Recently Microsoft started to position contract types such as MCA (Microsoft Customer Agreement) directly between Microsoft and Customers, where a Microsoft licensing partner is no longer involved.
The need for an independent advisor becomes more and more relevant for you.
Please be brave and try to read this through.
Today on a monthly basis you can report your licenses running in the datacenter of your hosting partner, via their SPLA (Service Provider License Agreement) with Microsoft. Depending on the dedicated or non-dedicated server environment (physical/virtual dedicated) in the datacenter of your hosting partner, certain licenses purchased under your own Microsoft contract (i.e. an EA) can be used to cover some instances in the datacenter.
Also depending on the product type and if SA (Software Assurance) has been purchased in the past, License Mobility through Software Assurance can give you extra rights to run instances in this datacenter.
You can increase or decrease the licenses you are reporting to Microsoft on a monthly basis under SPLA. Using various Microsoft Volume Licensing Programs and benefits, both first party as well as third party, to license Microsoft technology for Partner Hosted or Partner Managed software services, is called Hybrid licensing.
If you are looking at a MPSA (Microsoft Products & Services Agreement), EA (Enterprise Agreement) or EAS (Enterprise Agreement Subscription) renewal, you need to contact your Microsoft LSP (License Solution Provider) or Microsoft advisor like White Raven IT. There are local and Global LSP’s, each of them offering their specific capabilities. Under an EA, there are currently 2 types of enrollments: STD Enr. (Standard Enrollment, based on qualified desktops, or users, Enterprise Products or EOS (Enterprise Online Services)) and SCE Enr. (Server & Cloud Enrollment, to make an installed base-wide commitment to one or more components).
SCE Azure Only customers will be redirected to a MCA, directly sold by Microsoft, and your LSP will no longer be involved. Under EA and MPSA, you can purchase your licenses, under EAS you have a subscription formula.
Under an EAS you can TU (True Up) and TD (True Down) each year (report more or less),
under an EA you can only TU your perpetual licenses and have a license reduction option for your subscription licenses if they are listed under Reduction -Eligible subscriptions, only if the license reduction does not break down the customer’s enterprise-wide commitment plus or depending on even more factors. SA is mandatory in EA but is optional in MPSA.
MPSA is a transactional program where you need to buy the licenses within 30 days of usage. If SA is purchased on top of your license under MPSA, you can choose for a Split Payment option. Certain SA Benefits in MPSA are only valid if you subscribe to Software Assurance Membership. You can subscribe to Software Assurance Membership per product pool.
In some cases your LSP or CSP partner can also offer you a CSP (Cloud Solution Provider) Program to buy Cloud Services, Products and Support (and recently on-premises software has been added to the program as alternative for traditional perpetual licenses in Open License).
If you have also better things to do, then getting mixed up by this complex matter, just give the White Ravens a call, so you can focus on what really matters: your business.
For those who have understood some of it, Microsoft is changing the partner landscape dramatically. We advise to go for an independent Microsoft advisor like White Raven IT to further assist you in this matter.
Please note we do not resell Microsoft licenses, our advice for a Microsoft contract renewals is purely neutral.
Should the new MCA be the best fit for your organisation, we will not hesitate to advise you in this direction (unlike Microsoft resellers who might fear a loss of revenue).