Our mission at ScholarBuys is to provide the academic community with expert level technology procurement support that is both timely and reliable while maintaining the highest level of customer satisfaction.  This post will be around VMware’s Enterprise License Agreement (ELA).

While VMware’s ELA isn’t anything new to the academic community, it usually requires a very large upfront purchase to participate.  Traditionally most of the institutions I work with purchase through VMware’s standard academic licensing programs.

In this program, you acquire both a license, plus one-year of Support and Subscription Services (SnS).  From there, you’ll renew your SnS on an annual basis.  Anytime you acquire new licensing, as noted above, one-year of maintenance is added.  This often creates challenges, because our schools are needing to manage multiple different renewal dates.  Our team, however, does a great job identifying all the different renewal dates to consolidate to one date.  This is accomplished by working with VMware to create an install base (IB) report which outlines everything the customer owns and when they expire.  We then work with the school to identify which date they’d like everything co-termed to.  Under ELA, you purchase five-years of software upfront, thus providing substantial discounts to the participating institution.  In addition, anything added throughout the five-year term is always co-termed – so there’s never different renewal dates on your SnS in an ELA.

For those of you not aware, our unique focus on the higher education team has always been creating and managing consolidated agreements.  We have a proven track record of increasing the value and participation in all the agreements we manage.  From the core-level, it’s always been Microsoft.  We’ve taken everything we learned over the past decade and now are approaching other companies, such as VMware, with this model.  A consolidated agreement was a perfect fit for VMware.  As they’re the global leader in cloud infrastructure, many of our customers are already leveraging their solutions.  Knowing that allowed us to structure an agreement specific to the hypervisor, rather than focusing on VMware’s other solutions (vSAN, NSX, Horizon, etc.).  There was great success in this approach for our customers – it provided schools an option to upgrade to the highest level of vSphere at a price that was equal to, or less than they were already paying on their existing SnS.  It also provides a purchasing vehicle for future projects, all at the same level discount.  For many schools, investing into a solution like NSX, Horizon or vSAN is a huge challenge, price being a big factor.  By executing an ELA, it substantially drives down the cost, and will often alleviate the pricing challenges.