Update 4/22: Note that this offer does have restrictions. It’s aimed at tech companies which both my examples are.
A friend at a small business asked me the most cost effective way to buy SharePoint for internal use and demonstration. I suggested the Microsoft Action Pack which is part of the Microsoft Partner Program. In the US, the program fee is $475 per year. There is also some paperwork involved, which can take time. The benefits for your company far outweigh the time and money. Microsoft grant’s partners in this program tens of thousands of dollars worth of software licenses for internal use and demonstrations.
Cost of SharePoint
List price for SharePoint is around $10,000. The price above actually shows a volume license discount, but let’s call it $10K to keep numbers round. That alone would seem worth investing the $475 and paperwork time. However, the cost of SharePoint is much more than that. All SharePoint installations require Windows Server and SQL Server licenses. Normally, at least two servers. Add another couple thousand for that. If you want to really demonstrate SharePoint, you’ll want the latest version of Office. Microsoft includes 10 licenses of Office Professional 2013, another $3K. If you want to do any serious work with SharePoint, you’ll want Visual Studio to apply custom branding, make web parts and more. Action Pack includes $3500/year worth of Visual Studio in 3 licenses of the Professional flavor with MSDN.
More Software Benefits
How Do I Enroll?
Check out the program FAQ for more questions about enrolling.
I got this tip from a friend of mine, Rich Olivieri, a Microsoft Certified Professional who runs a small business and is a professional Wildflower Hunter, Professional and Author. The program is a great match for service companies like his that have a heavy focus on technology.