Understanding Software Upgrades & the Microsoft Licensing Model

Microsoft offers a slew of useful products for the modern business owner and their team, but wading through new upgrades, new versions, and new names—and determining how much these tools will cost you—can be messy. If you’re like most people, you may find the Microsoft licensing model and its large suite of services confusing. The good news is that Microsoft has introduced new product groupings, which means consumers have access to cost-saving bundles and valuable collaboration tools, among others, that can help professionals see more productive days on the job. The bad news is that for those attempting to understand Microsoft’s product line and licensing model, introducing these new groupings or plans throws yet another wrench in the process.

Let’s talk licensing so you can get to the heart of the matter: determining if your business is over- or under-provisioned and locating the products you need to run a smoother and smarter business operation.

A Note on Change

Many of us aren’t particularly comfortable with change; we’re hesitant to acknowledge it, we struggle with managing it, and we’re never fully prepared to overcome it gracefully. But Microsoft has embraced the changing times by introducing the new Modern Desktop, which brings along with it new technology and a new pricing model that will greatly impact the way many companies do business. As the globally successful products Window 7 and Office 2010 hit the end of their ten-year support lifecycle, technology is shifting rapidly to function better through a cloud-based subscription model. Today, risk and security threats wash over companies like waves across all industries, and as consumers and businesses begin to rely more on technology solutions to connect people and increase productivity, enhanced security is increasingly necessary. Technology is changing fast, but it’s no longer acceptable to allow your software to grow stale over the years. Now, upgrading your technology twice a year or more is important to keep your business safe and operating smoothly.

When it comes to Microsoft products, embracing change is inevitable and important.

What Products Are Available Through Microsoft?

Over the years, Microsoft has released new capabilities and products at an unprecedented rate. But having these useful products available for purchase both a la carte and via an overwhelmingly large number of subscription bundles has led to great confusion in the marketplace. 2019 and beyond will see a push to simplify and update product pricing and delivery models to make it clear to users what they’re paying for and what they get.

Through Microsoft, businesses can obtain new benefits and enhanced security in addition to opportunities for greater collaboration and efficiency that make their price point well worth the money. By packaging top-notch products, many companies won’t need to waste money on subscriptions to dozens of third-party products. No other technology provider comes close to offering such a comprehensive suite of secure, high-quality products in a single subscription.

A Small Sampling of Useful Microsoft Products

  • Collaboration and teamwork
    • File sharing
    • Meeting collaboration
    • Communication tools
  • Integration and process simplicity
    • Single sign on
    • Mobile device management
    • Phone system integration
    • Business intelligence
  • Intelligent security infrastructure (automatically updated)
    • Virus and spam protection
    • Data and desktop encryption

What Do I Need to Know About Licensing?

Microsoft now offers two tracks for business owners to choose from: Enterprise and Small Business. In Enterprise are two bundles, ‘Microsoft 365’ and ‘Office 365’. Microsoft 365 contains the Windows 10 Enterprise operating system, Office 365, and the Enterprise Mobility and Security suite. These bundles can also be broken down into smaller groupings of products that are available under an accessible spectrum of prices offered per user per month. What’s great about this setup is that once you pick two or three products you want your team to use, you can usually find them conveniently packaged for any sized businessat a lower cost than purchasing individually. Simplifying technology and security in a single complete solution leads to cost savings that you can’t get from purchasing individual products from multiple vendors, which also come with additional administration overhead. Everything is moving to a subscription model and that brings consumers more flexibility and more options.

Why Do I Need Software Upgrades?

You need to leave your old systems behind. Not upgrading to current Microsoft products brings serious repercussions, including the risk of losing millions of dollars if your business suffers a security breach, a hack, data loss, or other types of threats that are not easily avoided on older versions. Running a smart business that leverages the powerful tools of Microsoft requires staying up to date.

The Dangers of Maintaining Old Product Versions

  • If you need help for your outdated Microsoft products, it will be difficult to find
  • If a breach occurs, you and your team won’t be protected or prepared
  • If a security threat of any kind is encountered, you can lose data and dollars
  • If you let software sit for ten years, you’re missing out on productivity and efficiency benefits

Today’s business needs to be efficient, secure, productive, and collaborative if it has a chance of surviving among a sea of competitors. With the latest Microsoft tools, teams can work better and faster. In fact, the younger generation expects to see these updated tools at every company they work for.

Getting up to speed isn’t just about improving your software; it’s about improving your business as a whole.

Microsoft License Plan Reviews

The first step in upgrading is reviewing your Microsoft license plan to see what you’re currently paying for, what you use and don’t use, and what you will need moving forward. A technology partner can help you complete this step properly by explaining product plan differences and recommending a new route to take that will bring greater long-term ROI. This can bring cost savings and efficiencies in other areas that you may not be able to find on your own.

Razor Technology is a Microsoft Gold Partner and offers a no-cost, no-obligation Microsoft License Plan Review that assesses the current state of your business, looks at how your users work every day, notes what tools your team uses, and sees what licenses you have. Then it provides a complete plan to put you on the path to continued success.

Razor Technology will ensure you:

  • Understand Microsoft licensing basics
  • Choose the right plan down to the individual
  • Only pay for the products you absolutely need
  • Get Microsoft license help under no contract and no term
  • Secure a plan that suits your specific industry


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