Microsoft dangles new server and cloud pricing offer for enterprise users

Microsoft dangles new server and cloud pricing offer for enterprise users

Summary: Microsoft is adding a new Server and Cloud Enrollment option to its price list for enterprise users. The goal: To convince Microsoft's largest customers to standardize on its server and cloud products.


Right on cue, on November 1, Microsoft introduced a new option to its Enterprise Agreement licensing plan that "allows highly committed customers to standardize broadly on one or more key Server and Cloud technologies from Microsoft."


Microsoft officials said last month that these enterprise discounts, slated to go live on November 1, "will be better than Amazon’s on commodity services like compute, storage and bandwidth." The new discounts will run alongside Microsoft's current guarantee that it will match's prices on compute, storage and bandwidth.

This new Server and Cloud Enrollment (SCE) offers users a subscription option for not just cloud, but also on-premises Microsoft software, including Windows Server, System Center, SQL Server, BizTalk Server, SharePoint Server and Visual Studio.

SCE adds new "cloud-optimized licensing options" and "the best pricing and terms," according to Microsoft's November 1 volume-price list. 

To incent users to subscribe, Microsoft is providing a fiscal 2014 jumpstart promotion for SCE, which runs from November 1, 2013 to June 30, 2014. During that period, Microsoft will offer a 15 percent discount on Core Infrastructure Suite Data Center Licensing and Service Agreement (L&SA), as well as Software Assurance only to customers purchasing these products via Enterprise Volume Licensing. This price cut is available only for new purchases and will be available to customers via SCE in all customer segments worldwide.

Here's the fine print about SCE from the downloadable SCE datasheet and frequently asked questions document. (Thanks to Rich Gibbons from Bechtle for the datasheet pointer).

In order to enroll in SCE, users have to make "an installed-base-wide commitment to one or more components," for three years, which means committing to full Software Assurance coverage across the installed base of a particular component.  For doing so, users get 15 percent discounts for new licenses and Software Assurance purchases, plus a five percent discount on Software Assurance renewals.

Microsoft will provide SCE subscribers with new "cloud-optimized" licensing options, "simplified license management" and "the best pricing and terms." According to the datasheet, SCE is the way users can get Microsoft's lowest Windows Azure pricing, application-license mobility to the cloud and other new benefits for using System Center to manage Azure resources. Other SCE benefits include a "new subscription-based option" which provides greater flexibiity for retiring workloads, consolidating or migrating to the cloud, the datasheet specified.


Topics: Cloud, Microsoft, Windows Server


Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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  • Personal.y, It looks like a sucker deal.

    Now if you are already stuck with the software, it looks reasonable. A 3 year reduced rate.

    If you are just starting, look at it as a 15%+ price hike at the end - when you are now stuck with the entrenched data and don't have a choice of getting out....
    • Even if MS made their services free, you would find fault with the offer

      and would continue making your idiotic comments against Microsoft.

      Get a life already!!! Absolutely nobody believes anything you post.

      Go away, troll!!!
      • Any "IT Pro"

        To the Cloud", should promptly be fired, as the "to the cloud" thing is insecure, and downright dangerous. You'd might as well plaster the data on an outside wall, for all to see. I do not trust anyone with company data. Microsoft has not proven to be trustworthy at all.
        I hate trolls also
  • You get a small discount and MS gets SA on all your old servers

    Understand how costly that "installed-base-wide commitment to one or more components" is. You may have some old Windows servers that are ticking along just fine, and you have no plans to rip them out or upgrade them. Include Windows Server in this agreement with a requirement for an installed-base-wide commitment and Microsoft gets to charge Software Assurance on all those old instances. They'll cost you a minimum of about $425 over three years, including your 5% "discount," for an upgrade that you'll never deploy. How about something like a SQL Enterprise 2008 R2 proc license that doesn't need an upgrade? Put SQL in the SCE and each of those could be costing you nearly $15,000 for an upgrade you won't deploy. There's a huge payoff for Microsoft here: they get to restart Software Assurance payments on all those legacy servers. I see too many customers who purchased the SCE predecessor, the EAP, paid SA (undiscounted in the EAP) on a ton of servers for three years, and have yet to install a 2012 server version, which is what they theoretically signed the EAP for. And that's what the SCE is for, too--people who plan to rip out all their old servers and replace them with the latest versions. If you don't plan to do that and are thinking about signing one of these, save yourself the hassle of an agreement and just write a large check directly to the Steve Ballmer retirement fund. You'll get just as much benefit out of that.
    Al S Cook-4ec56
  • it's decline product phase - rising price is inevitable

    they can't win various flavors of Linux servers competition in long term - it's time to rise price - and move everything else to the cloud which is more 'strings attached' type of service
  • What Microsoft is asking their customers

    Got Milk?
  • They also have to address what happens when they have

    world wide outages of their version of "cloud"...
    • missing the point

      outages happen with every cloud provider.
  • Microsoft cloud server

    Companies would be stupid to take up their offer. What with all the furor of backdoor entry and data mining. Organizations who take up their offer are laying themselves open to losing all their data and secrets. Who is to say that eavesdropper will not sell to the highest bidder for the information?
    • When all cloud providers and all online service providers have the same

      security issues, then none of them will opt to use the internet or cloud. They'll all be stuck with going back to the old days of offline processing. Neither Google nor Amazon nor IBM nor Microsoft nor anybody else, can guarantee that nobody will be spying on their business and consumer clients.

      So, Ahmed, who do you think can guarantee 100% security and no backdoor entry and no data mining?

      BTW, data mining is should not be an issue that enterprise players should worry about, and it's the consumer side that is the target of data mining. A company's data is not available to MS or even Google or Amazon for data mining. If it were to occur, then whoever did the unauthorized data mining would be in breach of contract.
      • Microsoft stores copies of your emails

        Skpye calls, texts, SMS messages and any picture you take (with a Windows phone) unencrypted, so "Law enforcement" can have ready access to it. They complain about Apple, and Google, yet they turn around and do something worse?
        I hate trolls also
        • And you know all of that about Microsoft, HOW???

          Like the troll that you admit that you are, you are just trolling, and you know absolutely nothing about what MS does with people's data or calls or texts or messages or pictures.

          "Law Enforcement" has been requesting information from the service and content providers since the beginning of the internet, and even before that with telephone communications. That won't change, no matter how much we dislike the idea.

          Spying and data-mining is what we need to worry about, but again, we've allowed government to become so intrusive that, spying on everything we do will soon be thought of as just a nuisance but accepted. That's unfortunate.

          But, I'm still curious. How do you know so much about what MS does internally with all that data and storage of our communications? The NSA doesn't need the data, and the NSA could not store all the data and content of our communications that flow through the internet, no matter how many exxabytes of storage they have.
        • this is how Microsoft actually responds to requests for information ...

          so please, put the scaremongering and fearmongering tactics aside and understand what they actually do when requests for information are lodged.
  • NO way

    I am still using Office 2003 at home and at work, no need to upgrade. Certainly no need to start a subscription service that I or my business have to pay for every year.