The times are a-changing…even when it comes to Microsoft volume licensing agreements.
During the last years there has been a lot of focus on user-based licensing with the introduction of Office 365, Enterprise Mobility Suite, Enterprise Cloud Suite and Windows per user. They have all one thing in common – the cloud – and they offer increased flexibility, productivity and a modern way of work.
When it comes to agreements, to purchase these services – the change has not been that dramatic. Sure, we have received updated Enterprise agreements to facilitate the new ways to license our desktops, but now it is time for some real change even for the volume licensing agreements.
I have previously talked about the Microsoft Products and Services Agreement – the MPSA as a Select Plus replacement and a solution for customers that does not reach the new threshold of 500 users/devices on their Enterprise Agreement. But the MPSA will soon affect all customers.
The idea with the MPSA is to move away from the unconnected and complex structure that volume licensing often is about. Instead of having multiple agreements, programs, conflicting licensing models and redundant terms and conditions. The MPSA offers a unified approach with a single agreement on only 8 pages. A clear overview of your business with Microsoft and the possibility to buy all the services and products you need. In ONE agreement, that does not expire or has to be renegotiated.
The MPSA was originally launched in December of 2014 and at that time it did not have too much to offer, not even Software Assurance. But a lot has happened since then and today it is not only replacing the Select Plus, but it is a good candidate to replace your Enterprise Agreement.
The year 2016 will probably be to most exciting year in the development of the MPSA. Not only does Microsoft release some unique and modern licensing features, such as short-term subscriptions, but during the second half of this year Microsoft will release an Enterprise coverage for the MPSA, which will probably make the MPSA even more interesting when your Enterprise Agreement is due for renewal.
Where we will be a year from now, only Microsoft knows. But the roadmap for the MPSA indicates that the biggest change is yet to come.
There is still a lot of questions marks to straighten out but rest assured I will make sure to keep you posted on the development.
Recently released licensing features within the MPSA
Multi-year Duration Options – Previously you only had the option to purchase Online Services until your next anniversary. This has been improved and nowadays you have multiple options when it comes to duration. You could align your purchases to the next, second or third anniversary. Or even purchase 12, 24 or full 36 months thus having order anniversaries instead of agreement anniversaries.
Short-term Subscriptions – This option was introduced to help customers to deal with project-based or seasonal needs. It allows you to purchase certain* Online Services for as little as 1 month.
*Office 365 E1, K1, Sharepoint and Exchange Online, EMS and CRM Online
New feature to be released in June 2016
Buy Azure on your terms – Currently the MPSA only offers Azure through the pay-as-you-go model, with quarterly invoicing. Starting June 2016 Microsoft will offer an alternative option to PAYG, with the possibility to do upfront commitment and then pay for any overage as it happens. The same way as Enterprise customers are used to.
For those who are interesting in Microsoft MPSA and want to know more, COMPAREX will host a webinar May 20 with me as a presenter. http://www.comparex-group.com/web/se/se/software/om-comparex/events/event-details.htm?eventId=177