Sep 07, 2017

How to Save on your Microsoft 365 License Agreement

As Microsoft licensing renewal season is here, let’s briefly look back into this suite to understand important details about this product.

Initially called Enterprise Cloud Suite and Secure Productive Enterprise, Microsoft introduced its latest cloud suite release as ”Microsoft 365”. This rebranding announcement is not just a marketing strategy. The new cloud suite from Microsoft provides more use rights – and these need to be addressed when renewing your annual software licensing agreement.

Microsoft 365 fundamentals

First we need to understand that Microsoft 365 is an Online Platform product, meaning it covers the 3 Licensing Pools of the volume licensing agreement:

  • System: Windows 10
  • Server: Enterprise Mobility + Security and Office 365
  • Application: Office 365 ProPlus (Client)

As the Enterprise Platform coverage is satisfied, customers receive a discount for ordering these 3 products together, and must always cover all new and existing users with this platform.

Improve your Microsoft license management

Saving on your Microsoft 365 renewals

Now the question is: How can you save money while renewing your platform product? Here are three suggested strategies to find cloud cost savings migrating to Microsoft 365 license agreements.

1. Software Assurance

Existing platform customers with Software Assurance (SA) coverage may benefit from their SA investment by opting for the “From SA” references. Using this option, Microsoft provides the possibility to move to Microsoft 365 at a lower rate at the SA renewal. Going in this direction, end customers will move from their traditional Platform (Windows Enterprise per device, Office ProPlus 2016 and CAL Suite) to this new 365 suite (Windows Enterprise per user, Office 365 and Enterprise Mobility + Security). Eligible customers for “Microsoft 365 From SA” must have paid 3 years of SA for each component of the suite: Windows, CAL Suite and Office. It’s also worth noting that server access is also included with the subscription.

2. Office server

The Office Server suite offers a huge benefit for customers. Microsoft includes on-premises use rights for Office Server. In other words, customers can now cover their Exchange, SharePoint and Skype for Business Server software with this subscription. In the best-case scenario, customers can decide at their renewal to not renew their SA for Office Servers, thus getting the benefit of this suite subscription which covers the usage of the last version’s Software (no downgrade rights are available).

3. Office Professional Plus

Microsoft has also addressed some cloud migration blockers related to Office 365 ProPlus Click to Run. That’s why Office Professional Plus use rights were also included in Office 365 under the Microsoft 365 suite. In the end, moving to this cloud suite will not have any consequence on deployment and end user.

Be smart about your savings

Cloud options can have a huge impact on your licensing agreement renewal, and are a real opportunity to build cost savings and simplify your licensing. Moving to the cloud helps you save on infrastructure costs, and cloud products like Microsoft 365 also have the ability to decrease your future licensing investment.

Microsoft 365 gives existing customers the opportunity to experiment with cloud licensing, while maintaining their existing on-premises infrastructure. But remember, as you increase cloud licensing, it’s always wise to negotiate a possible migration back to on-premises if this cloud suite does not satisfy your expectations.

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Topics: Cloud, Microsoft