Microsoft Enterprise Subscription Agreement Public Sector Cloud Transformation
Phoenix Software’s Licensing Experts enable Sentinel Housing to optimise and futureproof its Microsoft licensing estate, while saving money
Sentinel Housing Association owns and manages 10,000 homes across 12 local authority areas in the South East of England. They’re the fifth largest housing developer by size in the sector with an annual turnover of around £72 million. A Phoenix Software customer for over a decade, Sentinel engaged with Phoenix when its Microsoft Enterprise Agreement was up for renewal to ensure its new software agreements aligned with its long-term ambitions for cloud computing.
As a long-term customer, Phoenix Software was aware that Sentinel’s three-year Enterprise Agreement (EA) was approaching renewal. To ensure plenty of time to evaluate its requirements and provide appropriate licensing recommendations, Phoenix first contacted Sentinel five months prior to the expiration of its EA.
Sentinel was keen to retain an Enterprise Agreement with Microsoft due to the reassurance and protection that such agreements provide during software audits, which was top of mind for Sentinel as the housing association had only recently been through a Microsoft audit as a result of the vendor’s targeting of housing associations at the time. While Sentinel had sailed through the audit with top marks, the experience had reaffirmed the benefits of licensing its software via an Enterprise Agreement so it was keen to maintain this model going forward.
The main challenge facing Sentinel Housing was mitigating any price rises in its software, as Microsoft had increased its prices year-on-year since Sentinel last renewed its EA three years previously. Sentinel was also keen to build greater flexibility into its licensing agreement that would help it to migrate to Office 365 and Azure in the future. While the business was not ready to switch everything to the cloud just yet, it did not want to be locked into an inflexible agreement that would make such a transition impossible until its next renewal in another three years’ time.