So You Signed Your Enterprise Agreement…Now What?

Leveraging Software Assurance and Other Microsoft Licensing Benefits to Improve your IT Environment

Transitions are at the core of many IT organizations considerations as they evaluate technology deployments and determine their future technology mix. A central tenant of the Enterprise Agreement (EA) is to offer the flexibility needed to accommodate a range of deployment choices, whether deploying Microsoft products on-premises, via the cloud, or in hybrid environments that combine cloud services with on-premises software solutions.

As your organization considers moving to the cloud (or perhaps it’s already happening?) you can do so gradually or rapidly with Microsoft without worrying about a perceived double payment for both on-premises and online services licensing through the EA. 

Additionally, the EA provides transitions that do not require you to forego use rights to perpetual licenses you have at the time of transition, even if you have not yet deployed said licenses. This supports your ability to “transition back” from cloud services using your perpetual (on-premises) licenses, should your IT landscape change. 

To help shed light on other areas of flexibility found within the EA we include below a number of benefits you may not be readily aware of which can help to maximize your Microsoft IT investment. 

CAL Suite Bridge SKUs
CAL Suite Bridge SKUs help you maintain licensed coverage for the Core CAL and Enterprise CAL components that don’t have cloud equivalents. When you transition your licenses from on-premises to online services, you benefit from the ability to “break up” your CAL Suite to align with the online services license constructs. For example, when a customer with the Core CAL suite moves to Office 365 Plan E3-E4, their Core CAL suite is modified to reflect the use of Microsoft SharePoint Server, Lync Server and Exchange Server. 

Online Services Step-Up Licenses
Online Services Step-Up Licenses allow you to move up to greater value productivity suites of Office 365 [e.g. from an Office 365 (Plan E2) to an Office 365 (Plan E3)] with the price reflected as a delta between lower- and higher- level service. These Licenses act similar to SA Step-up Licenses, which allow you to upgrade from a lower- to higher-level edition product such as Office Standard to Office Professional Plus, and pay only the pricing difference. 

License Reservations
License Reservations make Office 365 and Windows Intune available to you for use without requiring a purchase order up front. This process is unique to the EA and enables you to equip users with online services as needed, and account for these subscription licenses at your next agreement anniversary via new True-up provisions. This aligns with the True-up process for on-premises software. 

Online Services Extended Terms
Online Services Extended Terms help ensure continuity of your business-critical online services in cases of an unforeseen delay in renewal or no renewal. 

Software Assurance (SA) Benefits
SA can also help you plan for migrations, in addition to enhancing the value of your on-premise and hybrid environments. 

  • License Mobility lets you deploy certain server application licenses on-premises or in the cloud in a shared hardware environment. Beyond offering more deployment options, License Mobility can help lower cloud infrastructure costs by letting an authorized cloud service provider use your existing licenses. 
  • Planning Services offer additional guidance to help you plan a migration to Office 365 (Plan E2-E4), optimize your private cloud, or extend on-premises applications to a public cloud. 
  • IT and End-User Training can be utilized to build technical skills and ready users for Office 365 and System Center 2012, for example. 
  • New Product Versions give you access to new software versions as soon as they are released for on-premises licenses covered under SA. You can use these to reduce the costs of updating desktops to optimize the Office 365 services or update core server products to support hybrid deployments. 

For the full list of Software Assurance benefits, click here.

At the end of the day, the EA provides the flexibility your company is looking for to efficiently utilize and manage IT resources. For more information about the myriad of benefits provided through the EA, check out the whitepaper Why an updated Microsoft Enterprise Agreement? for more details.

Have a question about the EA? Feel free to send us a Tweet or place a comment below.



Comments (6)

  1. EA Agreement - dropping Service Assurance benefit says:

    Under an EA Agreement, If I cancel my service assurance (SA) benefit, am I still able to transfer my entitlement to other PC's or does the licenses become locked to a specific PC and can not be transferred?

  2. xiaojun says:

    20150922 junda

  3. Lucy says:

    I would like to apprentice at the same time as you amend your web site, how could i subscribe for a blog site?

  4. dongdong says:




  5. jessy says:

  6. Savio Fernandes says:

    Could you please share the skeleton structure for EA true-up report/doc? Also what tools are best for LSPs/partners to run a true-up check apart from SCCM?

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