July 7, 2015 – A surprise cost is never a good one. Ever. Not on a grocery receipt, or a home repair, or in your IT support costs – especially when it has the potential to really blow your budget. So, what is the most common surprise cost that we see when it comes to IT support? Here are a few hints: You’re probably paying for it right now. CIO’s and VP’s of IT report it across the healthcare industry. It’s truly the elephant in the room – if the elephant was made of dollar signs.
That elephant is Microsoft licensing fees.
IT leaders and managers often tell us versions of the same story: It’s the end of the year, time for the annual true-up on the Microsoft bill. As you review the bill, you see that licensing costs have changed dramatically from the prior year, or the fees are so convoluted that you can’t keep track of them. You thought you were in compliance but you’re not. It’s unpredictable and you never saw it coming: a huge bill.
We’ve also seen clients face bills in the hundreds of thousands of dollars at the end of the year for licenses that aren’t being utilized. This piece is absolutely controllable – and for that reason, tragic.
So how do you avoid this? The answer is simpler than you think.
Here are two potential solutions that will allow you to avoid this Microsoft cost crisis:
1. Move to Office 365. Microsoft’s cloud-based solution is much more flexible than their traditional software licensing. You can adjust plans as needed and you’re only paying for licenses that are being used. This helps with cost containment and predictability – no more ghastly true up bills. Not only that, but you can add encryption and secure your PHI, which makes Office 365 a perfect fit for healthcare facilities.
2. Use AppSense to track your licenses. This allows you to assign and monitor software usage so you only pay for licenses that are being used, which means no more over-provisioning licenses and not knowing whether you made the right estimate. And most importantly – no more totally avoidable bills.
We have helped clients utilize both of these solutions – and no matter the size of the company or your budget, we do an upfront cost analysis to make sure you will actually save money.
Don’t get caught in a cost crisis with Microsoft licensing fees – because now you don’t have to.