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Our licensing specialist Shauna Kebis helps small business sort out what they need to buy software licensing to run systems and applications that keep companies productive. For small businesses, this means knowing the most cost-effective way to license Windows 10, choosing between Office 2019 vs Office 365o for their productivity suite, or getting into the nitty-gritty of Windows Server CALs. It’s a lot for any SMB operator to understand in any sensible fashion. Thankfully help is a phone call (888-482-6678) or an e-mail ([email protected]) away.

Here we talk shop with Shauna about the ins and outs of software licensing and common pain points that she helps cure for our SMB customers.

Smart Buyer: What would you say are points of confusion for SMB customers about purchasing Windows licensing?

Shauna Kebis: Microsoft has many options for one product, and if the end user is not familiar with the product lines and the differences, they may purchase the wrong product. Unless you know exactly what you need it’s hard to shop for licensing online. The best thing to do is contact one of our specialists to determine what you specifically need, and we can help you get setup with the correct licensing package. That way you’re not overspending on Windows licensing, or triggering a software audit down the road.

What makes Microsoft Open License a good idea for SMB customers?

There’s a great deal of value in getting Microsoft Open License. For one, it’s easier to manage one key for multiple systems instead of multiple keys per system. Plus you can transfer product keys between computer systems too, which gives you added flexibility. It’s just always a good idea to simplify your licensing requirement whenever possible.

When is Software Assurance a worthwhile investment for SMB customers?

If your plan is to grow your business and grow your infrastructure in the near term and afterward, Software Assurance is a good use of your budget. The value proposition is that Software Assurance frees up money to grow your business right away. Later on, when Microsoft inevitably releases the next version of Windows, or SQL Server, or Office Suite, or whatever you’re using, you get to upgrade to the latest version without having to come up with a

What are the most important licensing changes for SMBs to be aware of regarding Office 2019?

One important thing to keep in mind is that Microsoft Office 2019 only works on Windows 10. That means if you’re still running Windows 7 or Windows 8.1—or heaven forbid Windows XP—you will need to upgrade your operating system.

How does running Microsoft Remote Desktop Services will impact how you license software?

In theory, customers could use inexpensive terminals to access applications from the server, since the server is running the application, and customers can save money by not having to purchase expensive laptops or desktops. Note that you do still have to buy user CALs even if the customer owns RDS.

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Adam Lovinus

Author Adam Lovinus

A tech writer and Raspberry Pi enthusiast from Orange County, California.

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