Interlink Cloud Blog
Matt Scherocman

What is Microsoft’s Enterprise Cloud Suite (ECS)?

First and foremost, it’s a new licensing bundle of products from Microsoft. It can be hard to understand considering it is a bundle of bundles. Moving to the cloud from a traditional licensing plan can be confusing. We hope this brief overview gives you the highlights of this new option. We will look at what is in the ECS Suite, how it is the same, and how it is different than today’s enterprise desktop license model.  



Here are the four components of the ECS Suite:





What are the benefits of the ECS Suite?

  • Simpler – One sku is licensed by user that includes the most popular cloud offerings.
  • Discounting – Microsoft puts a compelling discount onto the bundle versus purchasing the individual pieces.
  • Licensed by userWith the average employee using more devices for business like tablets, mobile phones, and even home PCs, licensing by user makes sense for most scenarios.  
  • Ability to decrease license count – In the crazy world of mergers and acquisitions, it is important for some organizations to be able to decrease their licensing headcount as their business changes.  Most ECS licensed agreements are able to have their quantity decreased “true down” on the anniversary of the agreement down to a minimum of 250 users.
  • Like all Microsoft agreements, customers have the ability to add licensing at any time.


In today’s model you have your CAL suite, plus Office and Windows.

(left side of graphic)





Tomorrow’s ECS plan encompasses the same items on the left now delivered in a cloud / user model with enhanced functionality.


Matt Scherocman

What Are the Differences Between the E3 Plan and the Midmarket Bundle?

When the Midmarket Bundle is purchased as a license:

    • Must be paid for one year upfront
    • Cannot add other products (archiving for example to the product).  Without this, a user would not be able to placed on legal hold – which I think it required functionality for most clients

When the Midmarket Bundle is purchased directly through the portal:

    • Can pay monthly and can add other products

  Differences between Midmarket bundled purchased via the portal and the E3 plans:

    • E3 adds the Data Loss Prevention
    • E3 adds unlimited archiving and legal hold
    • E3 Office can be deployed with push methods – like group policy deployment or system center, midmarket can only be downloaded by each individual client
    • Rights management – internal controls of what other users can do with the senders email is only available in E3
    • Support for midmarket is business hours only versus 24x7
    • Midmarket is limited to a maximum of 300 users
    • Midsize options do NOT qualify for the on-premise  use rights like E plans.  So, all workloads would need to be run in the cloud with the Midmarket licensing

This posting is provided “AS IS” with no warranties, and confers no rights.
midmarket sku image

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