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3 Important EA Renewal Considerations

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.

Entry point to EA now 500 seats.

As we outlined in an earlier blog (Microsoft’s 4 Biggest Licensing Changes), the new entry point to EA is 500 seats. You do have the ability to renew one last time in the Enterprise program, but renewal scenarios into different licensing programs should be considered to make sure EA is still the best fit.

Office Connectivity to Office 365.

If you are planning to remain on-premise and not invest in Office 365 skus on your EA, it is important to understand the recent announcement made about Office not connecting to O365 as of October 2020. If you have Office on your EA, you’ll want to consider renewing the SA if there are any plans to migrate to O365 in the near future. Another consideration is if you don’t current have Office under your EA. You may want to do that upgrade now with SA so you are not forced to repurchase that license if/when you make the move to O365. Your technology roadmap is going to be a big factor in determining your renewal configuration.

Microsoft 365.

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.

Join me during our next webinar to learn about EMS, and how it can be used as a negotiation strategy for your upcoming Enterprise Agreement renewal. Sign up here 

Written by Sarah Cahill, National Licensing Solutions Manager at COMPAREX USA
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