The Enterprise Agreement gives you the flexibility to choose among on-premises software and cloud services to best suit your users’ needs, and helps you optimize your technology spend as business priorities change.
The Microsoft Enterprise Agreement
The Microsoft Enterprise Agreement (EA) provides you with the best overall pricing based on your organization’s size, the benefits of Software Assurance, as well as simplified licensing management via your organization-wide agreement. And as more companies implement cloud services, the EA now provides a seamless way to license both on-premises software and cloud services all in the same agreement. With a single agreement, you will enjoy the flexibility of being able to choose software and cloud services for different user types, optimize your technology spend to fit your IT and user needs, and streamline software compliance and asset management across all of your Microsoft purchases.
* Please note that not in all regions cloud services are available.
How the Enterprise Agreement Works
The Enterprise Agreement is appropriate for your organization if you have more than 250 PCs, devices and/ or users and want to license software and cloud services for your organization for a minimum, three-year period.
With the Enterprise Agreement you can decide whether you want to take advantage of various enrollments, the most well-known perhaps is the Enterprise Enrollment. With the Enterprise Enrollment, you can choose to run PC and device software and cloud services across your organization. Such organization-wide implementations help you reduce device and user management and support costs, and also provide additional pricing advantages above the standard volume pricing levels. You can also take advantage of other Enrollments that help you license, for example, application or infrastructure solutions.
For customers who have an Enterprise Enrollment, at the onset of your agreement pricing is based on a tiered volume discount structure, meaning the greater the size of your purchase commitment the less you’ll pay for an individual per-device or per-user license. Should you add additional devices or users during your agreement, the per-device or per-user licensing costs remain the same or may change given the program’s volume pricing levels.
The cost of your Enterprise Enrollment may be spread across three annual payments, helping you predict future budget requirements. Should you add new users or devices during your EA, you can equip them with software and cloud services you are already using and then account for these changes once a year through an annual reconciliation process.
The EA helps you simplify software licensing, budgeting, and administration with a single agreement through which you can manage all of your Microsoft software and cloud services. You decide which software and cloud services to run on-premises or have hosted by Microsoft, based on user requirements and what’s most cost-effective for your organization.
Additionally, all on-premises software purchases include Software Assurance benefits that you can use to plan deployments, ready your users for new software, and support Microsoft products and services without incurring additional costs.
Finally, you can choose to either purchase your software licenses via the EA’s various Enrollments or subscribe to licenses via optional Enterprise Subscription programs.
Enterprise Subscription Programs
In addition to the Enterprise Agreement, Microsoft offers optional Enterprise Subscription programs for companies that want to subscribe to, rather than purchase Microsoft products.
Enterprise Subscription programs provide similar advantages as the Enterprise Agreement Enrollments and give you a lower initial cost based on a three-year subscription, and the ability to increase or decrease subscription counts on an annual basis. This ability to grow or downsize subscription counts can be attractive, especially if you expect significant fluctuations in workforce size and IT requirements. However, unlike the Enterprise Agreement Enrollments where you retain perpetual use rights for the licenses you purchase, with these subscription programs you gain access to Microsoft software only for as long as you maintain your subscription. If you decide not to renew, you relinquish your rights to run the software, unless of course you choose to acquire your licenses through the program’s “buy out” option.
The value of the Enterprise Agreement extends by offering Enrollments that help you license solution-focused technology suites of the most popular application and infrastructure products. They can be a very cost-effective way to purchase software and solutions to address key organizational objectives, like building a secure and well managed data center or helping your IT staff build, manage and maintain line-of-business applications. All Enrollments are considered optional under your EA, and are summarized below.
Enhance manageability and cost savings by equipping your entire organization with Windows 7 Enterprise Edition, Office Professional Plus 2010 and/or Client Access Licenses that help you connect to Microsoft Server products, plus enterprise-class online services such as Office 365 and Windows Intune.
Enrollment for Application Platform (EAP)
Get flexible and cost-effective licensing for standardizing on the latest Microsoft Application Platform (SQL Server 2008 R2, Visual Studio 2010, BizTalk Server, SharePoint Server 2010).
Enrollment for Core Infrastructure (ECI)
Save money through volume licensing to build the foundation for a protected and well–managed datacenter (Windows Server 2008 R2, System Center, Forefront Endpoint Protection).
Lower initial cost based on a three-year subscription with the ability to increase or decrease counts annually, providing flexibility where future fluctuations in workforce size and IT requirements are expected. Unlike the Enterprise Enrollment, on-premises license rights expire via subscription, so renewal or buyout is required to maintain rights. (Available for Enterprise Enrollment and ECI)
More detailed information about the Enterprise Agreement and other Volume Licensing programs is offered on the Microsoft Volume Licensing website at http://www.microsoft.com/licensing/.
* Please note that this information is based on information provided on the Microsoft website.