Save money and simplify your Office 365 licensing with Microsoft CSP
Many businesses move to a new licensing model to gain needed flexibility

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Microsoft Enterprise Agreements have been the mainstay of Microsoft licensing for large organizations for many years. You might even say they were the gold standard of Microsoft licensing, providing customers with tiered pricing levels – we can call it volume pricing for volume licensing. Other benefits include locked-in pricing and the ability to do annual payments.

Once upon a time, you only needed 250 seats to qualify for an Enterprise Agreement (EA). Microsoft has since doubled that floor to 500 seats. While they grandfathered some smaller accounts for one additional three-year term, time has marched on and many of those agreements are coming due for renewal. This, combined with the impact that COVID-19 has had on the economy over the last two years, means that some businesses may not qualify for an EA anymore.

Organizations were locked into their license counts when they purchased licenses under their EA. They received favorable pricing for their 1,000 copies of Office, but what happened if they shed 800 of those workers a year later? They still had to make annual payments for the next two years for those 800 copies of Office they no longer need.

In all fairness, who could have predicted the events of the last two years? Still, many companies now seek more flexible licensing models with the ability to scale and align with their changing needs.

Next-generation software licensing with CSP

This brings us to the Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program, which offers cloud-based Microsoft subscription products via partners like SHI. Nearly every Microsoft product is now available for purchase via the CSP commerce platform, including mainstays like Office 365, Microsoft 365, and Azure.

When Office 365 launched, it provided organizations large and small with just what they wanted at the time: a monthly, per user, subscription service for their Office productivity suite software, with the ability to scale up and down as needed. What they didn’t realize was that Office 365 would become their new best friend during the COVID-19 pandemic. The subscription service offers monthly payment options via partners, enabling organizations to experience a lower cost of entry for Microsoft products. This also safeguards against shifting employee rosters.

By leveraging the CSP commerce platform, your organization can rely on SHI to manage your entire Microsoft licensing lifecycle – and a whole lot more. We provide our CSP customers with value adds like licensing advice, professional services, managed services, and support services, all delivered by our experienced in-house team. SHI has also invested in our own in-house developed Cloud Management Platform, called SHI One, so you can track, manage, and support your public clouds via a single centralized portal.

Simplicity is key

The golden chalice that helped organizations navigate the economic typhoon of the last two years was the built-in licensing feature that allows you to scale up and down on the fly as your business needs dictate. Gone are the days of being locked into three years of licensing that you may or may not need tomorrow. All your admin needs to do is log into your cloud management portal and either provision more users with whatever flavor of Office 365 you need, or deprovision those users who may no longer be with the company. It’s that simple.

How you purchase your Microsoft licensing could help your organization’s cash flow. In fact, moving to the CSP platform can help simplify your purchasing needs. Your CFO will likely be pleased with the monthly subscription billing which will mean no more six- or seven-figure annual checks to budget. Additionally, you may be able to move software licensing from your balance sheet, or experience benefits in moving from a CAPEX to an OPEX expense (see your tax professional to address your individual situation).

SHI can also help you identify cost-saving opportunities via our complimentary Microsoft 365 Insights service. This offers more granular reporting than the standard Microsoft portal, and enables you to consult with our licensing experts.

Get the support that you deserve

With Microsoft licensing, it’s important to select the right Microsoft partner to get the support you need. SHI has a robust team of Microsoft licensing and professional services experts who can help you take a look at your current Microsoft footprint, identify the best way to move to the cloud, and help you get there.

As one of the largest Microsoft partners, our team can address your licensing needs, escalate any urgent concerns, and get extra eyes and support on your case. SHI doesn’t outsource for your CSP benefits. As a result, your organization enjoys a better, more efficient, and cost-effective CSP agreement that delivers on your business.

Ready to make the move? Our team can help you determine if the SHI CSP program is the right fit for your organization.