In 1993, MS® introduced Microsoft® or MVLP`s volume licensing program, as it was known at the time. The plan was to send each business-related product in each language to corporate customers and have them choose which and how many systems to use, and then report the use to MS®. The delivery goal was a “welcome kit” containing CDs with images to allow the user to create 3.5″ or 5.25″ disks as well as a utility to activate the network installation. As today, there were three product pools: the application, the system and the server. The first welcome kit contained about 30 products in up to 11 languages, although this number is artificially high by current standards, since distribution companies such as Spell and thesaurus were then considered products in their own right. In the first welcome kit (including Mac apps), there was a total of 8 CDs. It would be nice if all these products in all these languages could be allowed and managed according to a single set of rules, but MS`s culture and business model ® prevent this. Microsoft® is not a company that is strictly managed from top to bottom. From an outside perspective, this may seem illogical, but decision-making at Microsoft® is often decentralized. Microsoft® culture is traditionally a culture in which employees and departments have the autonomy and authority to make many of their own decisions. A subsidiary of ms® in a given country may market and lease certain products differently from those elsewhere.
This may be due to the influence of competition, product timing or regional technical capabilities. Technological changes also contribute to the complexity of licensing. Developments such as virtualization, mobile devices and cloud computing have forced MS® to change the terms of the license. Many of these changes cause transient complications for existing customers and may require exceptions for certain products or regions. Whether your company now has a formal strategy for managing cloud computing or you`re something you`re postponing, it will almost certainly be a requirement before the end of a three-year EA agreement signed today. A corporate agreement offers the flexibility to use the cloud by adding cloud-based services such as Office 365™, Windows Intune™, Windows Azure™ and MS Dynamics® CRM Online. In addition, EA and SA generally allow you to obtain the best rates and conditions for tools to facilitate remote access to products based on the cloud or internal servers, as well as rights to use portable devices such as tablets, which may or may not be owned by the company. The mere fact that Microsoft® has so many products and sells them in virtually every country also contributes to the complexity of the program. As mentioned above, regional subsidiaries respond to local markets and economies. In addition, many VL agreements are in effect with customers with a multinational presence, all covered by the same agreement. Microsoft ® could not be competitive in many regions if they are not sensitive to local markets. Microsoft® updated quarterly until 2009, when it contained 255 CDs for the English language.
Today, the Volume Licensing Service Center (VLSC) offers download access to the current (N) and previous (N-1) versions of the products, although customers can continue to order physical media (CD/DVD) via the VLSC. In addition to volume prices and simplified management, volume licensing offers benefits such as Software Assurance (SA). With SA, users receive all product updates for the duration of their contract, so customers are still licensed for the latest version of the software, as well as for support, planning services, training and it tools. SA is included in some programs and is an optional purchase with others.