iPad Use Triggers Unanticipated Microsoft Licensing Costs
A recent Directions on Microsoft survey of nearly 800 of its enterprise-size customers revealed that 67% already allow employees to use personal devices such as an iPad to access corporate IT infrastructure and assets, compared to only 33% that do not. For those companies that do grant access, the enabling architectures include direct access to Microsoft servers (25%), a remote desktop connection to a user's work PC (16%), a remote desktop session host (15%), and a virtual desktop infrastructure (10%).
Unfortunately, allowing employees to access corporate networks with personal devices such as iPads is creating major headaches for software asset managers, particularly when it comes to Microsoft licensing compliance because it triggers unanticipated and often expensive licensing requirements for Microsoft server applications, Office suites, and the Windows client OS. It can also impact the qualified device count that must be reported under Microsoft Enterprise Agreements (EAs).
According to Rob Horwitz, an independent Microsoft licensing expert at Directions on Microsoft, "the cost to properly license iPads to access Microsoft software on corporate networks depends on architecture. Allow a user to access the network one way and it will cost your company hundreds of dollars per year for each iPad. Architect access another way and employee iPads may be covered by the licenses it already owns."
Horwitz explains the Microsoft licensing rules that surround iPad use – including the different technical approaches that minimize the Microsoft licensing costs triggered by iPads and other personal devices accessing corporate networks – during a recent webinar, "Licensing BYOi (Bring Your Own iPad) in the Workplace."