The Yeoman’s Guide to SP2013 Internet/Extranet Licensing: Part 1

What was that law about an object at rest?  Well, when my own mind is at rest– that is, when I’m not consumed with doting on my kids, digging up obscure music, or reveling in the resurgence of Notre Dame football– my mind tends to wander to SharePoint.  In the wake of the phenomenal and mind-blowing data overload that was SharePoint Conference 2012, I had to recharge a bit, but now I’m back to normal.
How do I know?  Because where other guys might have been checking their fantasy football stats or polishing off the last of the Thanksgiving leftovers, I find I’ve been thinking about the new licensing structure for SharePoint. 
Standard vs. Enterprise
As a trusted advisor to many of my clients, I’m often asked for my thoughts on licensing.  Of particular interest to many of them, past and present alike, is the fault line between Standard and Enterprise.  In some places it’s every bit as notorious as the San Andreas, and I understand why.  Enterprise is a trade-off— a more powerful set of features but it carries a larger price tag.
I’m from Wisconsin, where companies are generally kind of… frugal.  Spending additional money on productivity software– which often lacks hard-dollar ROI— doesn’t always make sense to manufacturing, health-care, mutual companies and other clients who judge every purchase or subscription by its black-and-white quantitative impact on the bottom line.
Once I’ve explained that trying to do anything on Foundation is a waste of time (no support, pain to integrate, re-inventing the wheel), companies like these often ask me why they should step up to enterprise.  Well, there are now two scenarios in particular where the new features of SharePoint should get anyone in enterprise IT thinking about the enterprise CAL: Internet and Extranet.
Don’t get me wrong, there is value in the ECAL for other scenarios too.  Business Intelligence, Enterprise Content Management, Workflow and Search (to name just a few) are all pumped up some by their respective enterprise features.
I’d also be remiss in my role as a champion of SharePoint Social if I didn’t note that all of 2013’s core social business goodness is Standard functionality (though of limited value without a sound social business strategy in place).
We’ll look in detail at some of these in future posts, but Internet sites and Extranets are where the real action is out of the gate.
I’ve seen some good and helpful commentary on the new licensing model elsewhere, but most of it approaches SharePoint licensing on a feature-by-feature or workstream-by-workstream basis.  The reality is, truly valuable SharePoint business solutions are built not from one workstream or set of features, but by pulling in useful tools from several buckets.
Click here for Part 2 and the goodness that is Enterprise licensing for SharePoint Extranets and Internet sites.

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Rich Wood

Rich Wood has been planning, designing and building enterprise solutions and internet sites with an emphasis on stellar user and customer experiences since 1997. Rich is a National Director for Content and Commerce Platform work in Perficient Digital. One of the rare breed of strategists to truly understand both the business needs of the customer and the platforms that serve them, he is a keen advocate for and accomplished speaker/writer on issues that surround that inflection point. His work has been published on CMSWire, Sitecore and Microsoft partner blogs, and his own LinkedIn page as well as our various blogs here at Perficient, and he has spoken at multiple major conferences including Microsoft's SharePoint Conference 2014. Married and a father of five, Rich enjoys spending time with his wife and family. He is a native of South Milwaukee, Wisconsin and a graduate of Marquette University.

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