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The End of Microsoft EAP/ECI…the Beginning of SCE

Microsoft | Posted on August 9, 2013 by Tyler Price

Come November 10, 2013, Microsoft will be launching Server and Cloud Enrollment (SCE). SCE is a three-year enrollment under the Microsoft Enterprise Agreement (EA) that will replace the soon-to-be retired Enrollment for Core Infrastructure (ECI), Enrollment for Application Platform (EAP), and Enterprise Wide Agreement (EWA) programs.

With SCE, clients will be able to standardize broadly on one or more key Server and Cloud Technologies from Microsoft; gaining the ability to ensure adoption of the latest technologies, simplifying deployment and license management, and flexibly grow and move to the cloud without losing the value built into existing deployments. These server and cloud technologies are grouped into the four following components: Core Infrastructure (CIS), Application Platform, Developer Platform, and Windows Azure. While clients can choose any of these components individually or group as needed, keep in mind that access to Azure at the best available pricing is granted when selecting any of the other component options.

While SCE shares similarities to EAP and ECI, there are some significant differences in the discount and commitment structure. To begin, here are the high level benefits of the new SCE:

  • 15% discount for new license and Software Assurance purchases
  • 5% discount on Software Assurance renewals
  • Management of Windows Azure resources with System Center is included for CIS commitments*
  • Best terms, conditions and predictability for SCE products
  • New subscription option available
  • Full Software Assurance benefits for all deployed licenses including new version rights
  • Unlimited Problem Resolution Support for qualifying clients

What does this mean for me?
The chart below illustrates the differences between EAP/ECI and SCE:

End of MS EAP/ECI…Beginning of SCE

Clients with an existing ECI will not be affected through the term of their current enrollment. Thereafter, the core infrastructure component of SCE will allow you to retain access to best pricing, new subscription options, and new Azure benefits. Existing ECIs can be renewed into the CIS SKU in other programs, such as select plus or additional products in the EA Enterprise Enrollment. The CIS SKU outside of SCE provides a 5 percent discount off L+SA when compared to the standalone products of Windows Server and System Center. With the launch of Window Server 2012 R2, a new 5 percent discount on CIS SA is also being provided under these programs.

Clients with a current EAP can continue their enterprise-wide commitment to SQL Server, Visual Studio, BizTalk Server and SharePoint Server in SCE. Clients will see some small pricing changes as Microsoft standardizes and simplifies discounts. Among these changes is a new 5 percent discount on Software Assurance, a slightly higher discount vs. EAP standard products, and a slightly lower discount vs. EAP premium products. Unlike EAP, which provided discounts on only the license portion of L+SA SKUs, SCE provides a full 15 percent discount on the complete L+SA SKUs for key components.

New subscription options replace the concept of “deferred licenses,” meaning old units can now be covered with subscription or added as new L+SA at the time of signing. Subscription allows you to flexibly retire those deployments annually as you consolidate workloads or move them to the cloud. Subscription licensing is also available for new units.

Microsoft is introducing SCE to help build a more standardized server and cloud foundation for clients. SCE simplifies licensing management, making it easier for clients to grow and adapt under the enrollment. Clients in SCE will have the capability to access the latest product updates and benefits through Software Assurance across all deployments.

Where do I go from here?
If you are currently revewing or evaluating an EAP/ECI, it is important to understand what the licensing (and subsequent cost) difference would be. There may be significant pricing advantages with an EAP/ECI versus an SCE.

To determine the impact and options available to your organization, Softchoice has technical and licensing specialists to optimize your use and acquisition of Microsoft technology. Please feel free to contact us at with any questions- and- we will determine the best arrangement for your organization.

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