Everything you need to know about licensing Azure services 

Azure is the cloud computing platform that helps you build, manage, and deploy applications. With Azure, you can host your applications in the cloud, without having to purchase a local server. By licensing Microsoft Azure services through the Enterprise Agreement (EA) and Server and Cloud Enrollment (SCE), you gain access to a comprehensive range of integrated services. This article provides you with an in-depth overview of licensing through an Enterprise Agreement (EA) and a Cloud Enrollment (SCE). At Q-Advise, we are your reliable partner for Microsoft products and licenses. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions.

What is a Microsoft Enterprise Agreement?  

A Microsoft Enterprise Agreement (EA) is a contract between Microsoft and your organization, where you purchase software licenses for three years. This agreement is suitable for medium to large organizations that need volume licensing over a longer period of time. With this agreement, you can benefit from economies of scale and thus reduce your costs in the long run. Within the Enterprise Agreement (EA), Microsoft offers you two options to purchase Azure services. This can be done through an Enterprise Enrollment or a Server and Cloud Enrollment. You choose the option that best suits your organization’s needs:

  1. Enterprise Enrollment: This option is ideal if your organization needs a large number of licenses. You commit to a wide range of Microsoft products, which helps you to manage your IT infrastructure in a comprehensive way. 
  2. Server and Cloud Enrollment: This option is perfect if you want to focus specifically on cloud services, such as Azure, or on server products. You can dedicate yourself specifically to Azure or opt for a particular server product, depending on your organization’s specific requirements.

Optimize your Azure usage with the Microsoft Enterprise Agreement 

The Microsoft Azure Enterprise Agreement is designed specifically for organizations with more than 500 employees who plan to use the platform for at least three years. This agreement provides significant flexibility in customizing your Azure services, which can be adjusted annually through the “True-up” process. One of the benefits of this agreement is the subscription model, where you initially pay less for Azure products. You have the freedom to increase or decrease your consumption annually, leading to maximum flexibility. In addition, you can enjoy cost savings of 15% to 45% with this agreement. 

Licensing and purchasing Azure services 

You can choose from two types of Azure services through an Enterprise Agreement: consumption-based services and user licensing services. With consumption-based services, you have the option to prepay by prepayment to Azure, or you can choose to pay monthly in arrears. You purchase the User Licensing Services as User Licenses (User SLs), calculated on the basis of the number of users per month, for full months up to the renewal date of your agreement.  

Need help with your licensing? Consult a Q-Advise licensing expert! 

What are the benefits of Azure under an EA agreement?  

Microsoft understands that technology licensing can be both a support and a hindrance for organizations that need the flexibility. That’s why the Microsoft Azure Enterprise Agreement provides the best value for organizations looking for a unified volume licensing program. This program provides them with the flexibility to purchase Microsoft Azure under a single agreement. Microsoft Azure for business is a complete, intelligent solution that empowers everyone to be creative and collaborate securely. 

In addition, this agreement also offers the following benefits: 

  1. Centralized procurement and management: The agreement allows organizations to centrally manage and purchase licenses for Microsoft products and services, making it easier to track usage and ensure compliance. 
  2. Cost savings: The agreement offers volume discounts and flexible purchasing options. This can result in significant cost savings compared to purchasing licenses on a per-device or per-user basis. 
  3. Access to the latest technology: The agreement provides organizations with access to the latest Microsoft products and services. 
  4. Software Assurance Benefits: The agreement includes Software Assurance benefits, such as access to new product releases, technical support, and training. 

How does a Server and Cloud Enrollment (SCE) work?  

The SCE is a special option within your Enterprise Agreement (EA). This is the basic version of your contract that offers you attractive prices and conditions. This option simplifies the licensing of cloud services and provides you with optimized licensing options for the cloud. Additionally, it includes subscription-based licensing, which is very useful if you plan to reduce, consolidate, or move your IT tasks to the cloud. 

Like an EA, this agreement is a three-year contract and is designed for larger organizations. It provides you with a simplified way to license Microsoft server products and cloud services. This helps optimize your IT spend and reduce licensing complexity.

What are the benefits of an SCE?  

You can enter into an SCE when you commit to one or more of Microsoft’s core server and cloud technologies. There are several benefits to having an SCE. Here are the most important benefits for you: 

  • Simplify licensing: By using a single enrollment that covers all Microsoft server products and cloud services, you can streamline the management of your licenses. 
  • Standardization: You must obtain licenses for all installations within your entire organization or a specific part of it. This ensures uniformity and compliance. 
  • Flexibility: You can license Microsoft server products and cloud services based on the number of cores. This system allows you to purchase licenses based on actual usage, which gives you more flexibility than a fixed number of licenses. 
  • Cost savings: You enjoy volume discounts, which depend on the number of licenses purchased. This can lead to significant savings. 

Simplify your cloud experience with Server and Cloud Enrollment 

SCE greatly simplifies your move to the cloud. Microsoft promotes SCE as particularly suitable for the cloud. Under the Microsoft Enterprise Agreement, which includes SCE and the standard Enterprise Enrollment, Software Assurance is required. This guarantees that you have access to comprehensive support and services to get the most out of the cloud. 

You’ll also enjoy the extensive benefits of Software Assurance for cloud technologies, such as License Mobility, Flexible Virtualization, and Azure Hybrid Benefits. These benefits allow you to bring your own licenses. This is also known as BYOL (“Bring Your Own License”). This allows you to releverage previous investments in Microsoft licenses in a variety of cloud scenarios. These benefits are not exclusive to SCE, but are highly relevant to cloud usage and help effectively manage your costs. The combination of subscription licenses and perpetual licenses provides maximum flexibility in the transition to advanced cloud technologies and digital innovation. 

What does price protection mean in the EA?  

As a customer or partner, you are assured of prices that do not exceed the prices listed on your customer price list or the prices that were valid on the day your subscription started. This is also known as price protection and the base price. Here are some useful details about the start date of this coverage:

  • The start date of the coverage is based on the date of use of the order. If the use date is the first day of the month, the coverage start date is also the first day of that month. If the use-by date is the second day of the month or later, coverage begins on the first day of the following month.
  • The start date of your Price Guarantee is in the month in which your coverage period starts, if you purchased Azure Prepayment more than 30 days after the start of your agreement.
  • If you make a financial commitment within the first 30 days of the start of your agreement, we’ll set the start date of your Price Guarantee. This date falls in the month before the start of your coverage.

Need help with your Microsoft licenses?  

Do you need support with your Microsoft licenses? Licensing Azure services can be complex, with a variety of options each offering their specific benefits. It’s important to make the right choice that fits your organization’s needs.

At Q-Advise, our licensing experts are dedicated to assisting you navigate the world of Azure licensing. We are ready to provide you with expert advice and practical solutions.  


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