New licensing for Microsoft Enrollment for Education Solutions

 In Microsoft, Software, Volume Licensing

Microsoft has always adjusted its offerings to support organizations moving to the cloud. First with its business offerings and O365, and now with its newest update to its Enrollment for Education Solutions (EES) and the Microsoft 365 Education programs that accompany it.

The new iteration of the program, which will replace the minimum requirements of entry into the EES program, was released on Oct. 1, 2017 with all-new licensing practices and programs for education organizations using Microsoft.

Before you reach your next anniversary, you’ll want to take a look at Microsoft’s new offers. Here are the most important points to keep in mind.

How does the new EES licensing change affect you?

The biggest change to Microsoft’s program is the way licenses are calculated. Instead of basing license numbers on full-time and part-time equivalent employees, the new EES divides employees between knowledge workers and light users.

Knowledge workers are typically your teachers and administrators; those who are using the school’s hardware, and need security, archiving, and on-premises backups. Light users might have a school-issued email address and access to the network, but are primarily using their own devices. This could include substitute teachers, adjunct professors, bus drivers, and cafeteria workers. While there’s not yet a hard-and-fast line between the two of them, expect Microsoft to come out with some standard guidelines for differentiating between knowledge workers and light users in the coming weeks.

Luckily, these numbers can now be more easily adjusted throughout the year. While schools previously had to wait until their anniversary to true-up their license counts, the new program allows you to add licenses at any time, right when you need them. It also allows you to decrease license numbers at your anniversary date, rather than your contract renewal.

Which Microsoft 365 Education program is right for you?

Although Microsoft offers a slew of services for educational organizations, it wants to make the process of purchasing and handling those services as simple as possible. Because of this, Microsoft 365 A3 and A5, the new Microsoft Education Suites, will provide the ability to license enterprise-wide your most commonly needed online applications.

These bundles include the programs that educators depend on, including Microsoft O365, Windows 10 Education, O365 Office Professional Plus, Enterprise Mobility Suite, and Minecraft for Education, as well as end-to-end protection and increased security. They also provide student use benefits, as well as on-premises rights to run unlimited installs of Exchange Server, Sharepoint Server, and Skype for Business Server.

Both Microsoft 365 Education A3 and A5 will offer the same set of programs—the difference is that A5 comes equipped with advanced security analytics, heightened threat protection for cloud and on-premises servers, as well as Voice over IP (VoIP).

If VoIP is important to you, it’s probably best to go with A5, which comes equipped with everything you would need except headsets.

Get acquainted with Microsoft’s new education programs

Microsoft’s new EES program requires that schools look at their licensing practices in a brand new way. It can be a challenge, but the program will fit more smoothly into the cloud-driven world that the industry is migrating toward.

The offer comes in four price ranges, with a higher discount for larger license volume. Since the measurements for licensing are new, make sure you reevaluate the number of licenses you need before making the switch. Consider how you might break down your new licenses, your cloud setup, security needs, and make sure to get all the appropriate internal approvals.

For further guidance on how Microsoft’s new program will impact your educational environment, especially if you have a statewide contract or your license anniversary is coming up, reach out to your SHI account executive for more information.

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Showing 6 comments
  • William Shep;ard

    Jessica you did not mention the A1 plan and I think that Micorsoft is going to place all students in this plan unless the Universite declares that they are student employees and need the A3/A5 plan.

    • Jessica Olson

      Any end user can access and utilize the features found in the A1 plan so long as the O365 Administrator assigns them a license through the O365 Administrator Portal, Microsoft will not automatically place named end users within the A1 plan. You can add A1/A3/A5 for your end users through your EES agreement for students, faculty, and staff depending on their coverage needs; and then assign out the licenses as needed.

  • Jefferson Davis

    I’d be VERY curious how one could make GSuite and O365 play nice with one another, ie storing O365 files on GDRive seamlessly, using gsuite for authentication, the list goes on. Each will insist, one way or the other, that it is authoritative over the other.

    We have some users that really do need MS Office functionality that is not available in GSuite, but the idea of having to maintain these two parallel ecosystems makes me nauseous.

    • Jessica Olson

      That’s a great question, and we know that many customers have a more diverse cloud approach as one platform may not work for all end users. I’d recommend you reach out to your SHI sales team to explore what are the right/best solution(s) for your school for a more vendor agnostic cloud strategy.

  • Aaron Alonzo

    how can you license a knowledge worker compared to a light worker. Do the SkuIDs differ

    • Jessica Olson

      Great question. Light workers are licensed for O365 A1, a cloud access only license of Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, Skype for Business Online, and Office web apps. Whereas knowledge workers are licensed for full access to on-premises and cloud products and applications.

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