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Enterprise License Agreements for Migration Projects? Caution!

First off, let me say in general I do not have a significant issue with Enterprise License Agreements (ELAs) – they ...


First off, let me say in general I do not have a significant issue with Enterprise License Agreements (ELAs) – they absolutely have their place in certain situations.  When it comes to applying them to enterprise transformation initiatives around migration  however, there are some long-term aspects that absolutely should be thought through ahead of time. 

Young businesswoman fixing gears mechanism with wrenchELAs in the transformation space generally only apply to very large projects – for example where an organization needs to migrate volumes approaching a petabyte (PB) of Enterprise Vault archive data to Office 365.  As licenses in this space are often consumption based (ex. Per TB or user migrated), what’s very enticing for organizations with a large project scope is that an ELA most likely offers an unlimited capacity license.  This is attractive given projects at these sizes are expected to have a longer duration and having an unlimited capacity license offers insurance from scope increases and additional cost during the project.  If the scenario includes managed services, they would most likely be limited in scope so additional charges may apply.   

In order to secure an ELA of this type, more often than not, the majority of funds will need to be paid up front.  It’s possible some of the services will have milestones at risk, but those tend to be minimal percentage wise.  The selected solution may absolutely work technically, and we have a great video on that, but you really have no guide on how long the project will take. 

As the organization with the initiative to get your data from source to target – the combination of significant upfront cost along with unknown timelines effectively means you take on all the project risk.  Before you find yourself stuck in such a tenuous situation, ask yourself the following:

  • How long will the source system need to be maintained, ex. Enterprise Vault?  How much will that cost?
  • Are there additional fees associated with the migration software/services?  What is the annual maintenance cost for the migration?
  • Are the project resources aligned to go as fast as possible?  
  • What are the risks if the project takes much longer than expected?

The answers could be critical – for example, if the source system costs $2M per year all in to maintain, and the migration solution has an annual maintenance cost of $200k, what happens if the project takes an extra year or two?  That’s an additional business cost between $2.2M - $4.4M.  There are absolutely projects out there running for 3 or 4 years and still going where this was clearly overlooked, especially now with things like Microsoft Service Protection Throttling coming into the picture.  Any ROI you hoped for, will be lost or go negative.

Another big question to consider – Is the vendor you are working with acting like a partner and sharing in this risk

An even better question – Do they have an incentive to get the project done as fast as possible?

The Cloudficient Answer

Businessman looking at road with maze and solution concept

At Cloudficient, we’re all about Empowering Digital Transformation – helping organizations as they evolve throughout the enterprise lifecycle.  This includes everything from onboarding to the cloud, optimizing or expiring legacy data along the way, to restructuring events like mergers and acquisitions and all the change they bring.

In servicing these transformations, the Cloudficient team strives to be 100% different with a unique approach that includes the following:

  • Pay nothing till solution is proven – Always do a POC!
  • Drastically reduce required on-premise hardware – We scale vs. you scale, power of a cloud native platform
  • Start projects quicklySpin up dedicated cloud tenant in minutes
  • Flexible payment options – Pay upfront (CAPEX) or pay-as-you-go (OPEX)

This distinctive combination really enables us to eliminate all associated upfront project risk.  Additionally, our technology is offered as a 100% Managed Service and backed by an experienced delivery team.  Services are fixed price/fixed outcome and there are no hidden or additional costs once scope is agreed.

So before you sign that ELA…

Know what resources are required to maximize your migration performance.  You are trying to vacate your datacenter or scale-down your on-premise infrastructure – not build more!

Ensure that you know your maximum exposure to costs and timelines – and the ROI you so painfully calculated will be maintained until the last item is migrated!

Make sure that your migration vendor is truly a “partner” and is just as vested in finalizing your project as you are.

With unmatched next generation migration technology, Cloudficient is revolutionizing the way businesses retire legacy systems and transform their organization into the cloud. Our business constantly remains focused on client needs and creating product offerings that match them. We provide affordable services that are scalable, fast and seamless.

If you would like to learn more about how to bring Cloudficiency to your migration project, visit our website, or contact us.

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