Choosing the Ideal Microsoft Volume Licensing Program for Your Business
In the realm of Microsoft licenses for businesses, there are two fundamental options: volume licensing and full packaged products.
Full packaged products, typically offered by resellers, come complete with software media, comprehensive documentation, and product packaging. Each purchase of a full packaged product entails a single license key for a single user. However, this approach can become problematic and cost-ineffective as your business expands or goes global.
Volume software licensing, on the other hand, provides multiple licenses without the bells and whistles of packaging and documentation. This streamlined approach reduces software costs. The Microsoft Volume Licensing Service Center (MS VLSC) serves as a centralized hub for accessing all products, license keys, and licensing information, making it incredibly convenient.
What further sweetens the deal with volume software licensing is the prospect of discounts, flexible payment plans, and price stability during license renewals. It’s no surprise that Microsoft volume licensing is the most cost-effective means to operate software across multiple computers.
The question, then, is how to pinpoint the right program for your business needs.
Key Considerations Before selecting a Microsoft volume licensing program, there are critical factors that warrant consideration, and not every program will align with your specific requirements.
First and foremost, you must determine if you want to license all of your devices and assess the number of licenses your organization needs. Consider your preferred payment structure: annual payments, upfront costs, or a subscription model?
Determine whether you require licenses to be installed locally or in the cloud, or if a hybrid solution suits your needs. Lastly, decide if you want Software Assurance services bundled with your license or if you prefer the flexibility to add it later.
Let’s demystify the primary Microsoft volume license offerings with succinct insights into what each provides.
Microsoft Open: For small businesses with 5 to 250 users and devices, Microsoft Open offers three options – Open Value, Open Value Subscription, and Open License.
- Open Value: This three-year perpetual agreement includes Software Assurance, an annual payment structure, and streamlined license management.
- Open Value Subscription: Ideal for businesses seeking the lowest upfront cost, this is a three-year non-perpetual agreement with included Software Assurance services.
- Open License: A two-year perpetual agreement with an option to purchase Software Assurance at an additional fee, and an upfront payment structure.
Microsoft Enterprise Agreement and Select Plus: For larger enterprises with over 250 users or devices, Microsoft provides three volume licensing options – Enterprise Agreement, Enterprise Agreement Subscription, and Select Plus.
- Enterprise Agreement: This three-year perpetual agreement features Software Assurance and empowers users to standardize their IT platform, combining local and cloud services under a single agreement. Enterprise Enrollment allows the licensing of products such as Windows, Office 365, and Intune.
- Enterprise Agreement Subscription: Offering all the features of the Enterprise Agreement but without the perpetual aspect.
- Select Plus: A perpetual agreement ideal for businesses that require a mix of products. It offers volume pricing on transactional purchases while providing a consistent discount. Software Assurance can be added at an additional cost.
With this comprehensive understanding of the available options, the process of selecting the right Microsoft volume licensing program for your business becomes an attainable goal.