Microsoft Enterprise Agreement

For larger organizations that want to standardize their IT.

The Enterprise Agreement (EA) is the best licensing vehicle for large organizations that want to standardize IT across the enterprise, yet retain the flexibility to purchase software and services for different types of users. And as more companies implement cloud services, the EA now provides a seamless way to license both on-premises software and online services to best suit their user needs and help them optimize their technology spend as business priorities change.

Enterprise Agreement Key Attributes

At the onset of the agreement, pricing is based on a tiered volume discount structure, meaning the greater the size of your organization, the less you pay for an individual per-desktop or per-user license. If you add devices during your agreement, the per-device licensing costs remain the same or may be reduced given the EA’s volume pricing levels during your three-year agreement term.

The EA helps you simplify software licensing, budgeting, and administration with a single agreement through which you can manage all of your Microsoft software and cloud services. You decide which software and services to run on-premises or have hosted by a third party, based on user requirements and what is most cost-effective for your organization.

  • All Enterprise Agreements include Software Assurance benefits that you can use to plan deployments, ready your users for new software, and support Microsoft products and services without incurring additional costs.
  • You can spread the cost of your EA across three annual payments, helping you predict future budgets. If you add new users or devices during your EA, you can equip them with software and services you are already using and then account for these changes once a year, through an annual reconciliation process known as “True Up.”
  • You should take advantage of Enrollment Programs that help you license solution-focused technology suites of Microsoft’s most popular server products. They can be very cost-effective in purchasing software licenses and solutions to address key organizational objectives, like building a secure and well-managed data center (Enrollment for Core Infrastructure [ECI]) or helping your IT staff build, manage, and maintain applications that support your business (Enrollment for Application Platform [EAP]).
  • You can choose to either purchase your software licenses via the EA or subscribe to licenses via the Enterprise Subscription Agreement (EAS). With the EAS offering, you have lower short-term costs and the ability to increase or downsize your subscriptions annually.

Enterprise Products & Platforms

Enterprise products include on-premises licenses for Microsoft core desktop products, such as Windows 8 Pro Upgrade, Office Professional Plus, and applicable Client Access License suites. Under the EA, they must be licensed on a company-wide basis and can be ordered as individual product components (also called a Component EA) or through Enrollments for the Professional Desktop Full Platform (sometimes referred to as a Platform EA) or the Enterprise Desktop.

The following enterprise products are included in the Professional Desktop Full Platform:

  • Windows Pro Upgrade
  • Microsoft Office Professional Plus
  • Core Client Access License Suite

The following enterprise products are included in the Enterprise Desktop:

  • Windows Pro Upgrade
  • Microsoft Office Professional Plus
  • Enterprise CAL Suite

Enrollment for Application Platform

The Enrollment for Application Platform is a flexible, cost-effective licensing program for customers who want to standardize on the Microsoft Application Platform. With the EAP, you get the latest Application Platform products for new and existing deployments across the organization, which can lower up-front costs and offer savings of up to 40 percent on new IT solutions. In addition, EAP customers can manage their application platform server investments from a single enrollment.

Enrollment for Core Infrastructure

The Enrollment for Core Infrastructure is a cost-effective way to license the Windows Server operating system, Microsoft System Center server management, and Microsoft Forefront Client Security together in a simple per-processor license. It is the ideal solution for acquiring the foundation for a protected, well-managed IT infrastructure because it provides you with the server platform, server management, and server protection you need to deliver more efficient, reliable, and flexible data center services. You can save 20 percent off purchasing the product licenses individually with the ECI. It also provides management and security at only 10 to 34 percent more than the Windows Server stand-alone price.

Microsoft Cloud Services

Keeping pace with the expanding array of Microsoft cloud services, the Enterprise Agreement also gives you the flexibility to choose among on-premises software and online services to best suit your user needs and help you optimize your technology spend.

Microsoft delivers a comprehensive set of cloud services and enterprise applications for user productivity, customer management, communication services, and custom business applications. Microsoft cloud services include Office 365, Windows Intune software and services, the Windows Azure technology platform, and Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online.

The EA typically has two cloud services: Enterprise Online Services or Additional Online Services. You can add these to your EA by doing the following:

  • Adding online services to your EA through the standard Volume Licensing purchasing process. 
  • Transitioning users from enterprise products to equivalent Enterprise Online Services.