Friday, 14 November 2008

Single CALs? Great. But Where’s the Open License Option?

From a costs point of view one of the biggest changes with the new version of SBS is the availability of single CALs. With SBS 2003 the minimum purchase was five, so if you had a customer with six users they would have to buy ten CALs.  For budget conscious customers this wasn’t the greatest piece of news when discussing implementing SBS.

The initial minimum purchase is still the five CALs that ship with SBS Standard or Premium, but after that you can switch to purchasing single CALs. When drawing up a reference spreadsheet of the various part numbers for SBS 2008 and CAL options, I stumbled across a missing piece. I found the part numbers for single CALs in Open Value License (OVL), FPP and OEM, but not Open License (OL).

Previously we’ve almost always sold OEM, but we’re now shifting towards Open Licenses to enable transfer rights, which in turn also allows our new DR plan to work. OVL is one option but has the added cost of Software Assurance (SA) which I don’t see the value in as SBS 2008 isn’t going to be replaced in the next 3 years.  Saying that there is one good reason to sell OVL and that’s the split payment option – a customer can pay for the licenses over 3 years, instead of up front and there’s no added cost, in effect 0% APR.

So unless a customer wants to split their payments, we’re going to be offering OL, but now we run into the problem that there doesn’t seem to be a single CAL license option…  Surely this is just an oversight on MS’s part, but so far my questions to them about it via Eric Ligman and Emily Lambert remain unanswered…

I’ll keep looking and add an update here if I find anything, but if anyone else already knows the answer I’d love to hear it.

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