Poll: How do you license your OS/Office suites/Servers?

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Licensing Questions Thread, School, select, or Open? Which licensing option do you use? in Technical; ...
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    School, select, or Open? Which licensing option do you use?

    I've recently started at my new school, and one of the things that has crept up more apparent over the last few weeks, is the state of our licensing, or possibly a better description may be a lack of it, or documentation thereof.

    I'm in the process of getting quotes and details on the MS agreements, and I'm rather keen to move over to the Schools agreement, but the headteacher got the idea of using Open Office from somewhere, and I suspect when I give her the news of "We are unlicensed for X,Y,Z, and it will cost THIS much every year to correct this" that I will find myself doing a lot of uninstalling, and writing a self installer for Open Office.

    So here's what I've got to work with:

    Primary School
    3 servers running Server2003 (possibly a 4th coming which will be Server 2008 R2), one of them a SIMS server.
    100 devices
    600 users (students+staff together)
    Mix of Office XP, 2003, and 2007
    Mix of XP, Vista, and windows 7 (plus 1 win 95!)

    NO documentation on CAL's, or number of licenses for each thing.

    Under the select agreement, the cost of getting a 'uniform' Office suite would be £2-3000, most likely towards the higher end of that. Then there's another £300 in new CAL's, and another £150 in server licenses to get them all up to the same Server OS.
    Total: £3,450
    To add the Windows licenses to this, adds another £24 per machine, bringing the total to £5,800
    And gives us no future proofing, no work from home agreements.

    The School's agreement which covers the CAL's, the Server OS's, and both Windows and Office, including the HUP and WAH + software assurance is £2300 per year.

    The 3rd option, would be to dump all our current office packages (save for admin) and move to Open Office, and just go with the server +cal costs on the select agreement, which is definately the 'cheaper' option, but as far as keeping the Students using the same tech as they would be using in High school and beyond, it is a step back 10 years.


    So onto the point of this little thread: I want to get a picture for what 'others' are doing out there, to see if I can argue "All the others are doing THIS, therefore we should" Or if I should succumb to the OO crowd.

    What are you currently using?
    -Schools agreement (annual subscription, with some sort of software assurance/futureproofing/home usage rights)
    -Select Agreement (Buy it as and when you need)
    -Select + Open source/free solutions
    -Something else!

  2. #2
    Mr.Ben's Avatar
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    I'm in the same dilemma at the moment, but I'm swaying to a Schools Agreement

    We have 120 devices and the select cost for Office + Windows would be just under £10,000 (everything is xp here)

    Where did you get that quote for the school's agreement? - It seems really low compared to the quotes I have!

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    We're a Secondary with around 450 devices. When I started I was in a very similar position to yourself - little licensing documentation and I could only track down purchase information for about 50% of our licenses.

    For us it was cheaper to move to a schools agreement then purchase the needed licenses. We also wanted to start to move to Office 2007 + Windows 7 so would have needed to replace the licenses we already had anyway.

    We also preferred the schools agreement from a budgetary perspective as well as we now have a fairly fixed licensing cost every year.

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    wesleyw's Avatar
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    I'm looking at Schools agreement next year as I'm hoping to move everything over to 2010 (Office, Exchange,Sharepoint), 7 and 2008 R2. As for open office have a look at Go Open Office as this is the first OO with the ability to read and write Office 2007 xml files. No ribbon though

    Wes

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    We have a Schools agreement, with SA (and home rights via it).

    -Ken

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    I've tried going open source as our licensing situation when I started was in about as good a condition as the OP's. We're about to do a u-turn, I think, on the whole OpenOffice thing and I've been researching and drawing up endless spreadsheets to compare Select and Schools Agreements.

    The Schools Agreement is cheeper year 1 but more expensive come year 3. Spreading the payments over three yeats in a schools agreement only makes sense, at least to us, if you want to a) upgrade to the latest OS + Office as they are released, and b) accept you're paying a slight premium to do so.

    We've worked out that paying slighly more up front to get our Select licenses up to date and then always buying new licenses and Software Assurance with every new machine we buy after thay will be cheaper long term and allow us, at worst, to upgrade every other OS/Office version.

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    i've just got 1 of my schools sorted with 2 server 2008r2 licenses & cal's for under £500 (£55.06ps & £3.70pc) were also looking into a subscription for the licensing, a cost of £26 per unit was mentioned, but a quote is something that involves a final count up

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    It's also worth considering some of the additional benefits of Schools Agreement:
    * Allows use of latest and greatest
    * Allows use of Windows 7 Enterprise (remember only Windows 7 Enterprise gives you Bitlocker, Bitlocker2Go and Direct Access)
    * Allows use of Office Enterprise (includes Groove and OneNote on top of Professional)
    * Gives you High School AA (Expression Studio, Visual Studio Pro and SQL Server for teaching and learning purposes and you can give copies to the kids for homework assignments) - usally £149 per year
    * Technet+ - usually £249 per year
    * Home use rights for staff (for T&L)
    * Staff can buy super-cheap licenses for Ofice to use for what they like

    (most of the above is actually a Software Assurance benefit so it is also applicable under SELECT+)

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    To be honest I dont think its one size fits all - of the schools and LEA's ive seen, every situation tends to be slightly different and indeed many have Schools Agreements and also make use of Select.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.Ben View Post
    I'm in the same dilemma at the moment, but I'm swaying to a Schools Agreement

    We have 120 devices and the select cost for Office + Windows would be just under £10,000 (everything is xp here)

    Where did you get that quote for the school's agreement? - It seems really low compared to the quotes I have!
    There is a lovely lady at a company called Insight UK ( Deals at Insight UK for public site) who my account manager put me in touch with who seems to know MS licensing inside and out.

    I looked at the Dell website while speccing up a server, and the Dell costs on CAL licenses was about £23 per computer, whereas I am being quoted between £1 and £3.20 per computer...

    Obviously prices will vary from site to site, and seller to seller, but I've been seeing about the £10 mark per PC for windows, and about £12 for office, and the costs on the Select agreement are about about 2.3 times the cost of the Schools Agreement (aka, the cost of buying your licenses outright is 2.3 years equivalent to the School's agreement). So 10,000 is just a TAD over price!

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    We currently licence the OS with OEM licences bought at time of purchase; Office licences were bought on Select. Typically, we've run Office a version behind the latest due mostly to the cost of re-licensing. When we come to move to Win7 and/or Office 2010, I think I will take out a Schools Agreement as it will be cheaper than buying them outright, is a known expenditure so makes the accountant happy, and means we can upgrade without a massive capital outlay.

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    Last time we reviewed (Office purchase) we stuck with Select because it was cheaper to buy outright unless we were planning to upgrade office suites every 2 1/2 years.

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    We use the Schools Agreement and it really does take all the hard work out of licensing.

    Last year we licensed 573 PC's for about £12,500, as it's an annual cost it's easy to budget for.

    The only downside is having to pay for 'all' computers, including MAC's or those that have been purchased with an OEM license of the latest software included.

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    Quote Originally Posted by enjay View Post
    We currently licence the OS with OEM licences bought at time of purchase;
    It's worth pointing out that by doing this you can't (or shouldn't) use images (ghost/fog/wds/etc) to roll out your machines. Imaging OEM copies would have activiation problems and using you are not supposed to use make an image using Volume License media without paying for the Select/Schools volume license for those machines.


    Quote Originally Posted by daz191 View Post
    The only downside is having to pay for 'all' computers, including MAC's or those that have been purchased with an OEM license of the latest software included.
    AFAIK both Select and Schools agreements are upgrade only products for client OS's. This means you must buy machine with an OEM license to use the select/schools agreement licenses.

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    The great Mr Fleming has just blogged about licensing options... Microsoft UK Schools : It makes sense to review the way you buy software ? it might save money

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