The future of licensing
Recently, Microsoft made an announcement that will affect businesses with 250-500 employees that currently purchase Microsoft volume licenses under a Microsoft Enterprise Agreement (EA), as well as those planning on entering an EA. This news is significant, and shows that Microsoft is making good on its promise to make licensing Microsoft software and online services simpler, easier to understand, and quicker to provision.
Beginning July 1, 2016, Microsoft is raising the minimum threshold for commercial customers to enter into an Enterprise Agreement from 250 seats to 500 “seats” – which can mean users or devices. Why? Well, it’s all part of Microsoft’s effort to create the single licensing program of the future. In early 2014, Microsoft introduced a new licensing program called the Microsoft Products and Services Agreement (MPSA) to replace the Select and Select Plus programs. Eventually all programs like the EA, Open, and Open Value will roll under the MPSA as well.
Zones has you covered
If you’re a current EA customer affected by this announcement, don’t worry; the Zones’ team will advise your organization and help you navigate through this change. We’ll help you determine whether continuing your EA through the transition period is the best move – or whether you should make a change in the near future.
Zones, a top-tier Microsoft Licensing Solutions Partner (LSP), began efforts to convert our Select and Select Plus customers to the MPSA in 2014. Learning in July of that year that new Select Plus agreements could no longer be created, Zones’ Microsoft Solutions Specialists advised customers to begin converting to the MPSA, and educated customers on the benefits of this new program.
Now it is time for current EA customers to understand and consider the MPSA and what it offers.
One of the greatest benefits of the MPSA is that Microsoft Online Services are rolled into the same program as software and Software Assurance. This means you can manage your Office 365 and Azure consumption in the same portal. Here are additional benefits of the program:
- New online system and tools – With the MPSA, Microsoft also introduced the Microsoft Volume Licensing Center (MVLC,) a slick, new online portal to manage licensing and online services in partnership with Zones. The MVLC is intuitive and much easier to use than the Volume License Service Center (VLSC). But don’t worry; the old Volume License Service Center (VLSC) will still exist. And we will assist you in managing licensing in both portals as you transition to the MPSA.
- The MPSA is an evergreen agreement – The agreement itself never expires, meaning that together, you and Zones can focus on meeting your licensing needs instead of than considering the expiration of an EA.
- SA can be prorated on the MPSA, saving on SA benefit costs.
- A single, global agreement – You’ll enroll your business in a single agreement for the entire organization, giving you greater purchasing power. Purchasing accounts can be created for organizations that have fragmented purchasing environment or have a regionally diverse organization. For example, if your HQ is in New York, but your location in Los Angeles typically buys its own software, the administrator at HQ can create a purchasing account for an administrator in LA without the need to create a new agreement or requiring them to work with corporate; LA can stay autonomous. (Imagine the impact on buying power for holding companies and through acquisitions!)
- There is no minimum purchasing requirement to enter into an MPSA.
Of course there are a few other details to go over, so you should call 800.408.ZONES or get ahold of your Account Executive to book an appointment with a Zones Microsoft Solutions Specialist at your earliest convenience.