrade.
The Small Business platform features Office Small Business Edition, a Windows Small Business Server CAL and a Windows Professional Desktop Upgrade.
Microsoft is also going live with software financing after a three-year pilot in its Business Solutions (MBS) division. Microsoft Financing, formerly Microsoft Capital, will offer financing on software for up to 60 months in nine countries with plans to rollout to a further six countries during Microsoft's new fiscal year.
Microsoft is promoting the service with a 101 per cent financing introductory offer. Partners who arrange a transaction between a mutual customer will get 100 per cent of the financing plus what amounts to one per cent commission on the deal.
Charlebois said financing meant customers would no longer experience a big payment spike when they first buy Microsoft's software as payment can now be spread out. "The partner gets paid up front, the customer gets the solution they want and we are able to feed the ecosystem," Charlebois said.®
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