License Deals: Buyer Beware
As IT managers prepare to decide whether to sign up for Software Assurance, they might want to consider a tawdry little story now playing out in California.Remember software assurance, Microsofts controversial enterprise license agreement that purports to offer corporate customers big savings if theyll just commit in advance to buying a certain volume of Microsoft products and paying an annual fee? The deadline for enterprises to sign up for the plan is July 31. As IT managers prepare to decide whether to sign up for Software Assurance, however, they might want to consider a tawdry little story now playing out in California. The 7-year-old office of the CIOotherwise known as the state Department of Information Technologyand its director, Elias Cortez, have come under withering criticism for a $95 million software ELA they negotiated, and the state government signed, a year ago to buy enough Oracle8i database licenses for 270,000 users. According to a recent report by the state auditor, the Oracle ELA may turn out to be the worst deal since the Red Sox sold Babe Ruth. According to the report, rather than saving money, the state may end up overpaying by as much as $41 million.
Here are a few of the things the state did wrong, according to the report: