Why Buy Volume Licensing
If your business has multiple workstations utilizing the same software program or you can forecast a growing need for future software purchases, then you are a candidate for most software licensing programs. The number one reason you should consider software licensing is cost savings. Volume software licensing allows you to save on software products for which you buy multiple copies. Compliance is the second best reason to choose licensing. Compliance simply means that you have paid for the rights to use the software on the number of machines or by the number of users that currently have the software installed. Fines for unauthorized or pirated copies of software can be hefty and are best avoided.
How Volume Licensing Works
Software licensing can be very complex as each software manufacturer may have a unique licensing program. Some licensing programs give you discounts based on how many licenses you purchase while others are based on the number of seats or devices using the software. In some cases desktop software may be licensed differently from server-based software that needs to be accessed by users. And some licensing programs offer subscription licenses verses concurrent user licenses. Before buying into a licensing program you should have a good understanding of what software you need. You can rely upon your specially-trained CDW Software Licensing Specialist to expertly assist you in determining the right licensing program to fit your needs.
Licensing vs. Retail
When you buy through a volume licensing program you pay only for the license. With retail boxed product you are also paying for the packaging, media (CD or DVD), and a user’s guide. Without the packaging costs, the per unit price is lower. Purchasing licensing will also allow you to more easily manage and organize your licenses rather than trying to track individual box product licenses.
Transactional Licensing vs Contractual Licensing
Once you’ve decide that volume licensing makes sense for your company, you will need to decide whether you want to take a simple transactional approach or if a contractual agreement (large quanities) might save you money by forecasting your software need.
Depending on the licensing program you choose, you may or may not receive media (CD or DVD), however you should always have the option to purchase media separately or download the software from the manufacturer’s web site. Some manufacturers also include documentation with their Media Kits.
Maintenance & Support
Most licensing programs offer various types of maintenance, the most commonly used term to describe this is software assurance or software subscription. Maintenance normally includes rights to the most current version of the software purchased and may also include phone support, partner services and access to training. The support level you choose largely depends on the amount of downtime your company can afford to experience.
Software Assurance/Upgrade Protection
What happens if a new software product version is released within the license period? Most software license programs offer Upgrade Protection (sometimes known as Upgrade Insurance, Subscription or Maintenance). Upgrade Protection allows you to use any new version release of the licensed software during the designated time period, typically two years. While some manufacturers include Upgrade Protection with a license purchase, most have it available for a discounted fee.
How CDW Can Help
As you can see, software licensing can be complicated but very cost-effective for your company. For help in deciding what program is the best suited to meet your needs while providing administrative time savings and cost savings, contact your account manager or e-mail our software licensing specialists.