Microsoft

Microsoft Enterprise Agreement – How to renew in four steps

Executive Summary to Microsoft Enterprise Agreement

  • Microsoft Enterprise Agreement (EA) is a volume licensing program for organizations with 500 or more users or devices.
  • EA allows companies to purchase licenses for multiple Microsoft products, such as Windows, Office, and servers, at a discounted price.
  • EA also includes Software Assurance, which provides access to technical support, upgrades, and other benefits.
  • Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program is another Microsoft licensing program that allows companies to purchase cloud services, such as Azure and Dynamics 365, on a subscription basis.
  • Benefits of Microsoft EA include cost savings, access to the latest software, and flexible license management.
  • To negotiate a Microsoft EA renewal, companies should review their current usage, plan for future needs, research competitive pricing, and negotiate with Microsoft or a licensing partner to ensure they get the best deal.
  • It’s important to understand the difference between EA and CSP and which suits your organization’s needs best.
  • It is also important to review the terms of the agreement and ensure that the company is only paying for what they are using.

What is a Microsoft enterprise agreement?

A Microsoft Enterprise Agreement (EA) is a volume licensing program designed for organizations with 500 or more users or devices.

It allows companies to purchase licenses for multiple Microsoft products, including Windows, Office, and servers, at a discounted price.

The EA also includes Software Assurance, which provides access to technical support, upgrades, and other benefits.

This agreement is generally for large enterprises and government customers and requires an annual commitment.

What is the benefit of the Microsoft Enterprise Agreement?

benefit of the Microsoft Enterprise Agreement

The benefits of a Microsoft enterprise agreement include the following:

  1. Discounted pricing: Organizations can purchase licenses for Microsoft products at a discounted rate.
  2. Payment flexibility: Organizations can spread payments over three years, which can help with budgeting and cash flow.
  3. Centralized management: With a single agreement for an organization’s Microsoft products, it becomes easier to manage and track licenses, deployments, and usage.
  4. Software Assurance: EAs include Software Assurance, which provides organizations with access to new product releases and the latest version of products, as well as support and training.
  5. Volume licensing: Enterprise agreements are designed for organizations with over 250 PCs. It allows organizations to purchase many licenses at once and has a single agreement for all of their Microsoft products.
  6. Customization: The enterprise agreement process allows for the customization of the agreement to meet the organization’s specific needs.
  7. Compliance: Enterprise agreements typically include measures to ensure compliance with licensing agreements and to help organizations avoid accidental noncompliance.

What is a Microsoft EAS?

microsoft eas

EAS stands for “Enterprise Agreement Subscription” and is an alternative to the traditional enterprise agreement offered by Microsoft.

An EAS allows an organization to purchase a subscription for Microsoft products and services on a per-user, per-month basis.

This will enable organizations to pay for only the users and services they need when they need them.

An EAS is designed to provide organizations with more flexible and cost-effective ways to purchase and manage their Microsoft licenses.

It allows organizations to scale their license usage up or down as needed and provides access to Azure, Dynamics 365, and Power Platform services.

Additionally, EAS allows organizations to manage their licenses and services through the Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program, which provides access to additional benefits such as technical support, billing, and management tools.

It’s important to note that EAS is only available for organizations with less than 250 users; a traditional enterprise agreement would best fit organizations that size and above.

What is a Microsoft licensing agreement?

A Microsoft licensing agreement is a legal contract between an organization and Microsoft that outlines the terms and conditions under which the organization can use Microsoft’s software and services.

These agreements give organizations the right to use specific Microsoft products and services and establish the rules for how those products and services can be used and managed.

Different types of Microsoft licensing agreements exist, depending on the products and services used and the organization’s size and needs.

The most common types of Microsoft licensing agreements include:

  1. Volume licensing agreements: These agreements are designed for organizations with more than 250 PCs and provide a way for organizations to purchase licenses for Microsoft products at a discounted rate.
  2. Open licensing agreements: Open licensing agreements are designed for organizations with fewer than 250 PCs and provide a way for organizations to purchase licenses for Microsoft products at a discounted rate.
  3. Cloud services agreements allow organizations access to Microsoft’s cloud-based products and services, such as Azure and Office 365.
  4. Enterprise Agreement Subscription (EAS): An EAS is an alternative to the traditional enterprise agreement offered by Microsoft; it allows an organization to purchase a subscription for Microsoft products and services on a per-user, per-month basis.

Each Microsoft licensing agreement has its terms and conditions, which organizations must agree to before using Microsoft’s software and services.

Organizations must also comply with the terms of the agreement to maintain their license to use Microsoft’s software and services.

What is a Microsoft Enterprise Enrollment?

What is a Microsoft Enterprise Enrollment

A Microsoft Enterprise Enrollment (EE) is a volume licensing program offered by Microsoft to organizations with over 250 PCs.

It is designed to provide organizations with a comprehensive and flexible way to purchase, deploy, and manage Microsoft products and services.

An EE provides organizations access to a wide range of Microsoft products and services, including Windows, Office, Exchange, SharePoint, and Dynamics, and cloud-based services such as Azure and Office 365.

An EE also includes Software Assurance, which provides organizations with access to new product releases and the latest version of products, as well as support and training.

The EE program is split into Core Infrastructure Suite (CIS) and Cloud Platform Suite (CPS). The CIS track is focused on traditional on-premises infrastructure, and the CPS track is focused on cloud-based services.

Benefits of an Enterprise Enrollment include:

  • Discounted pricing
  • Volume licensing
  • Centralized management
  • Software Assurance
  • Flexibility and scalability
  • Customization and Tailoring

It’s important to note that an Enterprise Enrollment differs from an Enterprise Agreement (EA), a similar program. Still, it is only available for organizations with more than 250 PCs.

What happens when the Microsoft Enterprise Agreement expires?

When a Microsoft enterprise agreement (EA) expires, the organization will lose access to the agreement’s benefits, such as discounted pricing, Software Assurance, and support. Additionally, the organization must purchase new licenses for any Microsoft products it continues to use.

This means the organization may need to pay the license’s total price, which can be significantly more expensive than the discounted pricing provided through the EA.

If an organization is using Microsoft products under an EA and the agreement expires, it will no longer comply with Microsoft’s licensing terms. This means that the organization will be at risk of receiving penalties for noncompliance, such as fines or legal action.

Organizations need to renew their enterprise agreements well before expiration to ensure they do not lose access to the agreement’s benefits and to avoid potential noncompliance issues.

Organizations should work with their Microsoft account representative to create a new agreement, review their current usage, and discuss any changes to their needs.

What is the difference between EA and EAS?

The main difference between a Microsoft enterprise agreement (EA) and an enterprise agreement subscription (EAS) is how the licenses and services are purchased and managed.

An EA is a volume licensing program for organizations with over 500 PCs. 

Organizations can purchase licenses for Microsoft products at a discounted rate and spread payments over three years.

An EA also includes Software Assurance, which provides organizations with access to new product releases and the latest version of products, as well as support and training.

On the other hand, an EAS is a subscription-based licensing program for organizations with less than 250 PCs. Organizations can purchase licenses and services on a per-user, per-month basis, which provides more flexibility in scaling up or down as needed.

Organizations can also manage their licenses and services through the Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program, which provides access to additional benefits such as technical support, billing, and management tools.

In summary, an EA is designed for organizations with more than 250 PCs and is focused on providing a discount on the licenses with a 3-year contract.

In comparison, an EAS is designed for organizations with less than 250 PCs and is focused on providing more flexibility and scalability in purchasing and managing licenses and services on a subscription basis.

What is the difference between EA and CSP?

The main difference between a Microsoft enterprise agreement (EA) and a Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program is how the licenses and services are purchased and managed.

An EA is a volume licensing program for organizations with over 250 PCs. Organizations can purchase licenses for Microsoft products at a discounted rate and spread payments over three years.

An EA also includes Software Assurance, which provides organizations with access to new product releases and the latest version of products, as well as support and training. The agreement itself is between the organization and Microsoft.

CSP is a program that allows partners such as resellers, service providers, and managed service providers to resell Microsoft cloud services, such as Azure and Office 365, to their customers.

CSP partners can purchase Microsoft services and manage them on behalf of their customers, providing them with additional services such as billing, technical support, and management tools. The agreement is between the partner and Microsoft.

Microsoft Enterprise Agreement Renewal is a process most enterprises undergo every three years.

As your business grows and evolves, staying up-to-date with the latest technology and software is essential to remain competitive in the market.

One way to do this is through Microsoft’s Enterprise Agreement (EA), which provides organizations with convenient tools to license Microsoft products organization-wide.

How to renew Microsoft Enterprise Agreement

renewing a Microsoft Enterprise Agreement

Trustworthy data

One of the first steps in preparing for a Microsoft EA renewal is to collect existing licensing and usage data. This includes identifying which products and services are currently being used and the number of users and devices that need to be licensed.

It is essential to be as accurate as possible in this step. Any errors or oversights could lead to higher costs of underutilized licenses or the risk of non-compliance penalties.

Strategic planning for digital transformation

Once the current licensing and usage data has been collected, conducting a strategic review of digital transformation projects and plans for cloud migration is essential.

This will help determine which products and services will be most valuable for the business in the coming years and inform the negotiations for the EA renewal.

Commercial planning

Commercial planning is another critical aspect of preparing for a Microsoft EA renewal. This includes identifying the budget and resources available for the renewal process and setting goals and priorities for the agreement.

It is also essential to consider any potential negotiating points, such as the growing cloud consumption requirements and the level of support needed.

Preparing for negotiations

As the renewal deadline approaches, it is vital to begin preparing for negotiations. This includes researching the current market rates for Microsoft products and services and any discounts or promotions that may be available.

It may also be helpful to seek the assistance of an independent Microsoft licensing expert to help negotiate the best possible terms for the EA.

Achieving your ultimate goal

Ultimately, the goal of the Microsoft EA renewal process is to secure a right-sized agreement that meets the needs of the business at a fair price.

By collecting accurate licensing and usage data, conducting a strategic review of digital transformation projects and plans for cloud migration, and preparing for negotiations, you can get the most value out of your Microsoft EA.

Early preparation is critical to a successful Microsoft EA renewal. By planning and preparing for the process carefully, you can secure the right-sized agreement that meets your needs, supports your digital transformation, and helps you stay competitive. 

If you need help with your Microsoft Enterprise Agreement Renewal – contact us.

Microsoft Enterprise Agreement – Frequently asked questions

What is a Microsoft enterprise agreement?

An enterprise agreement (EA) is a volume licensing program offered by Microsoft to organizations with more than 250 PCs. The agreement allows organizations to purchase licenses for Microsoft products at a discounted rate and to spread payments over three years.

What products are included in a Microsoft enterprise agreement?

Enterprise agreements typically include licenses for Microsoft Windows, Office, and other core products such as Exchange, SharePoint, and Dynamics. Organizations can also purchase licenses for other Microsoft products such as Azure, Visual Studio, and Power.

What are the benefits of a Microsoft enterprise agreement?

Benefits of an EA include discounted pricing, the ability to spread payments over three years, and having a single agreement for all of an organization’s Microsoft products. Additionally, EAs include Software Assurance, which provides organizations with access to new product releases and the latest version of products, as well as support and training.

How often can an enterprise agreement be renewed?

Enterprise agreements can be renewed every three years.

Can an enterprise agreement be purchased if an organization has less than 250 PCs?

No, enterprise agreements are only available to organizations with 250 or more PCs. However, organizations with less than 250 PCs can still purchase Microsoft products through other licensing programs such as the Open Value or Open License programs.

How do I renew my Microsoft enterprise agreement?

To renew your enterprise agreement, you will need to work with your Microsoft account representative to create a new agreement. This process typically involves a review of your current usage and a discussion of any changes to your organization’s needs.

What happens if I don't renew my enterprise agreement on time?

If you don’t renew your enterprise agreement on time, you’ll lose access to the benefits of the agreement, such as discounted pricing, Software Assurance, and support. You’ll also need to purchase new licenses for any Microsoft products you continue to use.

Can I make changes to my enterprise agreement during the renewal process?

Yes, you can change your enterprise agreement during the renewal process. This might include changes to the products included in the agreement, the number of licenses, or the terms of the agreement.

How long time does it take to renew an enterprise agreement?

The time it takes to renew an enterprise agreement can vary depending on the complexity of your organization’s needs and the size of the agreement. Typically, the process can take several weeks or even months to complete. It’s important to start the renewal process well before the agreement’s expiration date to ensure enough time to complete it.

What factors are taken into consideration during enterprise agreement negotiations?

During enterprise agreement negotiations, factors such as the organization’s current and future product needs, the number of licenses required, and the organization’s budget are considered. Additionally, the organization’s current usage and compliance status will be reviewed to ensure that the agreement aligns with the organization’s actual usage.

Can I negotiate for a lower price during an enterprise agreement negotiation?

Yes, organizations can negotiate for a lower price during enterprise agreement negotiations. However, the final price will depend on various factors, such as the organization’s size, the products included in the agreement, and the terms of the agreement.

Are there any product limitations that can be included in an enterprise agreement?

While an enterprise agreement can include a wide range of Microsoft products, some limitations may depend on the organization’s needs and budget. It’s best to discuss with the Microsoft representative to have an agreement that suits the organization’s needs.

How our Microsoft Experts Can help

  • Microsoft Enterprise Renewal Service: Our team of experts will work with you to renew your existing Microsoft Enterprise Agreement (EA) and ensure you get the best value for your organization.
  • We will analyze your current agreement and usage to identify potential cost savings or areas for improvement.
  • We will negotiate with Microsoft to ensure you receive the most favorable terms and pricing for your organization.
  • We will also work with you to review and update your Software Assurance benefits to ensure that you are taking full advantage of the available benefits.
  • We will guide you in selecting the right Microsoft products and services to meet your organization’s needs and goals.
  • We will also assist with the EA enrollment process and ensure the renewal is completed promptly and efficiently.
  • Our team will be available to provide ongoing support throughout your EA to ensure that you are getting the most value from your investment.

Author

  • Fredrik Filipsson

    Fredrik Filipsson brings two decades of Oracle license management experience, including a nine-year tenure at Oracle and 11 years in Oracle license consulting. His expertise extends across leading IT corporations like IBM, enriching his profile with a broad spectrum of software and cloud projects. Filipsson's proficiency encompasses IBM, SAP, Microsoft, and Salesforce platforms, alongside significant involvement in Microsoft Copilot and AI initiatives, enhancing organizational efficiency.