At present, there is no indication that the Enterprise Agreement program offers such flexibility, although it has been available to PSC clients for five years. If Microsoft is to continue to become a consumer-focused business model, as they say, it needs to better “manage” operations and pricing to provide the flexibility that business customers need. In the meantime, ISG can help corporate clients harmonize costs and values to make the right decisions for their business. Check out ISG Insights to learn more about the latest Microsoft news and announcements. And contact us to find out how to help you. In 2014, Microsoft launched the Cloud Service Provider (CSP) program to allow the reseller community to sell Microsoft`s online services to the masses. CSP is currently the only licensing program available that increases and reduces the number of Office 365/Microsoft users 365 per month. Unfortunately, CSP is aimed at small and medium-sized businesses and its pricing is negotiated by Microsoft`s reseller community, which means that customers are limited in their ability to negotiate prices and cannot negotiate commercial terms. In addition, it presents administrative complications related to more than one licensing agreement to cover the estate of a business. On October 1, 2018, Microsoft removed the programmatic discounts offered to A-level customers on EA (customers from 250 to 2399 seats). Without these built-in discounts, EA doesn`t offer higher prices than other volume licensing programs, without your Microsoft team taking care of discounts.
EA awards are now very much on par with other programs such as CSP, which have much lower minimum requirements to launch the agreement. At similar prices, companies should seriously begin to seriously assess the pros and cons of EA over other options. For example, an EA has more complex contract documents, a high ex ante annual cost and minimal flexibility to reduce your subscriptions. Even if your company qualifies for an EA and has more than 500 seats, these changes may encourage you to look for other options. Alternatively, the customer can sign a purely enterprise online service contract with Microsoft. This option does not require company-wide standardization. Customers must acquire at least 500 Enterprise online service licenses. The only other way you can get around this unfortunate situation is to start early and take the negotiations seriously as quickly as possible.
In the past, the intensity of the negotiations peaked about one to three months before the renewal, but now, in order to reach the most ideal agreement, negotiations should begin seriously about three to six months before renewal. A large, very large company has identified potential annual savings of $14 million through our health check. This company used CoreView`s in-depth licensing analysis to renegotiate its EA agreement – much to the delight of executives! When a company has global administrators who sometimes manage thousands of licenses, many things can fall through cracks.