If you have an Enterprise Agreement (EA) up for renewal in the next few months, there are new considerations to be made that are different from what organizations have faced in the past. Over the last three years not only has the Enterprise Agreement itself changed, the licensing landscape and shift to a Microsoft focus on Cloud technology has created new considerations at renewal time. Here are some of the things to keep in mind as you approach renewal.
With the recent release of Microsoft 365, there is now a new „hero“ sku for the Microsoft field teams. As with every EA renewal, it is always a dance of streamlining your agreement, but at the same time leveraging current Microsoft priorities to negotiate the best terms. If you are currently invested in O365, or are planning on making the move, you should explore Microsoft 365.
Microsoft 365 is a bundle of O365 E3, EMS E3 and Windows 10 Enterprise. There is also a step up to E5 that builds in additional telephony and security components. EMS really is the key to determining whether the Microsoft 365 suite is the best configuration moving forward. If you’re already on O365, and have the Desktop OS covered under your Enterprise Agreement, you’re going to want to evaluate whether EMS would benefit your organization.
At a high level EMS, or Enterprise Mobility + Security, provides tools for mobile device management, single sign on, password self-reset and enhanced security like Advanced Threat Analytics. If you can find value in any of the components, you are in a position where any price negotiation with Microsoft on their Microsoft 365 offering is discounting tools you see the value in. This offers an opportunity for a win-win…better pricing on a product Microsoft wants you to purchase. Now is the time to learn more about EMS so you aren’t scrambling as your agreement expiration looms. Our suggestion is to learn as much about it as possible, and engage a technical resource to see whether it would benefit your organization and potentially displace the cost of other tools. Going into your renewal cycle with a strong understanding of your organization’s technology priorities is going to make the process so much smoother.
Microsoft Enterprise Mobility + Security (EMS)
As employees bring their personal devices to work and adopt readily available Software as a service (SaaS) applications, maintaining control over their applications across corporate datacenters and public cloud platforms has become a significant challenge.
Microsoft has proven experience in identity management through Windows Server Active Directory and Microsoft Identity Manager. Now Microsoft has extended their offerings to provide you with a powerful set of cloud-based identity and access management solutions on Azure Active Directory.
Increase productivity and reduce helpdesk costs with self-service and single sign-on experiences. Additionally, identity and access management solutions help IT protect access to applications and resources across the corporate datacenter and into the cloud, enabling additional levels of validation such as multi-factor authentication and conditional access policies. Monitoring suspicious activity through advanced security reporting, auditing and alerting helps mitigate potential security issues.
Reconciling License Reservations
The online reservation experience, within VLSC, is where a customer can place a License Reservation order to migrate on-premises assets to the Cloud without a Purchase Order. Only Online Services are eligible for License Reservation orders, which you can request for eligible agreements. You can place Reservation orders for the current date or future usage, but they cannot have a usage date more than six months in the future. You can also cancel Reservation orders within 72 hours of the usage date (weekends and holidays included.)
It’s important to understand that Reservation orders are a financial obligation that will be realized during the True-Up or Annual Order process. This is based on the Usage Date of the reservation and the quantity reserved. Reservation orders placed 30 days prior to the anniversary will be billed in the following year.