ms office 2013A while ago we looked at pricing options for Microsoft Office 2013 and the cloud solution of Office 365 – the prices we quoted were for stand-alone systems. We now look at the volume licensing pricing for MS Office 2013. The minimum number of users to take advantage of the volume licensing program is 5 users and there are 3 licensing options:

  • Open License
    • Up-front payment only
    • License only
    • Agreement term is two years and the pricing can also be based on product pools not only users
    • Upgrades to the software can be added as options on the pricing, called Software Assurance.
  • Open Value
    • Up-front or annual payment options for the software, you own the software
    • Includes free upgrades to the software for the duration of the contract (3 years)
    • One copy of the media is shipped with the initial order
    • Renewal pricing after the three years is a lot less than the initial price
    • There are two variations of this Open Value:
      • Company Wide - better pricing for licensing all desktops with the same product
      • Non Company Wide.
  • Open Value Subscription
    • Up-front or annual payment options for the software, you rent the software
    • Includes free upgrades to the software for the duration of the contract (3 years)
    • One copy of the media is shipped with the initial order
    • Can increase or decrease the number of users
    • Less of an up-front payment is needed
    • Outright purchase after the three years is approximately 1.75 X the annual subscription that converts this program to an open license agreement.

For our example let us look at five users needing Microsoft Word and Microsoft Outlook, which translates into Microsoft Office 2013 Standard for each user.  Let’s take a look at the pricing using the three volume licensing programs available from Microsoft.

Open License:
5 x MS Office 2013 Standard @ R 4508.86 per user including VAT = R22 544.30

Open License with the Software Assurance:
5 x MS Office 2013 Standard @ R 7122.50 per user including VAT = R35612.50

Open Value (Company Wide):
5 x MS Office 2013 Standard @ R 2809.77 per user per year, for 3 years R8429.31 including VAT = R42146.55

Open Value Subscription:
5 x MS Office 2013 Standard or Pro Plus @ R 2059.43 per user per year, for 3 years R6178.29 including VAT = R30891.45 (remember that you do not own the software at the end of the 3 years, this is a rental)

Conclusion

So there you have it, as it stands at the moment on volume licensing, it makes no sense for a small law firm to buy MS Office on any of the volume pricing plans – I would imagine that for larger numbers and benefits like remote desktop access, it may sway firms towards volume pricing.

This is rather sad, as I would expect Microsoft to want to introduce firms to the volume licensing at an early stage, as that way they improve the relationship with the end user. At the above pricing, it just steers the buyers away from the volume and to the single retail packs.

For small firms with their own MS Exchange already in place or who do not need an Exchange email server, I would suggest the Office Home and Business 2013 at R2399.99 including VAT.

For a start-up firm around 5 users, with no infrastructure, I would suggest Office 365 Small Business Premium at R1399.20 per user per year including VAT – that gives you hosted Exchange for email and an Office suite.

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