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Microsoft increases seat minimums for corporate Enterprise Agreement

Microsoft | Posted on January 11, 2016 by Luke Black

Earlier this month, Microsoft announced that starting July 1st, 2016 any new corporate Enterprise Agreement (including Enterprise Agreement Subscriptions) will require a 500 user/device minimum. Before we get into the specifics, let’s all take a deep breath.

While at face value this may seem like a major change from Microsoft, in reality, the impact on existing EA customers is minimal. That’s because Microsoft is allowing all current EA customers, including those who sign up now until June, to have the ability to renew one (1) time for an additional 36-month term. That means that customers under 500 seats may still be in an EA for the next 6.5 years (if they sign or renew in June of 2016).

Also, this change does not affect Government EAs…yet.

Why is this an important change?

It is the next big step for Microsoft to move customers to newer and more “Cloud Friendly” licensing vehicles. These include the Microsoft Products and Services Agreement (MPSA) and/or Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) programs, each of which we have discussed in the past. (click on the links that follow to learn more).

  • Microsoft Products and Services Agreement (MPSA): Offers customers a fast, flexible way to license software and online services through one simplified agreement. With MPSA, organizations can create a purchasing structure that meets their organizational needs while simultaneously optimizing pricing through point consolidation.
  • Cloud Solution Provider (CSP): Offers a solution for clients who are fully committed to online services and who are looking to outsource service management. With CSP, Softchoice assists fully helping clients with provisioning, billing and support for online services customers.

Softchoice is assisting clients right now on what their options are and how to best leverage the new licensing vehicles. With these changes on the horizon, we recommend you take this opportunity to dedicate time to a more holistic Microsoft review at your organization.

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