Four Secrets of A Champion CIO

Mastering Software Licensing: Insights from Champion CIOs

As a Chief Information Officer (CIO), one of your primary responsibilities is managing and optimizing your organization’s technology. To correctly manage technology includes ensuring you have the correct software licenses to support your business needs while controlling costs. This blog post will examine chief information officer roles, responsibilities, and secrets of champion CIOs who have excelled at software licensing and cost optimization.

Mastering Software Licensing

The first step in optimizing your software licensing costs is clearly understanding your business needs. To know what you need, you must identify the specific software applications and tools required to support your operations and the number of users needing access to these applications. It’s essential to take the time to carefully assess your needs, as having too few licenses can result in productivity bottlenecks while having too many can lead to unnecessary costs.

  • Negotiate favourable terms

Once you clearly understand your software needs, it’s time to start negotiating with vendors. Champion CIOs are skilled at negotiating favourable terms with software vendors, including discounts on licensing fees and additional features or services at no extra cost. The role of a CIO here is to be upfront about your budget and willing to walk away if the vendor is unwilling to meet your needs.


  • Leverage volume licensing agreementsLeverage volume licensing agreements

Volume licensing agreements allow organizations to purchase many licenses at a discounted price. These agreements are typically available for popular software applications such as Microsoft Office and Adobe Creative Suite and can result in significant cost savings for organizations with many users. Champion chief information officers are adept at leveraging volume licensing (and combing with point 2 – negotiate favourable terms) agreements to get the best deal for their organization.

  • Monitor and review your licenses.

It’s essential to regularly review your software licensing agreements to ensure that you are still meeting your organization’s needs. A best practice is tracking the number of licenses you have in use and identifying areas where you may be over-licensed or under-licensed. The role of a CIO here is to be proactive in monitoring and reviewing their licenses and quickly make changes as needed to optimize costs.

In conclusion, optimizing your software licensing costs requires a combination of careful planning, strong negotiation skills, and ongoing review. By following the secrets of these champion CIOs, you can ensure that you have the correct software licenses to support your business needs while keeping costs under control. So, these are the secrets of four champion CIOs that will help optimize the cost of software licensing in your organization.

Bonus: Leverage data to your advantageBonus: Leverage data to your advantage

In today’s digital age, data is “the new oil” – a valuable resource that helps drive growth and innovation. A champion CIO method here seeks to understand the value of data and use it to advantage regarding software licensing and cost optimization. By collecting and analyzing software deployment and usage metrics data, CIOs can better understand how their software is used and identify areas where they can save costs.

For example, by tracking the number of active users for a particular software application, a CIO may discover they have more licenses than they need. They then use this data to negotiate a reduction in licensing fees with the vendor. Additionally, by analyzing data on software usage patterns, CIOs can identify underutilized applications and decide to discontinue them, reducing costs and simplifying the software environment.

In today’s fast-paced, data-driven world, having access to accurate and actionable data is essential for effective software licensing and cost optimization. A champion chief information officer understands the importance of data and uses it to gain insights that drive better decision-making and cost savings. Collecting, analyzing, and leveraging data can earn a competitive advantage and stay ahead of the curve in software licensing and cost optimization.

In summary, you can optimize software licensing costs in your organization by understanding your needs, negotiating favourable terms, leveraging volume licensing agreements, monitoring and reviewing your licenses, and leveraging data to your advantage. In today’s fast-paced and data-driven world, data is the new oil, and having access to accurate and actionable data is essential for effective software licensing and cost optimization. Using your own data around deployment and software usage metrics will give you the most leverage possible for cost optimization.

For more information on how our services at MetrixData 360 can meet the needs of your technology and financial departments, contact us today. Let’s work with you and your chief information officer’s roles and responsibilities to manage and optimize your organization’s technology.


How IT Departments Can Navigate the Complexities of Windows and SQL Server Licensing with Microsoft True Up Support

As technology continues to evolve and organizations become more reliant on it, managing software licenses and deployments has become increasingly complex and critical. Microsoft’s Windows and SQL Server are among the most widely used software platforms, making it essential for IT departments to ensure that they are adequately licensed and optimized. This is where MetrixData 360’s Microsoft True Up Support comes in.

Our Microsoft True Up Support is designed to help IT departments navigate the complexities of Windows and SQL Server licensing and optimize their deployments for maximum efficiency and cost savings. With our team of licensing experts and powerful tools, we can help you ensure that you comply with Microsoft’s licensing requirements and take advantage of all the benefits your licenses offer.

One of our clients, a Fortune 500 Customer, saw significant benefits from using our Microsoft True Up Support. The Director of Infrastructure at this organization stated, “MetrixData 360’s Microsoft True Up Support provided us with the expert guidance and tools we needed to optimize our Windows and SQL Server licenses. We reduced our licensing costs by over 30% and ensured that we fully complied with Microsoft’s requirements. The value we received from this service was tremendous, and I highly recommend it to any organization looking to optimize their Microsoft licenses.”

SQL Server licenses

SQL Server Deployments And Additional Tools

In addition to expert guidance and powerful tools, our Microsoft True Up Support also includes the following:

  • A comprehensive assessment of your current Windows and SQL Server deployments
  • A report outlining any compliance risks or inefficiencies in your current licensing and deployment strategies
  • Recommendations for optimizing your licenses and deployments for cost savings and efficiency
  • Ongoing support to ensure that you are fully up-to-date with the latest licensing requirements and best practices

We understand the importance of accessing reliable and accurate information when managing software licenses. That’s why we are dedicated to providing IT departments with the expert guidance and tools they need to optimize their Microsoft licenses and deployments. Our Microsoft True Up Support is a cost-effective solution that can help you save time, money, and resources while ensuring that your organization fully complies with Microsoft’s licensing requirements.

Customers Reviews On Microsoft Licensing and Microsoft True-Up Support

Customer quote 1: “MetrixData 360’s Microsoft True Up Support was a game-changer for our organization. The team provided a comprehensive assessment of our current licensing and deployment strategies. It recommended several cost-saving measures that we would never have thought of. The tools and support that we received have made it much easier for us to manage our licenses and ensure compliance with Microsoft’s requirements.” – CIO, a large financial services organization.

Customer quote 2: “We have been using MetrixData 360’s Microsoft True Up Support for several years, and it has been an invaluable resource for our IT department. The team’s expertise and attention to detail have allowed us to optimize our Windows and SQL Server licenses and reduce our costs significantly. We highly recommend this service to any organization looking to manage their Microsoft licenses effectively.” – IT Manager, a large healthcare organization.

At MetrixData 360, we aim to help organizations like yours achieve the greatest value from their Microsoft Office licenses. Our Microsoft True Up Support provides expert guidance, tools, and support to optimize your deployments and fully comply with Microsoft’s licensing requirements.

If you want to learn more about how our Microsoft True Up Support can help your IT department, we would happily arrange a consultation with one of our experts. Please don’t hesitate to contact us at MetricData 360 to schedule a convenient time. Alternatively, click here and answer the questionnaire.


Bring Your Own License (BYOL) Rules on Third-Party Cloud Providers

Bring Your Own License (BYOL) Rules on Third Party Cloud Providers

Software licensing is ridiculously confusing, and its hyper complexity is not slowing down anytime soon. This confusion can easily lead to overspending, which equates to more money in the software vendor’s pockets, taken at the expense of your company’s software budget. how does overspending occur? One key reason behind our client’s overspending stems from the complexity of Bring Your Own License rules (BYOL) on their third-party cloud providers. 

At MetrixData360, we have helped hundreds of companies save millions of dollars, in this article, we will clear the waters by showing you the steps you can take to mitigate any potential areas of overspending in your software licensing environment.




Rule Change 

Microsoft changed its rules as of 1st October 2019 around how Microsoft products are licensed in 3rd party hosting scenarios.  These changes primarily impact AWS, Google, and Alibaba clouds (although others are affected).  The concept of Bring Your Own Licenses (BYOL) is influenced significantly by these changes.  Before these changes, as long as you had hardware dedicated to your use (i.e., were not using shared infrastructure), you could BYOL now.  With these changes, you may be required to purchase subscription licenses for these products through the hoster (e.g., Windows Servers, Office).  Specific versions may still be licensed via BYOL if licenses were acquired for those products before October 2019 or on a contract still active as of October 2019. 


To understand these rights, you must review the Microsoft Product Terms.  Below are the relevant sections: 



  1. Customers may use the server software on a Licensed Server, provided it acquires sufficient Server Licenses as described below. 


A Licensed Server is: 

A Licensed Server means a single Server, dedicated to the Customer’s use, to which a License is assigned.  Dedicated Servers that are under the management or control of an entity other than the Customer or one of its Affiliates are subject to the Outsourcing Software Management clause.  For purposes of this definition, a hardware partition or blade is considered to be a separate Server. 



The Outsourcing Software Management clause states: 

Customers may install and use licensed copies of the software on Servers and other devices that are under the day-to-day management and control of Authorized Outsourcers, provided all such Servers and other devices are and remain fully dedicated to Customer’s use.  The customer is responsible for all of the obligations under its volume licensing agreement regardless of the physical location of the hardware upon which the software is used.  Except as expressly permitted here or elsewhere in these Product Terms, the Customer is not permitted to install or use licensed copies of the software on Servers and other devices that are under the management or control of a third party. 


Authorized Outsourcer means any third-party service provider that is not a Listed Provider and is not using Listed Provider as a Data Center Provider as part of the outsourcing service. 


AWS is a Listed Provider.  Next, we need to determine if we have a right to utilize software at the Listed Providers through Microsoft License Mobility through Software Assurance right: 


License Mobility through Software Assurance 

Under License Mobility Through Software Assurance (SA), Customer may move its licensed software to shared servers under any of its Licenses which are designated as having License Mobility for which it has SA, subject to the requirements below.  Products used for Self-Hosting may be used at the same time under License Mobility through SA rights, subject to the limitations of the Self-Hosting License Terms.  


Permitted Use: 

With License Mobility through SA, Customer may: 

      • Run its licensed software on shared servers;  
      • Access that software under access licenses and for which it has SA, and under its User and Device SLs that permit access to the Products;  
      • Manage its OSEs that it uses on shared servers; and/or  
      • Manage its OSEs that it uses on its servers using software that it runs on shared servers. 



To use License Mobility through SA, the Customer must: 

      • Run its licensed software and manage its OSEs on shared servers under the terms of its volume licensing agreement;  
      • Deploy its Licenses only with Microsoft Azure Services or qualified License Mobility through Software Assurance Partner; and 
      • Complete and submit the License Mobility Validation form with each License Mobility through Software Assurance Partner who will run its licensed software on their shared servers. 


License Mobility allows for use on a shared server.  Products that have this right associated with them allow BYOL (as long as you have active Software Assurance).  Next, we need to see if a product has Server Mobility.  For Windows Server: 


4. Software Assurance 


Windows Server does not include License Mobility rights.  For Windows Server (or any product without License Mobility), this means BYOL is only available for versions that were released before October 2019 and for which licenses were acquired prior (or on active contracts as of October 2019) to October 2019 



Please refer to the current Product Terms to ensure this info is still accurate as Microsoft makes changes frequently to their licensing rules. 


Start Saving on Your Software Licensing

Being able to cut software licensing costs will mean money back into the IT department for smarter and more innovative investments. This can be done by tracking the life cycles of your assets through the successful deployment of an inventory tool (along with someone who can effectively read it), through having a clear understanding of usage during contract negotiations, carefully considering your migration to the Cloud, and by conducting internal audits to ensure compliance.

At Metrixdata360, we can help you cut down your costs to save you from unnecessary drains on your budget and potentially heavy audit penalties. Don’t put off saving money, get your free consultation today!

System Center Configuration Manager – Windows Update Model

This week we will be talking about Microsoft outlines Windows Update Model Using System Center Configuration Manager; Microsoft’s newest Windows Server test build adds new storage, failover clustering updates; and Microsoft challenges Chromebooks with $189 Windows 10 laptops for schools.

Microsoft Outlines Windows Update Model Using System Center Configuration Manager

Microsoft kicked off a video series describing how to update Windows 10 using System Center Configuration Manager recently.  The nature of the updates for Windows, Internet Explorer and NET Framework and how they get updated monthly is outlined. The article below describes how both Windows 10 systems and older Windows operating systems get updated. For Windows 10, Microsoft is trying to move its customers away from selectively choosing which patches to apply each month utilizing automation. However, this can lead to problems.

Windows 10 updates follow a cumulative model, where a monthly update release contains prior patches. Microsoft started the cumulative update scheme when they launched Windows 10.

There were 9 update types that were identified in the article:

  • Critical Update: a widely released fix for non-security software flaws
  • Definition Update: a widely released update to a definitive database
  • Drivers: an update to the system that manages hardware
  • Security Update: a widely released fix for a software vulnerability
  • Service Pack: a between-version cumulative update that largely applies to “legacy” or older software
  • Tool Update: an update to a utility software program
  • Security-Only Update: an update released each month that contains all of the security updates for that month, but which is not cumulative • Monthly Rollup: a set of cumulative updates that include both security and reliability updates • Preview of Monthly Rollup: a tested cumulative set of new quality updates packaged together for distribution in the next month, containing what was included in the prior month, but excluding security updates.

Updates are cumulative for Windows 10 and Windows Server 2016. The updates typically arrive on “update Tuesdays,” or the second Tuesday of the month.

Update releases get more complicated for Windows 7, Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2012/R2 systems. They have “standalone” and “cumulative” patch options. The NET Framework also has such options.  I know we here at MetrixData360 struggle on patch Tuesday as our users are unable to use their laptops for long periods of time as the updates install.

For more information please visit the Redmond Magazine article here.

Microsoft’s newest Windows Server test build adds new storage and failover clustering updates

Microsoft released a new test build of Windows Server 1803 to Insider testers on Jan. 16.  Windows Server 17074 includes some enhancements to Storage Spaces Direct (S2D) and failover clustering. As Server users may recall, S2D didn’t make it into Windows Server 1709, allegedly because it wasn’t meeting quality standards. Microsoft is hoping to add it back to the coming 1803 release.  Storage Spaces Direct spans Windows Server clusters and creates a bus which allows all the servers in the cluster to see each other’s local drives.  S2D was introduced as a feature of Windows Server 2016 and described by Microsoft as “the foundation for our hyper-converged platform.”

In preview build 17074, Microsoft removes the requirement for SCSI Enclosure Services for S2D to be compatible, which “unlocks a new breath of new hardware which was not capable of running S2D,” says a Microsoft blog post.  S2D also now supports Persistent (Storage Class) Memory and supports Direct-connect SATA devices to AHCI controller, also enabling users to run it on lower-cost hardware.

If you are interested in the new features you can read the Zdnet article here: 

Microsoft challenges Chromebooks with $189 Windows 10 laptops for schools

Microsoft is really pushing for schools to keep using Windows. They are launching new Windows 10 and Windows 10 S devices that are priced starting at just $189. The software giant is also partnering with the BBC, LEGO, NASA, PBS, and Pearson to bring a variety of Mixed Reality and video curricula to schools.  Lenovo has created a $189 100e laptop. It’s based on Intel’s Celeron Apollo Lake chips, so it’s a low-cost netbook designed for schools.  Lenovo is also introducing its 300e, a 2-in-1 laptop with pen support, priced at $279.

The new Lenovo devices are joined by two from HP, with a Windows Hello laptop priced at $199 and a pen and touch device at $299.  All four laptops will be targeted towards education, designed to convince schools not to switch to Chromebooks.

Part of Microsoft’s school push is related to content for teachers to use with these laptops. Microsoft is planning to release a new Chemistry Update for Minecraft: Education Edition this spring. It will focus on experimentation like building compounds or tackling stable isotopes. It’s a free update for everyone using the Education Edition of Minecraft.

Microsoft is also tweaking Word for Mac, Outlook desktop, and OneNote for iPad / Mac to include a new immersive reader that helps with reading and writing. In addition Microsoft is making some Mixed Reality content available for both the HoloLens and the range of Windows Mixed Reality headsets. Pearson, the world’s largest education company, will start distributing a new curriculum in March that will work on HoloLens and they will release new apps for students.

Microsoft has announced that students can receive a 10% discount on HoloLens to tempt schools into trying out its augmented reality headset. Windows Mixed Reality headsets will still be the cheaper option for schools, though.

MetrixData360 knows that the education market (and developers, remember that famous Steve Balmer video) were key to Microsoft market dominance in the late 90’s.  For many years, Microsoft lost focus on this market where our kids learn and choose their platforms early in life. It appears Microsoft is trying to reconnect with students and hopefully develop another generation of workers who grew up with and love Microsoft products.  Time will see if this push is to late or if companies like Google and Facebook can break into Microsoft’s enterprise dominance with the next generation of workers.