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No-Nonsense Quick Guide to Microsoft Enterprise Agreement Renewal for Procurement Pros

You've been tasked with managing your company's Microsoft Enterprise Agreement renewal. You're not a software licensing guru; you're in procurement. Don't sweat it. This guide is your roadmap. No fluff, just actionable insights.

What is a Microsoft Enterprise Agreement?

It's a three-year contract with Microsoft for software and services. You pay yearly, and it covers licenses, cloud services, and Software Assurance (extra features and support).

Key Players You Need to Talk To

  • Internal IT Team: They should know what software you're actually using.

  • Finance: You'll need their input on the budget.

  • Legal: To review contract terms.

  • Microsoft Account Rep: Your main point of contact at Microsoft.

Timelines and Deadlines

Start at least a year before your contract ends. This isn't a last-minute job. You are expected to finalise all negotiations 30 days before the renewal date.

Tip: Microsoft's fiscal year ends in June, so aim to wrap things up well before then.

Risks and How to Mitigate Them

  • Cost Overruns: Keep an eye on what you're actually using.

  • Non-Compliance: Make sure you're using the software as the license allows.

  • Price Hikes: Prices can change when you renew. Be prepared.

The Power of Preparation

  • Audit Your Usage: Know what you're using and what you're not.

  • Forecast Needs: What will you need in the next three years?

  • Budget: Know how much you can spend.

The Renewal Process: Step-by-Step

  1. Audit and Assess: What are you using now? What will you need in the next three years?

  2. Initial Contact: Reach out to your Microsoft rep and LSP.

  3. Negotiation: This is where your prep pays off.

  4. Sign the Dotted Line: Review everything, then sign.

  5. Implement: Roll out any new software or services.

Cost Tips

  • Consider bundles for potential savings, but avoid unnecessary add-ons.

  • Bin the dead weight: get rid of software and hardware you don't need.

  • Assess your actual cloud needs in Azure and Microsoft 365.

  • Lock the price for three years: if you know you may need a license in the future, add one copy to the initial order.

Negotiation Tips

  • Be Clear: Know what you want and why.

  • Remove what you don't need: Microsoft will try to add things you didn't ask for.

  • Don't Accept First Offers: You can often get a better deal.

  • Involve Legal: Make sure the terms are favourable.

Post-Renewal: What Comes Next?

  • Prepare for Next Time: In three years, you'll do this again. Make it easier on future you.

  • True-Ups: Don't forget to pay for extra licenses at each anniversary.

  • Monitor Usage: Keep an eye on what you're using.

  • Stay in Touch: Keep the lines open with your LSP, Microsoft rep and your trusted advisor.

You Can Do It!

You're in procurement, not IT. But with this quick start guide, you've got what you need to approach a Microsoft Enterprise Agreement renewal.

If you feel like you might need expert guidance, please contact us using the form below. EA renewal negotiation is our speciality. And the best thing is that we don't sell licenses, so we are wholly on your side.