Microsoft Licensing Update: Product Retirements Imminent – You Need To Upgrade Or Run The Risk Of Using Un-Supported Software.

Microsoft retires support for various older products in 2014 and 2015. This means there will be no more free updates or security patches. While it’s a common occurrence to see support for older products retired by software vendors, it’s annoying if either the old stuff is still running perfectly well or if the upgrade option is financially onerous, will significantly disrupt the business or offers little in the way of real added benefit.

So in April we’ll be finally bidding farewell to support for the likes of Windows XP, Office 2003, Exchange Server 2003, and in July 2015 we’ll say adieu to support for Windows Server 2003. In addition, some more recent products will be transitioning to extended support in July 2014 - namely SQL Server 2008 and SQL Server 2008 R2 – which puts them next on the path to software heaven.

Windows XP

On April 8, 2014, Windows XP will reach the end of its support lifecycle and Microsoft will no longer provide security or online updates.

Office 2003

As a part of the Microsoft Support Lifecycle Policy, Office 2003 products receive five years of Mainstream Support and five years of Extended Support. April 8, 2014 marks the end of this 10-year support period. Running Office 2003 after the end-of-support date may expose your company to security risks and technology limitations. 

Exchange Server 2003 
While Exchange Server 2003 was a leader in the messaging space, after 10 years of technology progression it will reach End of Support effective April 8, 2014.

Windows Server 2003 

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MWC: Mobile Enterprise Moves to Content and full services beyond MDM


My colleague Dan Bieler laid out the overall impressions on his take of the MWC. I fully agree with his view, noticing the number of cars being displayed as attractors to make up for the lost appeal of devices.

My questions were more focused on the impact of announcements and innovation in the enterprise sector. Here is what I took in that respect from Barcelona:

  • Enterprise providers are preoccupied with mobile integration beyond MDM. Complexity of enterprise content integration into different mobile architectures dominated the agenda of many providers. In this context, everyone in the services arena talks about being a leader for the “end to end” value proposition. The overstretched term “end to end” means different things to different people. Vendors talk about technology stacks, service providers also talk about global reach. In this context, the exclusive alliance model for local best-of-breed providers by GEMA offers an interesting realization of the “think global, act local” concept. 
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IBM SaaS: Heavy On Choice – But Light On “Plug and Play”

IBM is making a big push into the SaaS space – boasting 100+ SaaS offerings and $1 billion plus in targeted investments. The good news for buyers is that the strategy is broad, flexible, and open. But, the downside is that the current landscape is fragmented and inconsistent across its different offerings; buyers do not today have a simple “cloud store” where they can go and download all of these different solutions with instant provisioning and pre-built integration. So, what should buyers expect?
What you will get:
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Singapore SMBs Get A Big Boost To Upgrade Mobile And Digital Platforms

by Clement Teo with Ng Zhi Ying

The government of Singapore has released its 2014 budget, which includes S$500 million (US$400 million) to help drive economic changes at small and medium-size businesses (SMBs). This spending will focus on:

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The Recent Ruling In Oracle vs Rimini Street Has Significant Implications For The Wider Outsourcing Industry

I've just published a Quick Take report that explains why the Nevada District Court’s recent decision on some of the issues in the four-year-old Oracle versus Rimini Street case has significant implications for sourcing professionals — and, indeed, the entire technology services industry — beyond its impact on the growing third-party support (3SP) market.

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Lenovo Has Started To Benefit From The Mobile Mind Shift

Lenovo recently announced record results for the third quarter of the 2013/14 fiscal year: the first time that the firm has exceeded US$10 billion in revenue in a single quarter. Lenovo has continued to prioritize maintaining or increasing its share of the PC market — the majority of its business. This strategy has paid off: Lenovo’s PC business (laptops plus desktops) grew by 8% year on year — in stark contrast to its slumping rivals. Lenovo can attribute its success to a strategy that sacrifices profit to keep prices competitive, maintains a direct local sales team, and retains channel partners after acquisitions.

Forrester believes that the mobile mind shift is one of four key market imperatives that enterprises can use to win in the age of customer. Lenovo has gotten a good start on this journey with its effort to enhance its mobile-related capabilities. Although the coming Motorola deal may have a negative impact on Lenovo’s performance over the next three to five quarters, the firm believes that mobile can change its business — and not just its digital business. In the next two to three years, Lenovo’s key strategy will be to provide customers with mobile devices and related infrastructure that will address their mobile mind shift. In particular:

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Best Practice: Ask For Business Input/Feedback As Part Of Your Telecoms And Mobility Sourcing Strategy Road Map To Build Trust

Enterprise business stakeholders tell us they’re not often asked for input about telecoms and mobility (T&M) sourcing practices. When they are, they’re likely to be more accepting of new practices related to standardization on specific technology platforms, and designation of a preferred service provider.

Sourcing and vendor management (SVM) executives need to ask for and then demonstrate they’ve listened to input and feedback from the business leadership. Forrester recommends conducting periodic high level interviews with key business stakeholders, and also surveying a small sample of representative business managers in regional sales, marketing, business operations, and finance departments about a) their top two or three business and technology challenges, b) how they are addressing them directly already or want help addressing during the next 12 months, and c) their interest in being updated about telecoms and mobility related activities including sourcing.

All user companies with distributed business operations see high value in network and telecoms technologies in enabling business initiatives. For example, our Q1 2013 Forrsights survey of 194 business decision-makers at North American and European firms with 1,000 or more employees found that more than four in five of the respondents considered telecom technologies important or very important to a) enable users in their organization to ‘gather better business information’ (85%); ‘support overall employee productivity’ (84%); and ‘empower closer engagement’ (81%).  

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Mobile Workplace Agenda 2014: Corporate Devices, Content, And Role-Based Packages

The growing imbalance between the expectations of mobile users and the ability of enterprises to meet those expectations remains a key challenge. Users expect mobile productivity support, while CIO organizations are stuck on decisions about device deployments and policies.

Juggling different priorities for different stakeholders who expect greater support to exploit the mobile experience with the basic requirements for compliance and security remains a tall order. Time to revisit the top priorities. In Europe, these key trends will set the agenda for sourcing in the next twelve months:

  • The mobile cost equation shifts to devices and content. In 2014, we'll see the cost for broadband voice and data services as roaming charges coming down for enterprise customers. Users will shift their focus to the rising cost for immature services such as mobile device life-cycle management, application sourcing, and workplace integration.
  • CIOs will roll out corporate devices and embrace mobile content management. European CIOs realize that they are running out of time to shape the mobile workforce agenda. In 2014, we'll see a more strategic approach to mobile workforce engagement based on corporate device rollouts, clear policies, and mobile productivity.

My latest research report, European Mobile Workplace: The Strategic Sourcing Agenda In 2014 provides support for setting the sourcing agenda, supporting CIO organizations in their mobility plans for 2014. It addresses key issues such as steps to deliver on CYOD programs, mobile productivity content, and role-based packaging. 

How Good Is That BMC Or CA End-Of-Year Deal?

Many of you will be in the midst of a contract negotiation or maintenance renewal with BMC and/or CA at the moment, because both software vendors do a large proportion of their license deals in the January to March quarter as it’s their financial year ends on March 31. It’s a sourcing cliché that software companies give their best discounts at their financial year end, but just because you are making a purchase in month 12 doesn’t mean that you are getting a good deal. Through client interactions, I see a lot of software deals and I am often surprised by the gulf between the latest deal on the table and what I would consider to be a market best deal – one that sets the relationship up for mutual success, balancing price, flexibility and risk.

Buying software from powerful providers such as BMC and CA is very different from buying hardware, services and non-IT categories. Unfortunately, many sourcing professionals seem to think that they’ll look weak if they engage external expert help to coach them during a negotiation, but it isn’t a question of just buying additional haggling advice (although that can sometimes help), it’s really a question of buying deep, current market knowledge. Unless you have that, you risk:

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Look Outside Of Indonesia To Fill Skill Gaps

Our global clients are increasingly inquiring about the capabilities of their preferred service providers in ASEAN and Indonesia in particular. I recently spent some time in Indonesia and met leading local and global service providers there. The key takeaways from these meetings? Not surprisingly, the strengths and weaknesses of IT service providers in Indonesia differ by industry, domain, and service line. As a result, clients need to be careful and orient their vendor selection process toward the right set of service providers. Depending on the requirements, the right provider might be based in Indonesia — and it might not. More specifically, sourcing professionals should realize that:

  • MNCs looking for traditional infrastructure services can rely on a good availability of skills. Most MNCs setting up shop in Indonesia are looking to replicate the enterprise architecture defined at their headquarters in the US, Europe, or Japan. The presence of local and foreign SIs in Indonesia with solid infrastructure skill sets across major technologies means that they won't face too many challenges finding the right partner at the right price point.
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