Microsoft’s Open Licensing Program transition could save you money

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Microsoft continues to simplify its approach to licensing – which could save small- and mid-sized customers money if they take advantage of the company’s updated offerings.

When the software giant announced changes last September to its Microsoft Open License Program (MOLP), it kickstarted a 15-month transition that promises to fundamentally change how small- and mid-sized customers purchase volume perpetual software licenses. MOLP has been around for over 20 years, and this announcement marked the beginning of the end of this familiar offering. For MOLP customers, this means any purchases of new software licenses will need to be made through the Cloud Solutions Provider (CSP) program.

Here’s a quick snapshot of key timelines in the transition from MOLP to CSP:

  • January 1, 2021: Microsoft made perpetual software licenses available to commercial customers through partners in the Cloud CSP program.
  • July 1, 2021: Microsoft stops publishing new offers in the MOLP, and it will only be made available to customers through a CSP.
  • September 2, 2021: To encourage further adoption of software licenses and offers in the CSP program, prices for on-premises products bought through the MOLP will increase.
  • December 31, 2021: The last day to transact offers in the MOLP.

Why transition from MOLP to CSP?

In response to the widespread transition to remote work and the pace of digital innovation, Microsoft is investing in new technologies and end-to-end customer experiences. From Microsoft’s perspective, this is best accomplished through the CSP program.

In our view, the transition from MOLP to CSP will simplify licensing, streamline the purchasing process, and open the door to new online services purchasing options. This updated approach supports improved licensing asset management, which can in turn hold the line on licensing costs.

Benefits of CSP

Aside from opening a range of technology and service opportunities, buying software licenses through Microsoft’s CSP program offers additional benefits, including:

  1. Simplified and consistent purchasing experience. The CSP program’s new end-to-end customer experience commerce platform streamlines the acquisition process.
  2. Predicable costs. Monthly cloud subscriptions can reduce capex of on-premises equipment and maintenance.
  3. Flexibility to address hybrid needs. With both software licensing options and cloud offerings available, customers purchasing through MOLP had limited online services options under the same agreements as on-premise software. Microsoft provided enough options to help customers transition to the cloud at their own pace, but not all options like under a CSP.
  4. Access to partner value added services. SHI can help you realize the full potential of the licensing, cloud, and services within your CSP agreement. For organizations seeking peace of mind, an optimized licensing environment, and lower overhead, CSP with SHI is the right choice.
  5. Streamlined software asset management. CSP can help consolidate everything under a single agreement and streamline renewals. For example, MOLP customers renew every 2 years, online subscription run 12 months, and tokens can be active up to five years.

How CSP Compares to Open Licensing

Here is a Microsoft comparison between CSP and open licensing programs. The CSP and MOLP program are very similar, and customers simply gain more by embracing this new way of transacting:

How to make the transition to CSP

Customers currently acquiring software through Microsoft’s Open License Program will need to transition to the Cloud Solution Provider program. SHI has years of experience supporting our CSP customers with expert licensing advice, professional services, managed support services, and support services, and our internal team of experts stands ready to help manage your Microsoft Cloud solution during – and beyond – this transition period.

To get started, learn more about our CSP offering then contact us or reach out to your dedicated SHI Account Executive.