Your introduction to Microsoft Online Services and their licensing structure

Microsoft online services available are Windows 11, Office 365, Enterprise Mobility + Security (EMS), Microsoft 365 and Dynamics 365. In this article, we will look at the plans, purchasing channels, licensing and which of the available options will work for your business looking at your user needs.

The licensing for these online services is the User Subscription License (User SL). The license as part of the requirements to use the services is assigned to an individual named user. This license is not shareable in the business environment and this you must take note of to avoid non-compliance-related conversations in the future.

This license, when granted enables the user to access the desired online services and use the relevant services contained therein from any device in your location or agreed business space. For Windows 11 and Office 365 applications, installation for up to 5 devices is possible.

Also, a business that is going to use Microsoft Online Services needs to know through which accepted channels they can buy the services provided online for their convenience and this we will address a little later.

How do I License Microsoft Windows 11 Editions?

Microsoft Windows 11, the desktop operating system, is licensed by device or by user. There are factors that come to play on how licensing is done depending on how the customer acquires their licenses.

The Licensing model of Windows 11, Microsoft operating system, is either licensing by user or device. This depends on how Microsoft clients acquire their Windows 11 license.

Windows Enterprise LTSC 2021 and Windows 11 Pro are licensed by device license if purchased through the Cloud Solution Provider (CSP), but the Windows 11 Enterprise is device licensed also when acquired through the Microsoft Open Value and Enterprise Agreement.

Be informed that a license for a device means the license is assigned to each device that the software is used on. If your business is considering several users share a device, this licensing model can be used for multiple user-access.

Windows 11 in a user licensing model  

For Windows 11 Enterprise E3 and E5, licensing is issued through the user license when purchased using CSP and Enterprise Agreement.

There are also add-on licenses that can be purchased for reasons like enhanced security or updates features. These are Windows 11 Enterprise E3 and E5 Add-on User SL, acquired through the Enterprise Agreement. There is also Windows 11 Enterprise E5 Step-Up User SL which also takes the Enterprise Agreement format of licensing.

What are the Microsoft 365 Plans and bundles?

Let’s now take a look at Microsoft 365 as another online service and the plans available for small and medium businesses, Frontline Workers and Enterprise Users. Microsoft has positioned the Microsoft 365 as its productivity cloud that serves as a converging point  under one umbrella “the best-in-class Office apps with powerful cloud services, device management, and advanced security.”

When a business submits to be licensed to use this product, it is the user license that is issued allowing for the various editions to be accessed. Also, if your business’   users end up in excess of 300, it can opt for the Microsoft 365 Business Edition.

For small and medium businesses using Microsoft 365 Business Basic, Business Standard and Business Premium, the plans for the apps and Office 365 available are the same. However, the Windows 11 edition under the Microsoft 365 Business Premium has the Pro with the same edition having EMS + Windows 11 Enterprise for security and management.

There are also plans for Frontline Workers and Enterprise users as the table below depicts.

Dynamics 365 Offerings as part of Microsoft Online Services.

Now Dynamics 365 is uniquely different from the earlier mentioned services. It has the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) functionality for customers.

The license model here is with User Subscription Licenses, “although for solution flexibility there are also some Device Subscription Licenses available.”  The ERP can work for you as your business process management software that joins up those core processes seen as the backbone.

It enables you to manage all business processes from invoicing to accounts, streamlining routine recordkeeping tasks and processes related to staffing.

There is also the CRM part of the Dynamics 365 that creates a dashboard that allows the user to perform a couple of activities at the same time. These activities are analyzing customer purchase or interaction insights, have social engagements, discover sales opportunities, deploy and monitor business campaigns and provide customer relations services like chats at the same time.

Licenses for Dynamics 365 is with User Subscription Licenses (User SLs) where a license is assigned to an individual named user. There is also an included team members’ rights option.

How to purchase Microsoft Online services

The Web Direct option allows you to purchase from Microsoft’s website. With this option you are required to pay for your subscription either upfront monthly or annually. There is also the Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) where subscription is purchased through the assistance of partners. These partners are also recognized by Microsoft to engage in such transactions and more.

The final option is purchasing through the Volume Licensing Agreements like Microsoft Open Value or Enterprise Agreement contracts. Depending on the number of users you choose either for Open Value contracts or Enterprise agreement contracts.

As experts in software licensing with our forte in every inch of the licensing industry, we have gathered the knowledge and experience placing us in a good position to independently advise you to turn around immediately your licensing concerns into savings. Contact Q-Advise now.

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