Connected, modern licensing made for digital transformation

By Richard Smith

General Manager, Commercial Licensing

Digital transformation is top of mind for our customers around the globe. It’s how innovative organizations of all sizes and sectors use technology to outperform their peers. With stronger team collaboration, deeper customer relationships, and connected products and services to win in new markets, they’re driving a new vision of what’s possible.

How customers acquire the technology they need to transform is the role of Microsoft commercial licensing. Our goal is to deliver a connected, modern purchasing experience for customers that enables new, innovative cloud and business scenarios, and quickly and easily scales as needs grow.

Our customers don’t buy in just one way. They have multiple ways to ensure their success. For example:

  • Many organizations want to incorporate intelligent technology into their products for predictive maintenance and better customer service or other scenarios: they’re looking for the value-added services of a Microsoft partner to assist or contribute IP to help them innovate quickly.
  • Others require the extra computing power of virtual machines or other Azure service on-demand, without the need to negotiate a new agreement: they want self-serve options and easy access to first- and third-party apps.
  • Still others want to standardize on Microsoft technology across the organization, with an enterprise-wide agreement, a Microsoft-assisted offer.

Our modern licensing focus is on enhancing and creating synergies across all three ways of doing business: partner value-added, self-service web, and Microsoft assisted.

To get there, we need to adjust how offers, products, and services are made available in existing licensing programs, to align them with these ways of doing business. We will reduce unnecessary changes, while prioritizing changes that bring customers an improved experience as quickly as possible.  That’s why we shared with partners last year that we would not move forward with another new offer, Enterprise Advantage on MPSA. Instead, we’re consolidating and concentrating our investments in the partner-value added, self-serve web, and the Microsoft-assisted ways that best meet customers’ needs.

In keeping with this, we are guiding customers interested in Azure toward licensing options that best help them realize the full value of Azure services, leading with our partner value-added option:

  • Cloud Solution Provider program (CSP), whose solution-focused partners can add value and help light up IOT and other advanced scenarios for accelerated innovation
  • Enterprise Agreement (EA) for customers who require terms and conditions not yet addressed by other programs or Open programs for customers with fewer than 500 users or devices
  • Microsoft Online Subscription Program (MOSP) for customers who want to self-serve directly through the web

To make these buying choices easier, as of February 1, 2017, MPSA customers purchasing Azure for the first time will be guided to CSP for pay-as-you-go Azure, plus partner value added services. As part of the change, Azure pay-as-you-go will no longer be available for new Azure customers through the MPSA, but will continue to be available through the EA and MOSP, as an important option for customers to buy Azure services. Customers currently purchasing Azure pay-as-you-go through the MPSA can continue to do so.

Today, customers have a broad range of technology needs, priorities, and buying preferences - but they share the need to innovate more quickly than ever.  Enabling our customers’ innovation through a connected, modern purchasing experience is our north star.  We will continue to share important milestones, capabilities, and guidance here.



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