Microsoft

Microsoft Open License – What You Should Know

The Microsoft Open License program is a volume licensing plan for small to medium-sized organizations, with the key points being:

  • Target Audience: Aimed at businesses with 5 to 499 PCs.
  • Flexibility and Affordability: Offers a pay-as-you-go model, allowing additional licenses to be added any time during the two-year agreement term.
  • Simple License Management: Licenses are consolidated into a single agreement for easier tracking.
  • Options: Includes Open Value (with Software Assurance) and Enterprise Agreement for larger organizations.

Understanding Microsoft Open License

Microsoft Open License

The Microsoft Open License program is a volume licensing plan for businesses with 5 to 499 personal computers.

The program provides a simple, flexible, affordable solution for organizations to manage their Microsoft software licenses.

Unlike traditional retail licensing, Microsoft Open License allows businesses to consolidate their product licenses into a single agreement, making tracking their software assets easier.

This program is part of Microsoft’s broader Volume Licensing offerings, including the Open Value and Enterprise Agreement programs.

Differentiating Microsoft Open License from Other Microsoft Licensing Programs

While all Microsoft Volume Licensing programs are designed to help businesses manage their software licenses more effectively, there are key differences between them:

  1. Open License: This program is ideal for small to medium-sized organizations that want a minimum initial purchase of five software licenses. It offers a pay-as-you-go model, allowing businesses to add additional licenses anytime during the two-year agreement term.
  2. Open Value: This program includes all the benefits of an Open License, plus Software Assurance – a comprehensive maintenance offering with access to the latest software updates, training, and support.
  3. Enterprise Agreement: This program is designed for large organizations with 500 or more personal computers. It offers the best pricing, flexibility, and management control across all Microsoft technologies.

Benefits of Microsoft Open License

Benefits of Microsoft Open License

The Microsoft Open License program offers several advantages for organizations:

  1. Flexibility: The program allows businesses to buy the licenses they need when needed rather than making a large upfront purchase.
  2. Cost-Effectiveness: By consolidating licenses into a single agreement, businesses can reduce administrative overhead and potentially lower their software costs.
  3. Simplicity: The program simplifies license management through the Microsoft Volume Licensing Service Center (VLSC), an online portal where businesses can view and manage all their Microsoft licenses.
  4. Access to Latest Technologies: If businesses opt for Software Assurance with Open Value, they get access to the latest Microsoft software updates, ensuring they always have the most current and secure versions of Microsoft products.

Real-World Examples of How Microsoft Open License Benefits Businesses

Consider a small business that needs to equip its employees with the latest Microsoft Office software.

Instead of buying individual retail licenses for each employee – a time-consuming and expensive process – the business can use the Microsoft Open License program to purchase a volume license for the required number of employees.

This simplifies the purchasing process and allows the business to manage all its licenses through a single agreement.

Similarly, a medium-sized organization looking to upgrade its server software can use the Microsoft Open License program to buy the necessary server licenses.

The organization can then manage these licenses through the VLSC, ensuring they always have an accurate record of their software assets.

How Microsoft Open License Works

How Microsoft Open License Works

The Microsoft Open License program operates straightforwardly and transparently, making it easy for organizations to manage their software licenses.

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how it works:

  1. Initial Purchase: The organization purchases five or more licenses through the Open License program. This initial purchase sets up the Open License agreement.
  2. License Management: The organization manages its licenses through the Microsoft Volume Licensing Service Center (VLSC). This online portal provides a centralized platform for managing all Microsoft licenses.
  3. Additional Purchases: The organization can buy additional licenses after the initial purchase.
  4. 4. License Reassignment: Licenses can be reassigned to different devices within the same organization. This flexibility allows businesses to adapt to changing needs and circumstances.
  5. End of Agreement: At the end of the two-year agreement term, the organization can renew the agreement or let it expire. If the deal is not renewed, the organization retains the rights to use the software licenses purchased under the agreement.

The Microsoft Open License program is designed to be simple and flexible, making it easy for organizations to manage their software licenses.

By understanding how this program works, businesses can make the most of their Microsoft software investments and ensure they remain compliant with their licensing agreements.

Conclusion

In today’s digital age, software is a critical asset for businesses of all sizes. Managing software licenses effectively is crucial to avoiding compliance issues and optimizing software investments.

The Microsoft Open License program offers a flexible and cost-effective solution for small to medium-sized organizations to manage their Microsoft software licenses.

By understanding the ins and outs of this program, businesses can streamline their license management, reduce costs, and ensure they always have access to the latest Microsoft technologies.

Whether you’re a small business looking to equip your employees with the latest Microsoft Office software or a medium-sized organization planning to upgrade your server software, the Microsoft Open License program has you covered.

Remember, effective license management is not just about buying the right licenses; it’s also about managing those licenses effectively throughout their lifecycle.

With the Microsoft Open License program, you have a partner who makes this process as simple and efficient as possible.

FAQ

  1. What is the Microsoft Open License program? The Microsoft Open License program is a volume licensing plan for small to medium-sized organizations that must purchase at least five software licenses.
  2. What are the benefits of the Microsoft Open License program? The program offers flexibility, cost-effectiveness, and simplicity. It allows businesses to buy the licenses they need when they need them, consolidate their licenses into a single agreement, and manage their licenses through the Microsoft Volume Licensing Service Center (VLSC).
  3. How does the Microsoft Open License program work? Organizations purchase five or more licenses, manage their licenses through the VLSC, and can buy additional licenses as needed. At the end of the two-year agreement term, they can choose to renew the agreement or let it expire.
  4. How does the Microsoft Open License program compare to other Microsoft licensing programs? The Open License program is designed for small to medium-sized organizations and offers a pay-as-you-go model. Other programs, like Open Value and Enterprise Agreement, provide additional benefits like Software Assurance but may require a larger initial purchase or commitment.
  5. What happens at the end of the Microsoft Open License agreement term? The organization can renew or let it expire at the end of the two-year agreement term. If the agreement is not renewed, the organization retains the rights to use the software licenses purchased under the agreement.

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.