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Salesforce.com Licensing Quick Guide 2015

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‘Salesforce.com licenses are nowhere near as complex as some vendors, but they still need active management to ensure compliancy.’

Compared to the likes of Oracle, SAP, IBM, Microsoft and Adobe, salesforce.com licensing is reasonably simple to understand and manage. With that said, there are still opportunities for salesforce.com customers to utilise their licenses and make cost savings.

This guide aims to highlight the opportunities for cost saving and optimisation with your Salesforce.com agreement, and give you an understanding of salesforce.com licensing. For those individuals responsible for managing software and services costs within their organisation, Internet or cloud based enterprise applications represent a new challenge! It is a case of using the principles and techniques that are applicable to on-premise perpetual licensing and adapting them for the cloud environment.

Please note that this document is intended as a guide only and not the ultimate source of truth. Please refer to the Salesforce.com Master Subscription Agreement or your Salesforce.com account manager for any clarification on your entitlement and appropriate usage.

Licensing Metrics

 Salesforce.com provide users with a number of different license metrics to license software with. They are:

  • User based licenses
  • Permission set licenses
  • Feature set licenses
  • Usage based licenses 

Within each type of license metric there are a number of variations on the type of license users can have:

User based licenses

Salesforce.com statesa user license determines the baseline of features that the user can access. Every user must have exactly one user license. You assign user permissions for data access through a profile and optionally one or more permission sets”.

 

                     License type

 Definition

Standard user license

There are a number of different standard user licenses for salesforce.com product. To view the standard user license types for all salesforce.com products please click here.

Chatter user license

Three Chatter licenses are available: Chatter External, Chatter Free, and Chatter Only (also known as Chatter Plus). In addition, all standard Salesforce.com licenses allow free Chatter access for all the employees in your organisation.

Communities user license

There are three Communities licenses for external users: Customer Community, Customer Community Plus, and Partner Community. Best suited for business-to-consumer communities with large numbers of external users.

Service Cloud portal user license

Provides access to the service cloud portal.

Site and Site.com user license

Provides contacts unlimited logins to the Service Cloud Portal to access customer support information.

Authenticated website user license

Provides named sites users unlimited logins to your Platform Portal to access customer support information.

 

Permission set licenses

Salesfroce.com states permission set licenses incrementally entitle users to access features that are not included in their user licenses. Users can be assigned any number of permission set licenses”.

 

License Type

Definition

Employee community user for force.com

Ability to ‘view knowledge’ information and read/write access on cases
Files Connect for on-premises external data sources

            Ability to file Connect On Premise

Identity Connect

       Ability to use the Identity Connect feature

Orders Platform

     Ability to access a number of Order based features, including read/write access to said features.

Sales console

Ability to use the Sales console feature

Feature set licenses

Salesforce.com statesfeature license entitles a user to access an additional feature that is not included with his or her user license, such as Marketing or Work.com. Users can be assigned any number of feature licenses”.

Usage based licenses

Salesforce.com states “usage-based entitlement is a limited resource that your organisation can use on a periodic basis—such as the allowed number of monthly logins to a Partner Community or the record limit for Data.com list users”.

Salesforce.com.com product library  

Salesforce.com. have a number of products available to customers, some with different editions. Salesforce.com offer Group, Professional, Enterprise and Unlimited software versions. They have broken down their products into different categories.

Sales

Sales Cloudsales force automation and CRM
Data.comB2B prospecting and data cleansing

Community

Community Cloudconnecting customers, partners and employees

ChatterEnterprise social network

Service

 Service Cloud Customisable support and help desk

Desk.comCustomer support for small businesses

Analytics
 

Analytics CloudBusiness analytics on any data, any device

Marketing

Marketing CloudDigital marketing platform

Pardot B2B marketing automation

Platform and apps

Salesforce.com1 PlatformCloud application development platform

AppExchangeBusiness app marketplace

Tracking usage

 Users can track salesforce.com.com usage by receiving monthly bulletins from salesforce.com that show the levels of activity and usage from the organisations users. However, at the time of writing (November 2014), the usage stats generated by salesforce.com are based around the on-going usage of salesforce.com products, and not about helping the organisation optimise their costs or licenses. The usage data that is provided by salesforce.com includes user logins and any new records that have been created during the month.

Getting the most out of your salesforce.com licenses

 Like all applications you need to manage salesforce.com licenses effectively to ensure you are getting the most out of your investment. There are a number of ways in which you can do this with salesforce.com:

Renewal negotiation

Salesforce.com charge based on what you have purchased, not what you are using, so an organisation could end up with all users using the same edition of salesforce.com software, which may not be required. The opportunity for cost optimisation lies in identifying the real usage of the application and negotiating your annual renewal (and subsequent additional users) based on real usage data.

For example if you are paying for 1,000 Enterprise users, but only 150 staff only ever use enterprise features, you can suggest to Salesforce.com during your negotiation that you either need to downgrade all users to professional edition or that they should offer a discount for this mismatch of functionality. This tactic is best supported with facts – your usage data.

Repayments cycle

We mentioned the repayments cycle in our previous salesforce.com licensing quick guide, but it’s a key point and should be included in this version. If you have exhausted the search for users not using Salesforce.com and need to buy an additional license – wait until the first of the month to start the subscription. Users added mid-month are billed for the full month – e.g. If you add a user on the 20th January your organisation will be billed for the whole of January.

Finally, it is worth noting that organizations need to give 30 days notice before their anniversary if they wish to decrease the number of users on their subscription.

Conclusion

Salesforce.com licenses are nowhere near as complex as some vendors, but they still need active management to ensure compliancy. Furthermore you need to monitor usage to ensure that licensed users are using the software correctly. You may be able to recycle an inactive license to another user, thus saving money and optimising licenses.

If you think we’ve missed anything out in this guide, then please get in touch!

This is an updated version to our previous salesforce.com guide.

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About David Foxen

David Foxen is a Software Asset Management expert and enthusiast. He had a vast experience of successfully implementing SAM, SAM tools and also made huge cost savings. A member of the ISO Standards WG21, David is a massive ITAM geek, so uses any opportunity to talk about the subject to who-ever will listen. He believes that the industry needs to share its knowledge and success stories to help the SAM industry mature and become more effective. Always willing to help, his primary goal is to make a difference to organisations and the SAM industry so everyone will know how epic SAM is!

One Comment

  1. David Adao says:

    HI David can you explain how ,is the Salesforce Software License Compliance Audit Process?Any article or something?

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