Microsoft / Microsoft EA / Microsoft Enterprise Agreement

Microsoft Enterprise Agreement vs Open Value: A Full Study

Differences between Microsoft Enterprise Agreement and Open Value:

  • Microsoft Enterprise Agreement:
    • For large organizations (500+ users/devices).
    • Upfront payment, significant cost savings for large-scale deployments.
    • Simplifies license management and is flexible in adding/adjusting services.
  • Microsoft Open Value:
    • Suited for small to mid-sized businesses (5+ desktop PCs).
    • Annual payments over three years, predictable IT budget management.
    • Includes Software Assurance, focusing on value-added services.

1. Understanding Microsoft Licensing: The Basics

Before delving into Microsoft Enterprise Agreement and Open Value, let’s understand Microsoft’s licensing schemes.

Microsoft’s licensing programs are designed to cater to businesses of all sizes and types, offering flexible options to acquire Microsoft software and services.

2. Microsoft Enterprise Agreement: An Overview

Microsoft Enterprise Agreement is designed for large organizations with 500+ users or devices.

It offers the best value for organizations that want a manageable volume licensing program that allows them to buy cloud services and software licenses under one agreement.

Key benefits of the Microsoft Enterprise Agreement include:

  • Cost-effectiveness: Significant upfront cost savings for large-scale deployments compared to other licensing agreements.
  • Simplicity: The agreement covers all users or devices, simplifying license management.
  • Flexibility: Add and adjust products and services throughout the agreement term.

3. Microsoft Open Value: What is it?

Microsoft Open Value is ideal for small to mid-sized organizations with five or more desktop PCs.

It offers simplified license management, better control over IT costs, and a clearer view of their overall IT infrastructure.

Highlights of Microsoft Open Value are:

  • Predictable Cost Management: Organizations can better manage their IT budget with spread payments.
  • License Tracking: The Microsoft Volume Licensing Service Center (VLSC) allows easy tracking and management of licenses.
  • Software Assurance: This program includes Microsoft Software Assurance, providing access to training, deployment planning, software upgrades, and product support.

4. Microsoft Enterprise Agreement vs Open Value: Key Differences

The decision between Microsoft Enterprise Agreement and Open Value depends largely on the organization’s size, the volume of Microsoft products required, and IT budget and needs.

The scale of Operation: The Microsoft Enterprise Agreement is ideal for larger organizations with 500+ users or devices. In contrast, Microsoft Open Value suits small to mid-sized businesses with five or more desktop PCs.

Payment Structure: Enterprise Agreement requires an upfront payment, whereas Open Value offers the flexibility of annual payments over a three-year term.

Flexibility: Enterprise Agreement offers greater flexibility in adding and adjusting licenses during the agreement term.

Software Assurance: While both programs include Software Assurance, it’s a significant aspect of Open Value, which focuses more on value-added services.

5. FAQs on Microsoft Enterprise Agreement vs Open Value

Can a small business benefit from a Microsoft Enterprise Agreement?

While small businesses can use the Microsoft Enterprise Agreement, the cost savings are more significant for large-scale deployments. Smaller organizations may find more value in the Open Value program.

Can I switch from Open Value to Enterprise Agreement as my business grows?

Yes, as your business grows, you can transition from Open Value to an Enterprise Agreement to take advantage of the cost benefits for large-scale deployments.

6. Conclusion: Making the Right Choice for Your Organization

Choosing between Microsoft Enterprise Agreement and Open Value involves considering the size and needs of your organization, your IT budget, and your future growth projections. Remember


  • 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.