Microsoft / Microsoft EA / Microsoft Enterprise Agreement

Microsoft Enterprise Agreement vs Open Value: A Full Study

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 when 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.

Microsoft Licensing: The Basics

Microsoft Licensing

Overview of Microsoft’s Licensing Programs

Microsoft offers a variety of licensing programs designed to meet the needs of businesses of all sizes and types. These programs provide structured and flexible options for acquiring and managing Microsoft software and services. Key licensing agreements include the Microsoft Enterprise Agreement (EA), Microsoft Products and Services Agreement (MPSA), and the Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program.

Catering to Businesses of All Sizes and Types

Microsoft’s licensing programs can be tailored to fit an organization’s specific requirements, whether a small business with a handful of employees or a large multinational corporation. These programs ensure businesses can scale their software and service needs as they grow and change.

Flexible Options for Software and Service Procurement

Microsoft’s licensing agreements offer flexibility in how businesses purchase and use software. Options range from outright purchases to subscription-based models, allowing companies to choose the best fit for their budget and operational needs. This flexibility helps organizations manage their IT resources effectively and efficiently.

Microsoft Enterprise Agreement: An Overview

Description of the Microsoft Enterprise Agreement (EA)

The Microsoft Enterprise Agreement (EA) is a volume licensing program designed for large organizations with 500 or more users or devices. This agreement provides a cost-effective, scalable solution for managing Microsoft software and services across an organization.

Designed for Large Organizations with 500+ Users or Devices

The EA is tailored for large-scale enterprises, offering substantial benefits for businesses that need to manage many users or devices. This agreement simplifies the procurement and management of Microsoft products, making it easier for IT departments to maintain compliance and control over their software assets.

Key Benefits of the Microsoft Enterprise Agreement

Cost-Effectiveness: Significant Upfront Cost Savings for Large-Scale Deployments

One of the primary benefits of the EA is the significant cost savings it offers for large-scale deployments. By consolidating purchases into a single agreement, organizations can take advantage of volume discounts and predictable annual payments, reducing the overall cost of software procurement.

Simplicity: Covers All Users or Devices, Simplifying License Management

The EA simplifies license management by providing a single control point for tracking and managing all licenses. This centralized approach reduces administrative overhead, ensures compliance, and makes allocating and adjusting licenses as needed easier.

Flexibility: Ability to Add and Adjust Products and Services Throughout the Agreement Term

The EA offers flexibility, allowing organizations to add or adjust products and services throughout the agreement term. This adaptability is crucial for businesses that need to respond to changing market conditions and technological advancements, ensuring that their IT infrastructure remains aligned with their strategic goals.

Microsoft Open Value: What is it?

Microsoft Open Value

Description of Microsoft Open Value

Microsoft Open Value is a volume licensing program ideal for small to mid-sized organizations with five or more desktop PCs. It provides a flexible and manageable solution for purchasing and managing Microsoft software, offering predictable costs and comprehensive support services.

Ideal for Small to Mid-Sized Organizations with Five or More Desktop PCs,

Open Value is designed to meet the needs of smaller businesses, offering a straightforward way to manage software licenses and budget for IT expenses. This agreement is particularly beneficial for organizations that require a scalable solution to accommodate growth and changing software needs.

Key Benefits of Microsoft Open Value

Predictable Cost Management: Spread Payments for Better IT Budget Control

Open Value offers predictable cost management through annual payments over three years. This structure helps organizations manage their IT budget more effectively, providing financial stability and allowing for better planning of IT expenditures.

License Tracking: Easy Tracking and Management of Licenses Through the Microsoft Volume Licensing Service Center (VLSC)

Open Value includes access to the Microsoft Volume Licensing Service Center (VLSC). This web-based portal allows businesses to track and manage their software licenses easily. This tool provides clear visibility into license ownership and usage, ensuring compliance and efficient asset management.

Software Assurance: Access to Training, Deployment Planning, Software Upgrades, and Product Support

Open Value includes Microsoft Software Assurance, a comprehensive program providing access to various value-added services. These services include training, deployment planning, software upgrades, and product support, helping organizations maximize the value of their Microsoft investments and ensure their software’s successful deployment and use.

Microsoft Enterprise Agreement vs. Open Value: Key Differences

Scale of Operation

Microsoft Enterprise Agreement (EA)

  • Ideal for Larger Organizations with 500+ Users or Devices: The EA is specifically designed for large enterprises that need to manage many users or devices. It substantially benefits businesses with extensive IT infrastructure and complex software needs.

Microsoft Open Value

  • Suited for Small to Mid-Sized Businesses with Five or More Desktop PCs: Open Value is tailored for smaller businesses, providing a manageable and scalable solution for organizations with at least five desktop PCs. It caters to businesses that require flexible and predictable software licensing options.

Payment Structure

Microsoft Enterprise Agreement (EA)

  • Requires an Upfront Payment: The EA involves a significant upfront payment, offering cost savings through volume discounts and predictable annual payments. This structure is suitable for organizations that can forecast their long-term licensing needs and have the financial capability to manage large initial expenditures.

Microsoft Open Value

  • Offers Annual Payments Over a Three-Year Term: Open Value allows for predictable cost management with annual payments spread over a three-year term. This payment structure helps organizations manage their IT budget more effectively, providing financial stability and allowing for better planning of IT expenditures.

Flexibility

Microsoft Enterprise Agreement (EA)

  • Greater Flexibility in Adding and Adjusting Licenses During the Agreement Term: The EA offers significant flexibility, enabling organizations to add or adjust products and services throughout the agreement’s term. This adaptability is crucial for businesses that need to respond to changing market conditions and technological advancements, ensuring that their IT infrastructure remains aligned with their strategic goals.

Microsoft Open Value

  • Focuses on Predictable Cost Management and License Tracking: Open Value emphasizes predictable cost management and easy license tracking through the Microsoft Volume Licensing Service Center (VLSC). This structure provides clear visibility into license ownership and usage, ensuring compliance and efficient asset management.

Software Assurance

Microsoft Enterprise Agreement (EA)

  • Includes Software Assurance: The EA includes Microsoft Software Assurance, providing access to various value-added services, including training, deployment planning, software upgrades, and product support. These services help organizations maximize the value of their Microsoft investments and ensure their software’s successful deployment and use.

Microsoft Open Value

  • Significant Aspect of Open Value with a Focus on Value-Added Services: Software Assurance is a more significant aspect of Open Value, offering comprehensive support and services tailored to smaller businesses. This program provides access to training, deployment planning, software upgrades, and product support, helping organizations optimize their IT resources and achieve their business objectives.

FAQ: Microsoft Enterprise Agreement vs Open Value

What is the Microsoft Enterprise Agreement (EA)? It is a volume licensing program designed for large organizations with 500 or more users or devices. It provides a cost-effective, scalable solution for managing Microsoft software and services across an organization.

Who should consider the Enterprise Agreement? The Enterprise Agreement is ideal for large enterprises that must manage many users or devices and require a streamlined software licensing and management approach.

What is Microsoft Open Value? Microsoft Open Value is a volume licensing program for small to mid-sized organizations with five or more desktop PCs. It offers simplified license management, predictable costs, and access to value-added services through Software Assurance.

Who should consider Open Value? Open Value is ideal for small to mid-sized businesses looking for a manageable and flexible licensing solution that allows for predictable budgeting and easy license tracking.

How does the payment structure differ between EA and Open Value? The Enterprise Agreement requires an upfront payment, providing significant cost savings through volume discounts. Open Value offers annual payments over three years, allowing for predictable cost management and better IT budget control.

Can both EA and Open Value include Software Assurance? Yes, the Enterprise Agreement and Open Value include Microsoft Software Assurance, which provides access to training, deployment planning, software upgrades, and product support.

What are the key benefits of the Enterprise Agreement? The key benefits of the Enterprise Agreement include cost-effectiveness for large-scale deployments, simplified license management, and flexibility to add and adjust products and services throughout the agreement term.

What are the key benefits of Open Value? Open Value offers predictable cost management through annual payments, easy license tracking via the Microsoft Volume Licensing Service Center (VLSC), and comprehensive support services through Software Assurance.

Is there a difference in flexibility between EA and Open Value? Yes, the Enterprise Agreement offers greater flexibility in adding and adjusting licenses during the agreement term. Open Value focuses on predictable cost management and easy license tracking.

How does license tracking work in Open Value? Open Value includes access to the Microsoft Volume Licensing Service Center (VLSC), which allows businesses to easily track and manage their software licenses, ensuring compliance and efficient asset management.

What type of organizations benefit most from the Enterprise Agreement? Large organizations with 500 or more users or devices, extensive IT infrastructure, and a need for predictable, long-term licensing solutions benefit most from the Enterprise Agreement.

What type of organizations benefit most from Open Value? Small to mid-sized organizations with five or more desktop PCs benefit most from Open Value’s flexibility, predictable cost management, and comprehensive support services.

Can a small business use the Enterprise Agreement? While small businesses can use the Enterprise Agreement, the cost savings and benefits 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, you can transition from Open Value to an Enterprise Agreement as your business grows to take advantage of the cost benefits of large-scale deployments and streamlined license management.

What should I consider when choosing between EA and Open Value? Consider your organization’s size, IT budget, and future growth projections. The Enterprise Agreement is suited for larger enterprises with more complex needs, while Open Value offers flexibility and predictability for smaller to mid-sized businesses.

Contact our Microsoft Licensing Consultants

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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, improving organizational efficiency.

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