Office for iPad: Answers to your most common licensing questions

Since Microsoft’s unveiling of Office for iPad two weeks ago, SHI has been inundated with phone calls and emails from customers asking about how they can get the new offering. This question would seem to have a simple answer given the nature of how easy it is to obtain apps on an iPad — just download it!

However, as organizations assess their current and future mobile device strategy, it stands to reason that the more robust capabilities available for Office for iPad require a more complete and thorough understanding of the licensing and cost models involved. For that reason, we’ve taken the time to address the five most common licensing questions organizations have asked about Office for iPad.

1. Is Office for iPad included in my existing Office 365 (O365) service plan?

In order to edit and create documents with Office for iPad, organizations must have an O365 ProPlus subscription. The following volume licensing (VL) O365 subscriptions include O365 ProPlus:

Microsoft-Office-365--Volume-Licensing-Plans

2. Is Office for iPad included in my existing Enterprise Agreement (EA)?

As mentioned, Office for iPad requires an O365 subscription. Commercial EA customers can either purchase a full user subscription to O365 or buy an add-on, depending on how they want to transition to the cloud.

An EA provides the right to license O365 enterprise plans and O365 for Office ProPlus for enterprise users. Each user who is assigned a qualifying O365 subscription can download the full suite of Office apps to his or her iPad.

3. How is O365 licensed to account for use on an iPad?

Both O365 service plans with Office ProPlus and the standalone O365 for Office ProPlus subscription have historically granted users the right to activate O365 on up to five computers and Office mobile apps on five smartphones. With the release of Office for iPad, these same rights are extended to include activation on up to five tablets.

On-premises Office licenses don’t qualify for the right to access Office for iPad, so organizations with the on-premises software will need to work with their SHI Account Executive to identify the appropriate transition plan to move to O365.

4. How does Office for iPad affect academic institutions?

Academic Enrollment for Education Solutions (EES) and Open Value Subscription for Education Solution (OVS-ES) customers can purchase O365 as a full user subscription or as an add-on.

Note that when licensing O365, faculty and staff are counted as full users. Therefore the full-time equivalent (FTE) model should not be used to calculate how many users in the institution will require access to the subscription. Each user requiring access to Office for iPad and O365 services will be counted as a single user.

Students are counted in a similar fashion as faculty and staff. Students licensed for Student Advantage (O365 ProPlus A for Students) can access Office for iPad for free. If the school doesn’t utilize Student Advantage there is a paid version of Office ProPlus for O365 available for student users.

5. What VL program can I purchase under?

Microsoft offers multiple VL program vehicles to procure O365 services. These programs accommodate the segment and size of an organization in order to provide the most flexible and cost-effective solution possible. Variations in program requirements, such as commitment offerings, pricing discounts, and agreement terms will dictate the most flexible, affordable, and appropriate licensing vehicles.

Traditional programs, like the EA or Open Licensing Program are just two of the options available today under which organizations can purchase O365. Consult your SHI Account Team to identify the VL program that is right for you.

As end-user demand for mobile devices continues to increase, it becomes more complex to provide productivity applications like Office on multiple devices. From a licensing perspective, O365 offers flexibility in its user-based licensing model and use rights, since it allows for access on multiple devices.

However, with flexibility come options, both in program and cost, that need to be vetted prior to making the cloud transition. SHI can help to ease this transition, so contact your Account Representative today to learn how you can license Office for iPad.

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