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In an ever-changing software landscape, organizations face many challenges around procurement, deployment and license management. Lengthy procurement processes slow innovation as departments vet and approve software contracts. Inaccurate growth forecasting can cause consumption shortages or overages, triggering significant financial and business impacts. And finally, managing individual software licenses with varying renewal dates, terms and conditions can be extremely complex. 

These challenges will only continue to grow as organizations increasingly expand their software footprint and move into the cloud. Developing a strategy that addresses license proliferation now will allow for a smoother path forward, which is why many organizations are turning to Enterprise Licensing Agreements (ELAs).

ELAs offer a holistic software agreement to help organizations simplify and streamline their software licenses. ELAs are designed to benefit both the vendor and customer; customers receive significant software discounts — sometimes up to 40 percent — with flexible deployment options in exchange for full payment upfront. By partnering with WWT, organizations can ensure they're extracting the most value out of their enterprise agreement and maximizing savings. 

WWT's close OEM partnerships allows our Software Advisory Services team to act as a trusted advisor providing vendor-neutral support to organizations as they determine the best approach for building their ELA. In this article, we'll focus specifically on the VMware ELA, its components and benefits, and how our team can help every step of the way.

VMware ELA components 

VMware ELAs are typically three-year contracts so it's important to fully understand what's included before committing. This not only ensures your organization is prepared to meet the basic financial requirements but that you can strategically map these components to business needs. The VMware ELA includes the following components:

  • Install base: This represents the renewal pricing for your existing VMware software footprint. 
  • New license: This portion of the deal must be at least $250,000. Both subscription and perpetual options are available. 
  • New support: Support and subscription are required to purchase with all VMware licenses.
  • Professional services: These services can be bundled directly into the opportunity and delivered during your agreement.

What can the VMware ELA help you accomplish?

The VMware ELA delivers three key benefits: cost savings, flexible deployments, and simplified license management and renewals.

In addition to initial cost savings of up to 40 percent on software, the VMware ELA unlocks preferential discounting on licensing and support throughout the term of the agreement. It also allows organizations to negotiate fixed, post-ELA renewal terms up front to avoid unexpected costs in the future and allow for better budget planning. 

The VMware ELA can help organizations increase agility around software deployments and prevent shelfware through its token-based consumption program. Organizations can purchase tokens at the start of their ELA agreement to use toward provisioning additional licenses on demand, as needed, and enlisting professional services. 

When working with organizations to build their VMware ELA, tokens are a game changer. Our team often finds that organizations have a lot of unused licenses because they've over-purchased to avoid a shortage. The token program makes it easy for organizations to pivot their software spend as needed without having to pre-buy licenses or create additional purchase orders.

Lastly, the VMware ELA provides simplified license management and renewals by consolidating individual software purchases into a single license to manage. Organizations reduce their risk of missing important dates and terms, causing gaps in software availability that could impact business-critical operations. 

Three steps to maximize the effectiveness of your VMware ELA 

When it comes to software licensing, many missteps can happen along the way without careful planning and consideration. While it's crucial that organizations align their VMware ELA to growth plans and budgets while building the agreement, they also need a roadmap in place that spans the entirety of the ELA once implemented. Using our EA+ methodology, our team helps customers throughout the lifecycle of their VMware ELA by focusing on three key steps. 

1, Building a business case.

These days software is utilized by nearly every department within an organization. In initial planning discussions, it's important to include the departments that will be impacted — big or small — by the VMware ELA to maximize savings and ensure all stakeholders' needs are addressed. 

WWT can help facilitate these cross-functional conversations to develop a cohesive business case for the ELA. Additionally, we can provide unbiased financial analysis to pinpoint a strategy that makes most sense for the organization.

2. Developing a roadmap. 

After earning buy-in across the business, the next step is developing a tangible roadmap that aligns with specific outcomes. Building off the business case and the organization's future vision, WWT can develop a schedule that pinpoints specific steps along the way to scale the business as needed. While this plan can be used as a guide throughout the VMware ELA, we understand priorities can shift so this is an ongoing process that our experts can adjust as needed.

3. Ensuring software consumption. 

Once software is deployed, it's important to provide end-user training to encourage adoption. Our Adoption Services team can deliver a variety of training offerings to ensure end users are comfortable with the technology while our Software Advisory Services team can keep a pulse on usage and share reporting.

Contact Dan Neveu or your WWT account manager for additional details on how the VMware ELA could benefit your organization.