Microsoft Large Account Resellers (LARs) have welcomed news that the software giant has set a date for phasing out its Select Licence offering.
As of 1 July next year, no new Select Licences will be sold, with enterprise customers being pushed to invest in Select Plus licences. After that point, customers with existing Select contracts can still renew them, and the licences will continue to be supported. Until that time, customers can migrate to Plus at the same price of their Select deal.
Designed for firms and government bodies with more than 250 PCs, Select Plus contracts have no expiry date, whereas Select agreements cover a three-year term. Pricing is the same for both agreements, but the manner in which discount levels are set is different.
Select Plus pricing for private sector companies is set annually and pre-determined discount levels are based on the customer's biggest volume purchase. Pricing for the Select offering centres on initial customer forecasts as to what volume of business will be done over the course of the contract's three-year lifespan. For both agreements, public sector bodies benefit from single-tiered pricing.
Plus customers also receive a unique ID, which grants them "a single business entity", while the Select offering provides an enrolment number " representing one or more businesses". Microsoft claims Plus allows end users to "streamline the contract process" and "manage assets more easily".
Dave Simpson, commercial director at LAR Softcat, hailed the announcement as good news for his firm.
"The contract continually rolling on saves awkward renewal dates, and that is a significant benefit," he said. "And the way the discount levels are set is a lot more transparent – it takes the guess work out of it. Before it has been open to a bit of poetic interpretation."
Simpson indicated he was surprised take up of Plus has not been greater so far, but added: "Most LARs have always sold Select and have been comfortable doing that."
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