Why Enterprise Agreement (EA) is a better choice than CSP

Microsoft Enterprise Agreement (EA) is a comprehensive licensing solution that Microsoft offers to commercial organizations with over 500 users. It provides several benefits, making it a considerable choice compared to the Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program. We will explore with you in this piece why Microsoft Enterprise Agreement is a choice worth considering as a licensing model.     

What is the pricing model and commitment in EA all about? 

Microsoft EA offers a predictable pricing model that is based on a three-year commitment. This allows organizations to carefully plan and budget for their software licensing costs. Moreover, EA pricing is volume-based, which means that the more licenses a company purchases through EA, the lower the price per license becomes. This ensures that organizations can benefit from economies of scale as they grow.     

Are there spread payment options in EA?   

Yes. With EA, companies are allowed to spread the payment.  Microsoft EA offers spread annual payments instead of up-front payment. The spread payment helps organizations to reduce their initial costs. It also helps organizations to forecast their annual IT budget on software for three years.   

Management of software assets    

Microsoft 365 Admin Center enables organizations in the EA to manage their software assets. These online services and subscriptions management are made possible in one site accessed by a single log in ID.   

Microsoft 365 Admin Center is what Microsoft is empowering to manage volume licensing features like downloads and keys, license summary and relationship summary.   

Software deployments   

Enterprise Agreement offers more comprehensive software licensing coverage. EA provides organizations with both on-premises and cloud-based licensing rights.     

Organizations can choose to deploy their software either on-premises, on the cloud or even in a hybrid environment. This flexibility ensures that organizations can optimize their infrastructure investments and choose the deployment option that best suits their needs.     

Agreement Negotiation on pricing, discounts and concessions   

When it comes to the Enterprise Agreement, you as an organization or entity can deal with Microsoft directly. When it comes to pricing, concessions, discounts, or negotiations around bundles and customization, you have a direct say in this. But with the CSP, there is no option to discuss your terms and pricing with Microsoft.  Partners usually are given the mandate by Microsoft to deal with you and they are likely to pitch for gains that will suit their interest and pocket. The CSP supports your billing, technical support and other cloud usage experiences but how well is this support to your advantage.    

How does the CSP work compared to the EA?   

When you opt to settle for the CSP program, you need to go through the pains of finding an authorized Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider program partner. You then need to go through the list available to you to see if what they say they offer fits your requirements, delivers the services you need, and is in tandem with your business model. This can be time-consuming.   

However, with the EA, you go to Microsoft direct. But then they will get an LSP involved as the LSP is their administration body.  

What is the license purchase options available in CSP?

Microsoft stopped its Open License program in CSP in 2022 and this affected how perpetual licenses were offered for small business. However, to meet clients and partners need to acquire traditional licenses, Microsoft has allowed perpetual licenses purchase but to a limited number and made some enterprise-grade products unavailable even as subscription. In the case of an EA, perpetual license is available to purchase provided you understand and know what you want as an organization.    

What are the Software Assurance offerings in CSP and EA?   

In the CSP program, it provides partially similar benefits for subscription licenses when you opt for it. The Software Assurance right like the new version rights is available. As an organization, do not assume all the Software Assurance rights are available. However, Software Assurance offers like new version rights, spread payments and step-up licensing purchasing rights are all available in the Enterprise Agreement.   

Microsoft CSP or Microsoft EA: What is right for your organization?   

The above pointers between CSP and EA will help you know what both Microsoft programs offer to you as an organization.  The decision to settle for one of the Microsoft programs should be based on what you need.  What is your aim at the end of the day? To save, to acquire licenses for users, vary payment models per your financial calendar or exploit pricing models?    

As an organization there is the need to conduct in-depth thorough research backed by scenarios to understand to what extent your needs will be met adequately whiles avoiding unnecessary expenditure. It is important to know the pros and cons for each program.   

What you should avoid is waiting till you get to a stage of desperation before embarking on license optimization or looking for solutions. In this state you are likely to fall for any ideas thrown at you and this can be financially catastrophic.   

While waiting to be overwhelmed, embark on various self-initiated efforts to optimize licenses in your organizations to save. An independent cloud or licensing expert can help do an overall license assessment with you.   

Talk to us about your EA or CSP agreement   

Is your current Enterprise Agreement going to expire soon and per usage over the contract duration you wish to optimize the terms, clauses and how much you spend on licensing? Have you also for some time now been thinking of signing an Enterprise Agreement, but cost is one major factor you wish to beat down?     

Well, whatever your scenario is, we are a team of independent unbiased software licensing experts with years in the field and can be of great assistance to you. We deal in EA-related conversations with Microsoft daily, so we understand the licensing language.     

Contact us today and let’s show you how to optimize and save on your licensing agreements.    

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