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Recently, a customer who uses BI systems built by us on the Microsoft platform, wanted to explore the feasibility of using Power BI to spearhead self-service, data driven decision making across their organisation. Currently their reports were created in silos, consisted of static reports using Reporting Services and a couple of seldom-accessed Tableau dashboards. The systems we built were used to optimize our client’s delivery of high quality health and rehabilitation support in communities across New Zealand, and we were keen to help increase their impact footprint. While we discussed adoption strategies to move the business teams towards the intended scenario, the first concern was whether Power BI would be a better proposition from a cost perspective. The client mentioned that they already have a SQL Server Enterprise license and would need an on-premise implementation due to data security concerns. However, they had also made some investments in Tableau from a dash-boarding perspective.

We analysed the current on-premise offerings from Tableau and Power BI – while there might be many detailed blogs out there that cover all the licensing variations, the table below compares high-level sample scenarios of licensing costs for on premise Power BI and Tableau implementations based on number of users on the platform.

It indicates lower licensing costs for Power BI when the SQL Server Enterprise with Software Assurance license is available, and for implementations where most users are producing and sharing reports. However, if you’re a small team that’s not already on the Microsoft platform and won’t scale in a number of users in the near future, a Tableau Server setup with Desktop for power users could be a better option

If you require assistance in evaluating licensing requirements for specific use cases within your organization, contact the team on email hello@walkerscott.co or call Australia 1300 490 795 New Zealand on 0800 111 72

Scenarios

Power BI  Power BI  Tableau
SQL Server Enterprise with Software Assurance license available SQL Server Enterprise with Software Assurance not available
Power BI Reporting Server is included

Power BI Reporting Server is not includedPurchase Power BI Premium single node @ 5000 USD/month (Calculator ) 
Scenario 1 Scenario 1 Scenario 1
95 users consume / 5 users publish (and share, apps, subscriptions)

  • Power BI Pro licenses for publishing are required @ 10 USD/user/month
  • @5 users => 50 USD/month
95 users consume / 5 users publish (and share, apps, subscriptions)

  • Power BI Pro licenses for publishing are required @ 10 USD/user/month
  •   @5 users => 50 USD/monthTotal: 5050 USD/month
95 users consume / 5 users publish and share (and consume)

  • Desktop Professional licenses for publishing are required @ 70 USD/user/month
  •   @5 users => 350 USD/month
  • Server licenses are required @ 35 USD/user/month
  • @100 users => 3500 USD/month·       Total: 3850 USD/month
Scenario 2  Scenario 2         Scenario 2
100 users publish (and share, apps, subscriptions)

  • Power BI Pro licenses for publishing are required @ 10 USD/user/month
  •   @100 users => 1000 USD/month
100 users publish (and share, apps, subscriptions)

  • Power BI Pro licenses for publishing are required @ 10 USD/user/month
  • @100 users => 1000 USD/month·       Total: 6000 USD/month
100 users publish and share (and consume)

  • Desktop Professional licenses for publishing are required @ 70 USD/user/month
  • @100 users => 7000 USD/month·       Server licenses are required @ 35 USD/user/month
  • @100 users => 3500 USD/month Total: 10500 USD/month
  Scenario 3
  550 users publish and share (and consume)

  •   Power BI Pro licenses for publishing are required @ 10 USD/user/month
  •   @550 users => 5500 USD/monthTotal: 10500 USD/month

 

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