What you need to know about Microsoft’s changes to its Enterprise Agreement program

 In Microsoft, Software, Volume Licensing

Microsoft will change one of its biggest licensing programs – and your organization might have a decision to make.

Microsoft is raising the minimum desktop commitment on Enterprise and Enterprise Subscription Enrollments from 250 to 500 devices/users on July 1, 2016. The adjustment aligns with Microsoft’s ongoing transformation of how organizations acquire, license, and deploy software and services in their IT environment.

Let’s look at how the change will impact organizations moving forward.


The quick facts

  • The change to the Enterprise Agreement (EA) program applies to commercial organizations only; government customers will not be impacted.
  • Enrollment vehicles like Server and Cloud Enrollment (SCE) will not be impacted. The SCE is not based on user/device counts, but rather commitment to certain Microsoft servers and applications.
  • EA remains available for organizations that meet the minimum 500 device/user requirement.
  • Existing EA customers who don’t meet the minimum requirements at renewal may have an option to extend their enrollment for 36 months. This option is subject to their existing agreement terms.

The choice existing EA customers have to make

Organizations with an EA today that are subject to the minimum device/user changes on July 1 will have a decision to make at their renewal date: extend their existing enrollment for an additional 36-month term, or renew into Microsoft Product and Services Agreement (MPSA).

This decision will be driven by multiple factors, including agreement structure, cloud services mix, purchasing requirements, and cost considerations. In addition, a review of future IT initiatives will help organizations determine how to structure their licensing for the future.

MPSA: The modern-day volume licensing platform

Since the pilot launch in October 2012, MPSA has gone through a number of updates designed to address three key elements: agreement structure, flexible and simplified purchasing options, and new systems and tools. These updates expanded features and offerings, which cater to how organizations want to license and deploy software and cloud services going forward.

Because of the retirement of Select Plus and these upcoming changes to EA, MPSA will offer a programmatic transition path for customers looking to acquire on-premises and/or cloud services in the future.

As with any significant change to Microsoft’s products, programs, or licensing models, it’s important to understand how these changes will impact your organization as early as possible. A fundamental shift in how organizations will acquire and manage their software and cloud assets requires a thorough review of the aforementioned topics.

Contact your SHI Account Executive to discuss this EA change in more detail.

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