In Insights & Ideas, Microsoft
Microsoft Licensing

Did you know that there’s more than one way to buy Microsoft Office products? Chances are you (just like most others) thought the only way to obtain Office for your business is to buy it off the physical or virtual shelf. In reality, you don’t need to purchase hundreds of copies for your small business to take advantage of the volume licensing discounts.

Options, Options, Options

In fact, Microsoft offers multiple flexible programs that provide affordability to companies with options as low as five licenses. There are both open license and open value programs which can help your small firm build a licensing software plan that best fits your needs. The Enterprise Agreement is set up for larger firms and offers a more significant saving. Three different factors will help your firm decide which license type is the best fit:

  1. Number of licenses
  2. Up-front capital
  3. Length of contract

Not sure which license type means what? Don’t worry we’ve got you covered.

Open License

Microsoft Open License is the easiest license to understand. To put it simply, you purchase the license up front and now own it forever. Options like Software Assurance are available for add-on. An Open License is practical for firms that have the money to spend on a license and are purchasing a relatively low number. Pricing also varies for Open Licenses depending on the type of organization you are with:

  • Open License for Business
  • Charity/Non-Profit
  • Education
  • Government
  • Health Organization

Open Value

Microsoft Open Value licensing is similar to Open License. Firms pay for the software licenses and completely own it after purchasing it. Unlike Open License, Open Value spreads the cost of the license over three annual payment. After firms pay all three installments, the firm owns the licenses. Open Value automatically includes Software Assurance. Pricing for Open Value is not dependent on the organization.

There is also an option for an Open Value Subscription. This option allows firms to use the software for an annual subscription fee. This option does not allow firms to own the software ultimately. If at any point you stop the subscription, you lose access to the software.

Open Value Subscription

There is also an option for an Open Value Subscription. This option allows firms to use the software for an annual subscription fee. This option does not allow firms to own the software ultimately. If at any point you stop the subscription, you lose access to the software.

Our own Procurement Coordinator Lindsey recommends the Open Value Subscription most often. “Many of our clients enjoy the flexibility of a monthly Microsoft 365 subscription. As our clients grow, it is very easy to add licenses as needed, instead of having to invest in a new annual subscription, with a separate expiration date each time. Conversely, if your business employs interns, or if you lose an employee, the license count can be downgraded to suit your immediate needs. In most cases, there are no additional charges for the convenience of the monthly licenses.”

Enterprise Agreement

Microsoft Enterprise Agreement allows for larger firms to buy more than 250 licenses at a time. Firms that use this option can purchase licenses in bulk and at a discounted rate. The price per license for Enterprise is much lower than if a firm was buying one license at a time. Just like with Open License, Software Assurance is available for an additional fee.

The Volume Licensing Advantage

Hopefully, you now have a better understanding of what licensing options are available for your firm. The different options are intended to make Microsoft Office accessible to all firms that want to use it. It’s scalable so no matter what size your office is, there is a solution that will work for you. If you’d like to pay for everything up front, great there’s an option for you. If you’d want to pay for a subscription, you can do that.

Microsoft Office 365 Comparison Guide

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