Microsoft / Microsoft EA / Microsoft Enterprise Agreement

Microsoft Enterprise Agreement vs Select Plus: An Comparison

Microsoft / Microsoft EA / Microsoft Enterprise Agreement

Microsoft Enterprise Agreement vs Select Plus: An Comparison

Differences between Microsoft Enterprise Agreement and Select Plus:

  • Microsoft Enterprise Agreement:
    • Aimed at large organizations (500+ users/devices).
    • Offers significant cost savings for large-scale deployments.
    • It simplifies license management and is flexible for adding/adjusting services.
  • Microsoft Select Plus:
    • Suited for mid-size to large businesses (250+ users/devices).
    • Allows pay-as-you-go license purchases.
    • It provides license mobility and is not tied to specific machines.

Microsoft Licensing: A Brief Recap

Overview of Microsoft’s Licensing Programs:

Microsoft offers various licensing programs designed to meet the needs of different organizations. These programs range from single-user licenses to complex volume licensing agreements, each providing a structured way to acquire and manage Microsoft software and services. Key programs include the Microsoft Enterprise Agreement (EA), Microsoft Products and Services Agreement (MPSA), and Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program.

Catering to Varying Business Sizes and Needs

Microsoft’s licensing agreements are tailored to accommodate businesses of all sizes, from small to large enterprises. This customization ensures that organizations find a licensing solution that aligns with their operational scale and requirements.

Flexible Options for Software and Service Procurement

These agreements offer flexible procurement options, allowing organizations to purchase licenses outright, subscribe to services monthly or annually, and adjust their licensing as business needs evolve. This flexibility helps businesses manage costs and scale their IT infrastructure efficiently.

Factors Influencing the Choice of Licensing Agreements

  • Organization Size: The number of users or devices in an organization can dictate the most suitable licensing agreement. Larger organizations might benefit more from volume licensing agreements like the EA or MPSA.
  • Volume of Microsoft Products Required: An organization’s need for a wide range of Microsoft products can influence the choice of licensing. Agreements that offer comprehensive coverage of multiple products can provide better value.
  • IT Budget and Specific Needs: The organization’s budget for IT expenditures and specific software requirements will also be crucial in selecting the appropriate licensing agreement.

Microsoft Enterprise Agreement: A Quick Overview

Microsoft Enterprise Agreement

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. It provides a cost-effective, flexible, and simplified way for large enterprises to manage their Microsoft software and services under a unified agreement.

Target Audience: Large Organizations with 500+ Users or Devices

The EA is tailored for large-scale enterprises, offering substantial benefits for organizations with extensive IT infrastructure. It is particularly suitable for businesses that require a scalable and manageable licensing solution for many users or devices.

Manageable Volume Licensing Program

The EA consolidates multiple software and service licenses into a single agreement, simplifying the procurement process. This volume licensing program is designed to be easily manageable and provide a clear overview of all licensed products and services.

Single Agreement for Cloud Services and Software Licenses

One key advantage of the EA is that it encompasses cloud services and on-premises software licenses. This unified approach allows organizations to transition smoothly between different deployment models and efficiently manage all their Microsoft products.

Key Features of the Microsoft Enterprise Agreement

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

The EA offers substantial cost savings through volume discounts and predictable annual payments. By consolidating purchases into a single agreement, organizations can reduce their overall software procurement costs, making it a cost-effective solution for large-scale deployments.

Straightforward Management: Simplified License Management for All Users or Devices

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

Flexible: 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’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 Select Plus: Unpacking the Details

Microsoft Select Plus

Description of the Microsoft Select Plus Agreement

The Microsoft Select Plus agreement was a volume licensing program aimed at mid-size to large organizations. It provided a flexible and transparent way to purchase Microsoft products and services, enabling organizations to manage their software assets efficiently. Although Microsoft phased out Select Plus in 2015, the agreement remains valid for organizations that activated it before the phase-out.

Target Audience: Mid-Size to Large Organizations with 250+ Users or Devices

Select Plus was designed for mid-size to large businesses, specifically those with 250 or more users or devices. It catered to organizations that needed a scalable and adaptable licensing solution without committing to a specific term length.

Phased Out in 2015, but Still Valid for Existing Agreements

While new Select Plus agreements are no longer available as of 2015, existing agreements remain valid. Microsoft encourages customers to transition to the Microsoft Products and Services Agreement (MPSA), which offers similar benefits with improved flexibility and management capabilities.

Key Benefits of Select Plus

No Specific Term Length:

No Fixed End Dates, Allowing Purchases as Needed Select Plus agreements did not have a fixed end date, allowing organizations to purchase licenses as needed. This provided significant flexibility in managing software assets and adapting to changing business requirements.

Transparency:

Clear Visibility of Overall License Ownership Select Plus offered transparency by providing a clear overview of an organization’s license ownership. This visibility helped businesses track and manage their software assets more effectively, ensuring compliance and optimizing resource utilization.

License Mobility:

Licenses Not Tied to Specific Machines, Enabling Flexible Deployment One of the standout features of Select Plus was license mobility. Licenses were not tied to specific machines, allowing organizations to deploy software flexibly across different devices and environments. This mobility supported dynamic IT environments and facilitated efficient resource management.

Microsoft Enterprise Agreement vs Select Plus: Point-by-Point Comparison

Microsoft Enterprise Agreement vs. Select Plus

Scope

Microsoft Enterprise Agreement (EA)

  • Ideal for Large Organizations with 500+ Users or Devices: The EA is tailored for large enterprises with extensive IT infrastructure. It substantially benefits organizations that require scalable and manageable licensing solutions for many users or devices.

Microsoft Select Plus

  • Targeted at Mid-Size to Large Businesses with 250+ Users or Devices: Select Plus was designed for mid-size to large organizations needing flexible and transparent licensing without a long-term commitment.

Payment Structure

Microsoft Enterprise Agreement (EA)

  • Requires an Upfront Payment: The EA involves a significant upfront payment, providing cost savings through volume discounts and predictable annual payments. This structure is suitable for organizations that can forecast their long-term licensing needs.

Microsoft Select Plus

  • Allows Pay-as-You-Go License Purchases: Select Plus offered a pay-as-you-go model, enabling organizations to purchase licenses as needed. This flexibility was beneficial for businesses with fluctuating or unpredictable software requirements.

Contract Duration

Microsoft Enterprise Agreement (EA)

  • Typically Lasts Three Years: The EA requires a three-year commitment, making it suitable for organizations with stable, long-term IT planning and budgeting.

Microsoft Select Plus

  • No Specific End Date: Select Plus agreements had no fixed term length, allowing businesses to purchase licenses as needed without committing to a specific duration.

License Flexibility

Microsoft Enterprise Agreement (EA)

  • More Flexibility in Adding and Adjusting Licenses During the Agreement Term: The EA allows users to add and adjust licenses throughout the agreement term, allowing them to adapt to changing business needs and technological advancements.

Microsoft Select Plus

  • Offers License Mobility, Freeing Licenses from Specific Machines: Select Plus provides license mobility, allowing licenses to be used across different devices and environments. This flexibility supported dynamic IT infrastructures and efficient resource management.

FAQ: Microsoft Enterprise Agreement vs Select Plus

What is the Microsoft Enterprise Agreement (EA)? It is a volume licensing program for large organizations with 500 or more users or devices. It consolidates licenses for various Microsoft products and services under a single agreement, offering cost savings and simplified management.

What is the Microsoft Select Plus agreement? Microsoft Select Plus was a volume licensing program aimed at mid-size to large organizations with 250 or more users or devices. Although it was phased out in 2015, existing agreements remain valid. Microsoft encourages customers to transition to the Microsoft Products and Services Agreement (MPSA).

Who should consider the Enterprise Agreement? The Enterprise Agreement is ideal for large organizations with 500 or more users or devices that require a comprehensive and scalable licensing solution. It offers significant cost savings for high-volume deployments and streamlined management.

Who should consider Select Plus? Select Plus was suitable for mid-size to large organizations needing flexible and transparent licensing without a long-term commitment. Organizations with existing Select Plus agreements should consider transitioning to MPSA for improved flexibility and management capabilities.

What are the main benefits of the Enterprise Agreement? Key benefits of the Enterprise Agreement include significant upfront cost savings for large-scale deployments, simplified license management for all users or devices, and flexibility to add and adjust products and services throughout the agreement term.

What are the main benefits of Select Plus? Key benefits of Select Plus include no specific term length, allowing purchases as needed, clear visibility of overall license ownership and license mobility, and enabling flexible software deployment across different devices.

How does the commitment level differ between EA and Select Plus? The Enterprise Agreement requires a three-year commitment with upfront payment, making it suitable for organizations with predictable long-term licensing needs. Select Plus allowed for flexible, as-needed purchases without a fixed term length.

Can both EA and Select Plus be used to purchase cloud services? Yes, the Enterprise Agreement and Select Plus supported purchasing Microsoft cloud services. However, MPSA now offers a more seamless integration of cloud and on-premises software purchases under a single agreement.

How does license management differ between EA and Select Plus? The Enterprise Agreement simplifies license management by covering all users or devices under a single agreement. At the same time, Select Plus provides clear visibility of license ownership and mobility, allowing licenses to be used across different machines.

What types 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 types of organizations benefit most from Select Plus? Select Plus’s flexibility, transparency, and license mobility benefited Mid-size to large organizations with 250 or more users or devices. Existing Select Plus agreements remain valid, but transitioning to MPSA is encouraged.

How does the purchasing process differ between EA and Select Plus? The Enterprise Agreement involves a single, consolidated purchasing process for all licenses and services, while Select Plus allows for more flexible, incremental purchases as needed.

Is there a difference in cost structure between EA and Select Plus? The Enterprise Agreement typically offers cost savings through volume discounts and predictable annual payments. Select Plus provided flexibility in spending, allowing organizations to manage costs based on their current needs without a long-term commitment.

What are the administrative requirements for managing an EA? Managing an Enterprise Agreement may require dedicated staff to oversee procurement, license tracking, and compliance. This centralized approach helps streamline administrative tasks for large organizations.

What are the administrative requirements for managing Select Plus? Managing Select Plus involved tracking assets and expenditures through the Microsoft Volume Licensing Center. It provided a user-friendly portal for handling administrative tasks and ensuring compliance. Transitioning to MPSA can offer improved management capabilities.

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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