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Resource for the resourceful

When it comes to the task of saving money, it pays to know the areas where you can make a return. That's why we've pulled together some useful information and suggestions to help you get started. From the tools that you can get at no extra cost, to the things that you've paid for but perhaps not made the most of, we'd like to help you deal with the pressures of today without spending like there's no tomorrow.

Then we'll touch on ways you can invest the money you've saved, and see how you can save even more in the future.

Microsoft Office Live, Windows Live and Visual Studio Express all add value without subtracting money. From free websites and email accounts for employees, to all-in-one web platforms for developers, they’re totally free to use.

You can also use free planning and deployment resources to plan upgrades and improvements long before you spend, and save money in the process…

Windows Live comes with Mail, Messenger, Writer, Photo Gallery and many more features, all in one easy-to-use place. And of course, it’s completely free.

Best practices and experiences from Microsoft IT
Get a unique, inside view into how Microsoft plans for, deploys and manages its own enterprise solutions. Visit How Microsoft does IT and the Microsoft IT Showcase to see how the various projects benefited the Business and IT Teams.

Also see how using Microsoft IT Value Cards can help build a business case for implementing a wide range of IT solutions.

Virtual Labs on a wide range of products and technologies
Quickly evaluate and test Microsoft's newest server products through a series of guided, hands-on labs you can complete in 90 minutes or less. You can use TechNet Virtual Labs online immediately, free.

If you’ve already subscribed to our products, there may be some features from which you’re yet to benefit. The resources listed here will help you squeeze every last bit of value out of them.

Subscribe to Windows Server 2005, SQL Server 2005 and 2008 or Microsoft Office?

Then make sure you try these cost-saving features…

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Whichever product you subscribe to, these guides can save you money and improve efficiency…

Then make sure you try these cost-saving features…

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TechNet Plus subscribers can get far more than their money’s worth by ensuring they’re capitalising on all these benefits…

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Software Assurance subscribers are already saving money, but perhaps not in as many ways as they could…

Software Assurance combines the latest software with tools and resources to help you deploy, manage and migrate software. Features include:

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Once you’ve exploited all the free or previously paid-for benefits, you might want some ideas on how to spend your budget wisely.

Improving data centre operations management, reducing travel and communications costs, and improving security are three key ways in which you can make substantial savings further down the line.

  1. Improve data centre operations management with Microsoft System Center. This will significantly reduce the cost of server ownership, as shown in this data centre management case study.
  2. Reduce travel and communications costs with Microsoft Unified Communications solutions. You can save money and streamline processes, just like this company did.
  3. Reduce costs and improve security with standardised configurations of Windows desktops, servers and mobile devices that optimise infrastructure. See how others have done just that .

As your company expands, you'll also want to manage your software licences carefully to ensure that you have the most cost-effective solution.

Take a closer look at where your IT money is going

Managing your software licences may not spring to mind as being your priority right now, but you could be surprised at how, by not managing your software assets, you could actually be spending unnecessary money, paying for software that’s not being used, and missing out on the most cost-effective bulk buy options available to you.

Small savings here and there can make a big difference. Here are a few quick ideas on how to save money: