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Enterprise software agreements shape SaaS use

This week bloggers address enterprise software agreements and SaaS, the case of SD-WAN and HPE's expected entry into the hyper-converged infrastructure market.

Stephen White, an analyst at Gartner, recently explored the subject of enterprise software agreements as they apply to software as a service (SaaS) . Today, enterprise software agreements take many forms, following a veritable alphabet soup of different agreement acronyms. Agreements range from general enterprise license agreements to Adobe's Enterprise Term License Agreement and Oracle's Unlimited License Agreement. White writes, "In the perpetual model where optional maintenance prevails, many organizations have re-evaluated inclusions leading up to renewal." However, while enterprise software agreements, such as SaaS subscriptions, offer better alternatives for some companies, many still fall into a "subscription treadmill."

White believes that the "initial commitment and negotiation" of a SaaS contract is a very important phase for companies. According to White, if quantities in the contract cannot be easily reduced, companies run the risk of "unwanted shelfware." He adds that contracts lacking publisher bundling and pro-rata reductions can lead to unwanted costs. White sees enterprise software agreements as a critical element of SaaS adoption that allow buyers brief leverage in and an element of buyer power that determines future outcomes. Fortunately, vendors such as Adobe are leading the trend in moving from perpetual to cloud subscriptions with an ETLA contract that now includes non-reducible, upfront standard commitments more commonly negotiated by customers.

Read more of White's thoughts on enterprise software agreements.

The case of SD-WAN adoption

In a recent blog post, Mike Fratto, an analyst at Current Analysis in Sterling, Va., wrote about the case for SD-WAN adoption. While Fratto admits that there may be a few companies that won't benefit from replacing their existing WAN infrastructure, these organizations are in the minority. Overall, he says, there is a strong case to be made for SD-WAN, given the technology's ability to optimize the performance of enterprise applications by dynamically managing bandwidth to meet demand.

Above all, Fratto believes that operational simplicity is key with SD-WAN. Products on the market today consolidate elements of other technologies, combining VPNs, physical link load balancing, granular access control, and even aspects of application performance management. Furthermore, SD-WAN products keep track of other important factors such as latency and packet loss.

Fratto adds that each organization's needs are different and each will have to conduct its own analysis of needs to track down the best SD-WAN product.

Explore more of Fratto's thoughts on the case for SD-WAN.

HPE readies HCI offering

Greg Ferro, writing in Ethereal Mind, examines the hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) marketplace, following the news that Hewlett Packard Enterprise is ready to market its own offering. HPE CEO Meg Whitman said the company will release an HCI product, based on its Proliant virtualization server, later this year.

With HPE's entrance, Ferro says all the vendors "who matter" will now have an HCI offering, citing existing HCI platforms from companies such as VMware, Dell and Cisco. Overall, he views HCI as a particular challenge for enterprises facing difficulties integrating storage arrays, servers, networks and virtualization -- with few clear standards for interoperability. He views HCI as already "locked in" for data centers and potentially leading to the end of disaggregation in the enterprise as companies no longer purchase separate networking equipment, servers and storage.

Dig deeper into Ferro's ideas about HCI.

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