Once upon a time, I was writing a series on the various Microsoft licensing programs, bringing valuable knowledge to the public and enlightening the minds of IT administrators everywhere. The first few posts were published, but then someone asked me to write a blog post on a different topic … and then I got involved in a big project … and then things got busy in my department. Time went on and sadly the series was never completed.
But today is a new day! We’re going to pick up the broken pieces of this shattered dream and put them back together. You can read the previous posts in this series linked below to get back up to speed on this discussion, and then you can read the following post.
- What’s the Best Way for Me to Buy Microsoft Licensing? Part 1: OEM and FPP Licenses
- What’s the Best Way for Me to Buy Microsoft Licensing? Part 2: Open Business Program
- What’s the Best Way for Me to Buy Microsoft Licensing? Part 3: Open Value Program (Non-Company-Wide)
In my previous post I discussed the Open Value Non-Company-Wide program. That is the simplest form of the Open Value program and serves the needs of people who need to buy just a few basic licenses as the need arises. But the Non-Company-Wide program has two siblings: the Company-Wide Option and the Subscription Option.
Both of these programs require you to standardize all the PCs in your organization on Windows or Office or one of the Core CAL suites. The problem with these programs is that most small and medium businesses never standardize on Microsoft products. They just buy replacement PCs when the old hardware dies or when they hire new employees, and they typically never have a master plan for their desktop environment. In addition, they usually never have the budget to pull off a major upgrade across all of their PCs. Typically, Mirazon does not sell much out of the Open Value Company-Wide program or Open Value Subscription program.
For those of you who are interested, here is the deal:
Open Value Company-Wide
To sign up to this program you will need to standardize all of your desktops by buying a Windows upgrade license, Office Pro Plus, or one of the Core CAL suites for every PC in your business. The Core CAL Suite (for those of you who are not familiar with it) is a bundle of CALs. It includes a Windows Server CAL, Exchange Server Standard CAL, a Lync Server CAL, and a SharePoint Server CAL. It also includes a couple of licenses related to System Center.
If you standardize on just one product (Windows, Office, or a Core CAL Suite) then you get a Company-Wide Discount for that product. If you standardize on all three products, then you get an even higher discount through what Microsoft calls a Platform Discount.
So as with any volume licensing program there is some give and take with Microsoft. You commit to standardize all of your PCs on a certain Microsoft product, and in return, Microsoft provides you with a price break. For example, an Open Value Non-Company-Wide copy of Office Pro Plus is currently priced at $954 for the license and three years of SA. An Open Value Company-wide copy of Office Pro Plus is $861. In other words, you are saving almost $100 per PC to go with the company-wide option.
Aside from the products you standardize on, you will be paying the same price for your licenses as the Non-Company-Wide customers. So if you decide to standardize everyone on Office, but then you have a few employees who need Visio, you are going to get a discount on the Office licenses but not on the Visio licenses.
Similar to the Non-Company-Wide program, this program provides you with perpetual licenses and three years of Software Assurance (SA). You also will have the option to spread out your payments over three years at no extra charge.
Open Value Subscription
Similar to the Company-Wide program, in the Subscription program you will need to standardize all your PCs on a certain Microsoft product. However, as the name implies, you will be purchasing subscriptions instead of perpetual licenses. The upside to this is that you will be paying a lower price per year. The downside is you will own nothing when the three-year term is over. Once the subscription ends, you will either need to renew the subscription, buy out the licenses, or uninstall the product.
Other than Windows Virtual Desktop Access (VDA) licenses, which are pretty much a requirement if you are going to use Windows virtual desktops, Mirazon doesn’t sell much out of this program. Most businesses are not yet comfortable buying licenses that they have to keep paying Microsoft for year after year (although that trend is changing with the growing popularity of Office 365).
In my next post we will briefly discuss the large volume discounts that are available through Microsoft’s Open Licensing program and Open Value program. Until then, you can get more information on these licensing programs by checking out the “Open Programs Program Guide”.