The reason that customers are going to the cloud is that it provides the ability to reduce the license cost. For example, when purchasing Office 365 it is bundled with Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, and many other applications. In the past, purchasing a license was approximately $600. Today it's only $35 or $45 per customer, per client, or per user, plus the storage. It's less expensive for companies today, to use something, such as Microsoft Azure DevOps, and provide the software to all the employees needing a license. It's better to go with the cloud than just to buy the licenses by themselves. There are some additional costs. You pay for how much space you are using. If you don't use too much space, then the price will be very little. If you use a lot of space, you have to pay for it. Additionally, they offer readiness training. It is not included directly in what is called a statement of work when you are doing business with customers. This is when things can be a little more difficult because it can be expensive for customers if they want to change deployments from on-premises to cloud or hybrid.
The cost of Azure DevOps is manageable. You have the option to purchase a license that is per user. You can choose based on the size of your team. For example, you can opt for a volume enterprise license or go for user-based licensing if you don't have a huge number of users. You can start with a smaller package and then scale up as needed. Let's say, for instance, you are a smaller company with about only 10 users of the environment. Then, two months later, you win the Powerball, and you get a billion dollars and bring in a thousand developers. You have the flexibility to move from a small-team subscription to a big subscription easily. So you don't necessarily have to take the volume. The licensing model covers all three tiers, whereby you can have a volume license, individual users, or groups. We are using groups, and we've found it affordable because you cancel their license if someone leaves. When we get a new person, we repurchase the license. We pay a monthly subscription, but the annual licenses are cheaper because of the commitment.
I don't know the pricing of DevOps. It would be much cheaper than ALM because ALM came out as a software product initially. Now they are moving into a cloud and subscription model. In that case, Microsoft is coming from Azure and the cloud and DevOps and software as a service, so it would be much cheaper, but the catch would be that they are trying to get money on all sides, like an operating system, Microsoft Office, or Microsoft Azure DevOps. The good part is that it's a complete package, but at the same time, once you've gone with them, you don't have much leverage to split out into some other activities because everything is interconnected and entwined by that time, and it would be like a monopoly. It won't be good if you try to split out at a later point in time because everything is connected—all our Microsoft products like operating systems, OfficeSuite, MS Teams, Azure DevOps, etc.
We're not paying a lot for this product. As developers, we have a Visual Studio license which is basically free. That's how their licensing model works. Then we have a number of stakeholders who need to do edits in the system, but not work with code necessarily. I believe they're paying $5 a month per user. We also have users who only need to read things and don't need code so I set that up for everyone who needs it. We're probably paying a few hundred dollars per month altogether. That's a minor cost for us; we're not currently hosting anything on cloud, so it's a small cost compared to hosting a solution. We ran into a few things where we had to pay more because of the number of concurrent building agents. We had capped it low and the developer was unhappy so we paid a little more to get what we needed and that's been good. I don't like it when you get a big bill and you don't know about it.
Its pricing is reasonable for the number of features that you get and the functionality that you can utilize for the agile delivery, which is what we are using it for. I found it extremely cost-effective.
I don't know what we pay, but I do know what I've seen online. If we switched to JIRA, we will basically have to double our costs because we still have to pay for the DevOps licensing. We're probably spending $100 a month on it. It has only standard licensing fees.
The price is reasonable, but of course, you can find others that are cheaper such as Atlassian. But, if you look at the more serious products like Polarion, it's very competitive. If you have good Microsoft programs, it's nearly free.
Price is an area that could be improved. There are products on the market with a fixed price of 50 or 100 people, you are a bucket price. With Azure, you have to pay for every user. It's good to have a bucket such as 50 to 100, or 100 to 200, and flexible pricing. The issue may be from having more than one license. When you procure one license or two licenses, it becomes difficult. It should be easier to procure a license, it should not be one by one. We don't know how many members I will have on my team three months from now.
We have 100 users and the cost is $11 per user. There's an additional cost if you want to use the integrated test plan. You have the option to just change your license and you can use the automated test integrator.
I am not comfortable sharing the details of cost because there may be different pricing schemes, but compared to AWS, Azure is less expensive. So in the pricing in this class of services, Azure is good. It can work well for small to medium enterprises. But this solution is may not be good for those who are not enterprise-level users. Small cloud computing providers have better pricing than the bigger cloud computing providers like AWS and Microsoft Azure and may be a better choice for non-enterprise use. Still, Azure is priced better than AWS. Price may not be the only thing to consider.