Microsoft EA Enrollment Amendment Will Facilitate Move to the Cloud



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Licensing changes will enable Microsoft customers to switch from traditional perpetual licensing to an Office 365 subscription when ready to move to the cloud. Though the change appears easy, complete a thorough review first.

News Analysis


On 1 November 2010, Microsoft revealed licensing details for Office 365 (O365) in its Enterprise Agreement (EA) and migration plans for existing Business Productivity Online Services Suite (BPOS) customers.


O365 is the next generation of BPOS and will be available in Microsoft EAs during 2011 (see "Microsoft Cloud 2.0, This Time With Office" ). But since the release date is months away and customers have EAs up for renewal today, Microsoft has issued an amendment to its Enterprise Agreement Enrollment that enables current customers to reserve the right to subscribe to O365 when they are ready to move to the cloud for software solutions. Microsoft has advised customers not ready to sign the amendment that they will be able to sign it anytime during their active agreement without penalty.

Six different plans of O365 will be available in an EA. Individual components will also be available for licensing:

  • Plan K1 and Plan K2 (Kiosk Workers): $4 to $10 per user/per month

    • K1: Exchange Online (500MB mailbox, calendar, contacts and discovery) and SharePoint Online (portal for read-only access to internal sites and viewing Office documents)

    • K2: Everything from K1 plus Office Web Apps, which enables users to input data and edit Office Web applications

  • Plan E1 through Plan E4 (Enterprise Workers): $10 to $27 per user/per month

    • E1: Advanced Exchange Online (25GB mailbox, ability to connect Rich Outlook Client, mobile access), SharePoint Online (advanced portal for collaboration), plus Lync Online (instant messaging, virtual meetings)

    • E2: E1 plus Office Web Apps

    • E3: E2 plus Exchange voicemail and archiving, SharePoint Online with Excel, Access, Visio, InfoPath services, Office Pro Plus

    • E4: E3 plus Lync Voice

O365 recognizes that different people within an organization have different work profiles and requirements. While the EA is still an enterprisewide commitment, O365 allows organizations to match user requirements with technology deployment (for example, professional and shift workers will require different technology stacks). Microsoft does not require O365 and other cloud offerings to be licensed companywide. (For example, a Select customer can obtain O365 licenses through the updated EA without making a companywide commitment. For cloud-only licenses, the only requirement is a minimum of quantity of 250 users.)

There are two significant differences between licensing O365 and BPOS in an EA:

  • In O365, Office is licensed by user; by contrast, when Office is licensed in an EA, it is licensed by device.

  • In the past, when customers licensed BPOS in an EA, they were required to license either the Core Client Access License (CAL) or Enterprise CAL Suite (ECAL). With O365, there is no such requirement. Therefore, Microsoft has introduced CAL Suite Bridges for new customers looking to license O365, which include certain access rights included in the Core CAL or ECAL Suite but not in O365. Existing BPOS customers will be migrated to O365 E1.


Current Microsoft customers:

  • Evaluate O365 and determine what workers or workloads (if any) you might consider moving to the cloud.

  • Take the time to complete a thorough review, as the EA amendment can be added to your current enrollment at any time.

  • If your EA renewal is coming up, and you wish to add O365, review, negotiate and execute (if appropriate) the Enterprise Enrollment Amendment and pricing.

  • If you are currently a BPOS customer, investigate the CAL Suite Bridges to determine the migration path to O365.

Recommended Reading

  • "Make or Break Time for Microsoft Cloud E-Mail”  — Microsoft's upcoming version of multitenant cloud e-mail service — based on Exchange 2010 — must address the extensive management requirements of large companies, or Microsoft will face a significant competitive disadvantage in the race for cloud collaboration services. By Matthew Cain

  • "Office 2010 Responds to New Competition, Continues Integration" — Office 2010 is a significant release for Microsoft, less because of features than because it represents Microsoft's response to the latest big challenge to Office: Web-based products like Google Docs. By Michael Silver

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