Many people assume that the only way to purchase Microsoft Office is to buy it off the physical or virtual shelf. Small business owners may not realize that you don't need to purchase hundreds of copies to qualify for volume licensing discounts. Microsoft offers many programs that are flexible and affordable starting with as few as 5 licenses. Microsoft open license and open value programs helps make the software license more affordable, scalable, and accessible. Enterprise Agreement is designed for larger volumes and offers larger savings. Factors like how many licenses you need, how much up-front capital you have to buy licenses, and for how long you’ll need the software will all determine which license purchasing type is best for you.
There are three main categories of license purchasing types: Open License, Open Value, and Enterprise Agreement.
Microsoft Open License is the most straightforward license purchasing where you simply purchase the license up front and own it forever. Software Assurance can be added, but is optional. Open license is ideal if you have the money to spend on a license, and are purchasing a smaller amount of licenses. Pricing depends on what kind of organization you’re with. The different organization pricing tiers include:
Microsoft Open Value licensing is similar to Open License, where you pay for the software and completely own it after you purchase it. However, with Open Value, the cost of the license is spread out over three annual payments and you own the license after that. Software Assurance is included. Unlike Open License, the pricing for Open Value does not depend on the type of organization.
Similarly, Open Value Subscription allows you to access the same software at an annual subscription fee. You don’t, however, own the software – and if you stop your subscription at any time, the software can no longer be used.
Microsoft Enterprise Agreement is a program for large companies who need to buy more than 250 licenses at a time. This allows companies to access bulk licenses at an affordable rate, and the price per license is dramatically lower than purchasing individual licenses. Software Assurance can also be added to Enterprise Agreement licenses at an additional fee.
The Volume Licensing Advantage
The varying types of license purchasing options from Microsoft is intended to help different sized organizations access Microsoft Office in a reliable and scalable way. Whether your organization chooses to pay for licenses up front, or needs license on a subscription basis, there are plenty of options to help you access the software you need.