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Renew Early, Renew Right…No scramble EA Renewal Advice

Written by: Dan Pavlick VP of Cloud Services, at Green Cabbage

Microsoft Enterprise Agreement renewals are like that old college term paper. You received the assignment and this time, it was going to be done differently. It would be done gradually…with great thought…great research. This was going to be the best term paper ever…


Until friends wanted to go out, until that show you wanted to watch or game you wanted to play, until you found a thousand other things to do, other than your term paper. And then it was started 36 hours before it was due, the scramble, the all nighter, the write and rewrites hours before it was due, Red Bull after Red Bull fueling that final push to complete.

And you said that the NEXT one will be different.

Many are reliving those anxiety filled moments while doing their EA renewals with Microsoft. But unlike the term paper, renewing in haste or late, is costing your organization a lot more than your college tuition. In many cases, it is costing your organizations millions of dollars.

A few quick pointers on saving these millions…(and keep in mind that this list is only a few of many tasks that are required for your EA renewal)

Start at least 12 months prior to expiration

Start by completing some steps that may take time. Get your Microsoft software inventory and list of subscriptions. Familiarize yourself with every product. Talk to Microsoft regarding the necessary paperwork and get your legal team on speed dial. Are updated terms advantageous to you? If so, get legal on the review schedule. Start building models.

9 months prior to renewal

Get out of the holistic mindset…start focusing on those products that make up the bulk of the costs. So many customers get bogged down by all of their products while ignoring the big boys. These include your Enterprise Products and most notably, Microsoft 365 E3 and Microsoft E5. Get a cadence on the calendar both internally and with Microsoft. It is worth everyone’s time. For the bundled SKUs, are they needed or could you move to an ala carte menu? Buying a software bundle and using a small portion is like subscribing to Hello Fresh but only using the meat in the package and throwing the rest away.

6 months prior to renewal

Start aligning your team with Microsoft’s team. Understand your needs for Azure, SQL Server, voice, and other 2nd tier ticket items. The copy of Visio or Project, are those really in use. Can you consolidate servers? Where can you drop SA as products expect to phased our during this renewal cycle. Tell Microsoft you want to start doing renewals every 5 years and not 3. Get advice on standard Microsoft concessions vs those that may require Deal Desk. Ask to understand the Microsoft approval process…who is responsible for this approval vs that approval?

3 months prior to renewal

Finalize product selection and begin the negotiation process. Have your requests ready and be prepared to trade. Get executives from your organization aligned with Microsoft executives, it will eliminate numerous negotiation cycles. Ask early, ask big but remember that sound logic will assist Microsoft in understanding your position.

Good luck, you will need it.

Looking for additional help managing renewals? Check out Green Cabbage's OneWorkspace Renewals Module. Click here to set up a demo.

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