Big Changes to Microsoft’s EA Licensing Have Arrived.

In a new Microsoft announcement by Richard Smith, General Manager of Microsoft’s World Wide Licensing and Pricing, there are some changes in licensing that have already taken place!  Read more here about the changes to Microsoft’s EA licensing.

“Beginning on July 1, 2016, the minimum Enterprise Agreement (EA) commitment for commercial customers signing new Enterprise Enrollments or Enterprise Subscription Enrollments will increase from 250 users or devices to 500. Along with this change, we are guiding new commercial customers within the 250 to 499 user or device range to our modern volume licensing solutions: the Microsoft Product and Services Agreement (MPSA) and the Cloud Solutions Provider (CSP).

Together, these announcements reflect the underlying transformation in what customers buy and how they buy it. First, customers are increasingly harnessing our cloud and hybrid solutions, and second, our modern programs of MPSA and CSP, purpose-built for these developments, are rapidly being embraced because they deliver the simpler, more flexible licensing our customers and partners tell us they want.”


What does this mean for you?  For one, if you fall below the 500 subscription enrollment minimum you might discover a jump in licensing costs at your next renewal.  Two, Microsoft is now adapting their previous licensing models to encourage companies to use cloud services.  This actually may be a big benefit to your company but it could also come at a cost.  At the end of this article, look for our contact info and give us a call so we can discuss exactly what this may mean for your organization.



from Microsoft:

Microsoft Products and Services Agreement (MPSA). MPSA is the fastest and most flexible way to buy all the software and cloud services you need through one simplified agreement.

  • You can create a purchasing structure that reflects your organization’s structure, yet optimize pricing across your MPSA.
  • One-, two-, and three-year durations for many online services deliver budget predictability and the flexibility to purchase what you need when you need it. We’ll also soon add short-term subscription durations (one to 11 months) to help you address seasonal and project-based needs.
  • There are no minimum requirements to start buying cloud services. You can begin with exactly as much as you need for your organization, and you’ll get price protection on any incremental purchases you buy during the term of the subscription.

Cloud Solution Provider (CSP). For customers seeking to fully outsource management of their cloud services, CSP offers an easy way to license what you need in combination with the value-added services offered by your systems integrator, hoster, or born-in-the-cloud reseller partner.

  • There are thousands of CSP partners worldwide with the technical expertise to help you take full advantage of Microsoft cloud technologies — even if you have no in-house IT department.
  • You can fully leverage these partners to handle ordering, provisioning, management, and support for Microsoft cloud services.
  • For Office 365 and Microsoft Dynamics Online, your partner can purchase a subscription and add and modify seats mid-term. For Azure, you pay for what you use, in arrears. There are no minimum requirements to start buying cloud services.

At the expiration of their current EA term, existing commercial customers with fewer than 500 users or devices can choose to transition to MPSA or CSP, or they can renew their EA by extending it for one additional 36-month period. The extension option is recommended for customers whose unique needs are not yet supported by MPSA or CSP, as well as for customers who simply prefer to continue with the EA.

Please note that the change to the minimum commitment does not impact EA customers with greater than 500 users or devices, Public Sector customers, or the Server and Cloud Enrollment (SCE).

Start preparing for the changes today

These changes have already gone into effect as of July 1st 2016.  Commercial EA customers with fewer than 500 users or devices should contact EX-OP immediately to learn more about what options you have.  Let us help you save on your IT costs while we navigate this new licensing change from Microsoft.