Microsoft Licensing Guide: Everything you need to know


Understanding Microsoft Licensing is key to maximizing your use of Microsoft, and saving money!

As a business owner or IT manager, understanding Microsoft licensing can be overwhelming. With so many options and tiers, it can be challenging to figure out which one is best for your organization.

As a leading Microsoft solutions partner, Convverge is dedicated to helping businesses harness the power of Microsoft technology by providing expert guidance and support. In this blog post, we will explore the world of Microsoft licensing for businesses, offering insights and tips that can help you make informed decisions and optimize your licensing strategy. We will cover various types of Microsoft licensing, when to consider changing your licensing, cost-saving tips, and more.

Types of Microsoft Licensing

  • Open License: Ideal for small to mid-sized businesses, this volume licensing program allows organizations to purchase a minimum of five licenses, with no maximum limit, in a cost-effective manner.
  • Open Value & Open Value Subscription: These programs offer a customizable platform and pricing advantages for volume purchasing, enabling small to midsize organizations to acquire the latest Microsoft technology with the added flexibility of spreading payments over three years.
  • Select Plus: Designed for large organizations, Select Plus uses a points system that allows businesses to purchase licenses based on their specific software product and edition requirements.
  • Enterprise Agreement (EA): Tailored for large organizations with 500 or more users or devices, EA provides the best overall value, offering discounts, simplified license management, and Software Assurance benefits.
  • Cloud Solution Provider (CSP): This licensing model enables partners like Convverge to deliver Microsoft cloud services, support, and billing to customers on a monthly basis, offering flexibility and scalability for businesses transitioning to the cloud.

Licensing Programs

Find information about Microsoft Commercial Licensing programs for commercial, academic, government, non-profit, direct purchasing customers, and Partner programs.

  • Enterprise Agreement (EA, EAS, SCE): The Microsoft Enterprise Agreement offers the best value to organizations, providing a flexible and cost-effective way to acquire cloud services and software licenses under one agreement.
  • Microsoft Customer Agreement (MCA): Suitable for businesses of all sizes, the MCA provides a consistent and simplified purchase experience with greater flexibility in how and where you buy.
  • Industries: Education, Government, Health, Non-profit: Microsoft offers tailored licensing programs for specific industries to meet their unique requirements and provide optimal value.
  • Microsoft Products and Services Agreement (MPSA): MPSA is ideal for organizations that want to license Microsoft on-premises software, cloud services, or both as needed, with no organization-wide commitment under a single, non-expiring agreement.
  • Open Programs: Microsoft Open programs, including Open Value and Open License, offer a simple and cost-effective way for small and midsize organizations to acquire the latest Microsoft technology.
  • Independent Software Vendor (ISV): The Microsoft Independent Software Vendor (ISV) Royalty Licensing Program allows ISVs to deliver their Unified Solutions to end users with simplified licensing options.
  • Services Provider License Agreement (SPLA): The SPLA is designed for service providers and ISVs who want to license the latest eligible Microsoft software products to provide software services and hosted applications to end customers.
  • Select/+: Select Plus is available to government organizations and academic institutions, enabling them to acquire Microsoft products at any affiliate or department level while realizing advantages as one organization.

By exploring these various licensing programs, organizations can identify the most suitable option based on their size, industry, and specific needs. Partnering with a Microsoft solutions provider like Convverge can further help businesses navigate these licensing options and optimize their Microsoft investments.

For more information on Microsoft Licensing please visit: Licensing Documents (

Did you know?

  • License Mobility: Many IT managers are unaware that certain Microsoft licenses, like those with Software Assurance, allow for License Mobility. This means that you can move eligible licenses to a qualified multi-tenant hosting environment, like Microsoft Azure, without incurring additional costs.
  • Subscription Licensing: Subscription-based licensing, such as Office 365 or Microsoft 365, can save your organization money by offering scalability and flexibility. You can easily add or remove licenses based on your business needs, ensuring that you only pay for what you use.

Optimizing and Saving Money on Microsoft Licensing

  • Assess Your Needs: Regularly review your organization’s software usage and requirements to identify any unnecessary licenses or underutilized products. This can help you save money by ensuring you only pay for what you need.
  • Consider Subscription-based Licensing: As mentioned earlier, opting for subscription-based licensing can save your organization money by offering flexibility and scalability.
  • Leverage License Mobility: Take advantage of License Mobility for eligible licenses, allowing you to move them to a qualified hosting environment without additional costs.
  • Utilize Software Assurance Benefits: If your organization has Software Assurance, be sure to make the most of the benefits, such as training, support, and upgrade rights.
  • Work with a Microsoft Solutions Partner: By partnering with a Microsoft solutions partner like Convverge, you can leverage our expertise and experience to optimize your licensing strategy, ensuring you get the most value from your Microsoft investments.

When to Change Licensing

  • Business Growth: If your organization is growing, it may be time to reassess your licensing needs and potentially switch to a more suitable volume licensing program.
  • Mergers and Acquisitions: Mergers and acquisitions can greatly impact your licensing requirements. Review your combined needs and adjust your licensing strategy accordingly.
  • Technology Changes: As technology evolves, so do your software requirements. Be prepared to adjust your licensing to accommodate new products or editions.

At Convverge, we can help you understand the nuances of user-based and device-based licensing and choose the option that makes the most sense for your business.

In summary, Microsoft licensing can be complicated, but with the help of a Microsoft solutions provider like Convverge, you can make informed decisions that meet the unique needs of your business. Contact us today to tap into our expertise and ensure you’re getting the most out of your Microsoft licensing.

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