Microsoft Licensing – The Mindf**k Part 3: Licensing Programs

Deciding on the Licensing Program…


Now you have all of the information clearly laid out on this wall, you can start to understand what a possible solution will cost you, but where do you buy this from? As it’s certainly not a PC world type purchase!

Software Assurance (SA)

Something to consider before you engage on  a program is to understand Software Assurance and what exactly it means to your licensing. This is basically an optional extra that contains a range of benefits which provide technology, services and support to manage organisations software lifecycle. Some of the options include:

  • Spread Payments
  • New Version Rights
  • Windows 7 Enterprise
  • E-Learning
  • Training Vouchers
  • Planning Vouchers
  • Technet Subscriptions
  • Resolution Support

The aims are to ensure you get the right licensing program, whether it is:

1. Programmes for business’s with 5-250 PC’s – Can be sold to by any reseller

MS Licensing

2. Programmes for business’s with 250+ PC’s – Can be sold to LAR’s only

MS Licensing

All PC’S – All PC’s in the organisation must be included in these agreements. SA – Software Assurance is either included in the agreement or an optional extra purchase.

There are a few main routes which I help fulfil this model which includes working with a reseller (focusing on businesses 250PC’s +):

LAR – License Agreement Reseller.
These guys are everywhere and it’s their job (as governed by Microsoft) to provide licenses to the businesses. Finding yourself a reputable one who a. know what they are talking about and b. is happy to spend the time to make sure you understand your options is key. This is where your visualisation will come in, send this to them in its crudest of forms and make sure they have time to digest your masterpiece, so that they can make suggestions as there are options that you would not have considered. So surf around and make sure you get your fair share of quotes, but in our experience we have had great times with SoftwareOne and so far so good.

SPLAR – Service Provider License Agreement Reseller.
This is a cracking name, I’m sure you agree but it really is nothing more than a hosting provider. They are, simply put, an organisation that don’t primarily offer licensing but operate in a ‘rental model’ with regards to license offerings. Having worked with Rackspace over the years we have enjoyed providing SPLAR for clients at a fraction of the price.

Points for Consideration – The decision on both of these is quiet simply cost, as you will have to weight up the options and consider if your organisation wants to own the licenses outright vs. the rental model. These guys should work on the best model for your company and is all based on size (number of PC’s), if Software Assurance is required, standardisation across machines and the contract length, typically 3 years.



Simple as that eh….. Or have I just added to the Mindf**k?!

I hope you found this useful; it’s what we do everyday as part of our roles and our skilled team are happy to help you on licensing matters. Please give us a call or email and hopefully, via simple visualisation and understanding your business needs, we can cure some of your licensing headaches.

We can provide you with a better understanding of the Microsoft licensing model… allowing you to be more informed when making that all important purchase.