It’s always a good thing when users see a reduction in license costs. It means that they have more money left over to invest in strategy and services. With that in mind, some of the changes associated with SharePoint 2013 caught our eye. The new pricing structure offers some pretty big advantages when using SharePoint 2013 for a public facing website or external facing portal.
In particular, two changes are substantive enough to deserve a deeper dive to understand what they really mean and how much they can save a company in a typical SharePoint farm scenario.
No more SharePoint for Internet Sites License (FIS): For someone estimating their SharePoint license costs for a new farm, this is a very big deal.
In SharePoint 2010 companies were required to purchase an Internet-facing standard or enterprise license if your solution would be accessible by an anonymous user (for a website) or by large numbers of external but authenticated users (for a portal). According to the published open pricing for standard SharePoint, this typically increased license cost by as much as $7000 per SharePoint server. If you wanted enterprise features, you would expect to pay an extra $39,000 per SharePoint Server with external access. So if you were looking to launch a portal leveraging SharePoint Dashboards, you may have been required to spend $80,000 just to license the servers. That doesn’t even include licensing your internal employees accessing the new Portal at $82 per user. Obviously, SharePoint was priced out of the market for many companies.
Now the good news: To license this same portal with SharePoint 2013, you just need to purchase SharePoint 2013 at $6,798.00 (Assuming an Open Price list price) and then add internal user CALs at $109 a pop. External users will get access to SharePoint 2013 standard and all enterprise features at no additional cost.
So in a scenario where you were licensing a SharePoint 2013 farm with two SharePoint servers, a database server, and 100 internal users, you would be estimating your SharePoint licensing in the ballpark of $24,496 vs. $89,328 for SharePoint 2010. In this scenario, licensing with SharePoint 2013 vs. SharePoint 2010 would save a company over $60,000.
How do they define an external user? For this licensing change, this is the big question. It is probably easier to define what they consider an internal user and you can extrapolate an external user as anything outside of that definition. Internal users are a company’s employees or its affiliates and any onsite contractors or onsite agents. All other users are considered external users and do not need licensing.
FAST Search Included in Standard License: Besides making licensing simpler, this move adds some serious horsepower to your SharePoint Portal for your internal users. This is now part of a standard SharePoint installation. So not only is it now free, it’s a lot easier to deploy and configure. Besides greatly increasing the search center capabilities, site designers can efficiently use dynamic page templates to build very large and more personalized websites and portals.
As we started to see with the greatly varied discussion topics at this year’s SharePoint Conference, there is a great deal more to learn and discover about the platform’s latest iteration. As we continue to work with and explore it, we’ll continue to share out finding here.
But in the meantime, what do you think are the most welcome of SharePoint 2013’s many changes?