Microsoft Cloud Licensing: What are your options and how can a CSP help?

by | May 11, 2021 | Cloud

Deciding to move to the cloud or expanding your existing Microsoft business is not an easy one. Business decisions such as: wanting to improve your backup and security posture, offload management, or improve your remote work experience, may force you to re-examine your current license management processes. Additionally, making the right Microsoft cloud licensing choice can be daunting. In this blog, we will focus on the differences between two common choices: Enterprise Agreements (EA) and Pay-as-you-Go CSP licensing.

Enterprise Agreements

Historically, Enterprise Agreements (EA) are better suited for larger organizations. EAs have a minimum requirement of 500 devices or activations. An EA is billed over a 3-year period with two annual True Ups and a renewal. The license pricing is based on a scaled volume discount – in other words, the higher the activations, the better the discount. True-up process is an annual meeting meet with your Licensing Solution Provider (LSP). This is the only time you will discuss license adjustments like to adding or removing activations (e.g. – users, devices, products, or services).

These strict parameters make it incredibly difficult for customers to roll-back their commitment. EA customers can easily overshoot their expectations and the licensing agreement can quickly become a cost-sink. In general, unless a customer is experiencing significant growth, an EA may not be the best choice. That is not to say EAs are a bad decision, they just require more planning.

To learn more about the pricing structure of an EA, check out the following document from Microsoft.

Pay-as-you-Go with CSP

Before diving into Pay-as-you-Go, you need to understand who and what a CSP is. Cloud Solution Providers (or CSPs) are qualified Microsoft licensing partners that provide licensing in a Pay-as-you-Go structure. This structure benefits customers across the board. If you are are looking for more flexibility and/or don’t meet the 500-activation minimum of an EA, CSP may be right for you. CSP customers are billed monthly basis for what they need, with no upfront commitment. Most importantly, CSP customers are not locked into a specific number or activations and are able to adjust these activations whenever.

Before you enroll, you will want to find a qualified CSP to work with. Some key things to look for in the right CSP are:

  • Proven & relevant experience
  • Relevant Microsoft competencies.
  • Offerings that align with products and services you are looking to license.

With this in mind, you are sure to find a CSP that is complimentary to your licensing goals.

Why Peters?

Whether you decide to enroll in an EA or CSP, Peters & Associates can help. Our licensing management structure provides an overview of your licenses, identify risks and opportunities, and flexible pricing. We will also help you chose the licensing type that is best suited for your business goals. Contact us today for help managing your licenses throughout product lifecycles!

To learn more about how CSPs can help, check out this blog from our partner at Interlink.