Interlink Cloud Blog

Interlink Cloud Blog

Welcome to the Interlink Cloud Blog

All content provided on this blog is for informational purposes only. The owner of this blog makes no representations or warranties regarding the information from our partners or other external sources.
Max Donaldson

Is Your Microsoft Enterprise Agreement (EA) Renewal Coming Up?

Enterprise-Agreement---EA

For many companies, the end of their Microsoft EA is coming up this June, and it’s time to think about renewal or alternate options like A Cloud Solution Provider (CSP).

Choice is critical in business, but sometimes it’s difficult to determine the best decision for your specific organization. Such is the case when it comes to contracting services for Azure and your other Microsoft cloud applications. For many years, the best choice for larger organizations was signing up for an Enterprise Agreement (EA) directly with Microsoft. However, now there is a new option called Cloud Service Provider (CSP), a contract you can purchase from a certified Microsoft partner like Interlink.

Both offer similar services and similar pricing. There are advantages and disadvantages to both depending on your size and type of business. So, how do you decide what’s the right choice for your organization? Below is a look at the two options in several key areas.

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Max Donaldson

Changes to Microsoft’s Enterprise Agreement (EA) Might Have You Reconsidering Your Renewal

Microsofts-Enterprise-Agreement-EA

Big changes are on the horizon for Microsoft’s Enterprise Agreement (EA).

If your company is currently on an EA for licensing, you may need to rethink your renewal. Back in March of 2018, we published the blog article Microsoft Enterprise Agreement (EA) vs. Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) Licensing Agreement: What's Best for You? and due to the most recent and future changes, the time has come to revisit the topic. SMB customers that currently have a Microsoft Enterprise Agreement (EA will soon be faced with the decision –  or be forced – to say goodbye to the EA and hello to an alternative licensing program like Cloud Solution Provider (CSP).   

The EA has been the flagship licensing program for many years for companies with more than 250 users or devices looking to standardize their organizations on enterprise products like Windows OS, Office Pro, and the CAL Suites. The EA is beneficial because it offers support and other deployment and training benefits via Software Assurance as well as offering predictable pricing for the 3-year duration of the agreement. If you met that criteria, it was hard to argue why you wouldn’t sign up for an EA, as the discounts far superseded the alternatives. Another benefit with the EA is being able to mix on-premise products and cloud products on the same agreement, which was 100% cloud only until Server Subscriptions was recently added to Cloud Solution Provider Licensing Program (CSP). 

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Matt Scherocman

Office 365 - Pros and Cons of a Consolidated Tenant with Global User Dispersion

Office 365 Pros Cons Consolidated Tenant Global User Dispersion

A single Office 365 tenant may not be sufficient for some organizations. In certain cases, a company may need to provision mailboxes or manage end users in more than one tenant.

Below is a detailed breakdown and summary of a single global Office 365 tenant versus multiple tenants. This assumes that there are two or more agreements in place.

As it exists today, a single Enterprise Agreement cannot have licenses allocated to multiple tenants without an exemption and Microsoft intervention to allow it. However, agreements made underneath that entity, such as a second Enterprise Agreement for a sub-company in another country or division of the organization can have its own tenant.

Single Global Tenant

The Pros

  • Single name space support.
    Example: company.com is shared across the organization and everyone needs it as the primary email address. In this scenario, there is no way to provide a unified email address alias without all users existing in the same tenant.
  • Single point of control and management - The proper implementation of Role Based Access Control allows for flexible controls to be put in place to manage licensing, users, and services such as Exchange.
  • Branding controls for portal pages and SharePoint sites is unified.
  • Tenant location is nearest to the primary company listed as the contact location for Office 365. In some cases this is beneficial where the largest set of users exist in a specific office. Retail would commonly see this as a benefit, for example, where the corporate office contains most of the information workers.
  • Perfect solution when a single directory for the entire company is leveraged for user, group, and device management.

The Cons

  • No flexibility in the location of the services today. All services such as Exchange, Skype for Business, and SharePoint are provisioned in the nearest datacenter to where the company's contact listing.
  • Role Management is very cumbersome - even with groups.
  • One directory and its trusted relationships can be synchronized, a third party tool must be used if the company has multiple directories and no trusts in place.
  • Can be very complex when you are leveraging multiple AD forests and Trusts - Overlapping contacts and sync errors are common.
  • Services can be very slow when global access is enabled. An example is Skype, which has a low tolerance for latency and is impacted significantly for users outside of the country where the tenant is provisioned.
  • Global instances of Yammer and SharePoint can cause companies to rethink putting all collaboration sites in the cloud.


Multiple Tenant

The Pros

  • Primary benefit is autonomy and control of your own portal and services underneath it.
  • Performance on a per company / agreement basis is markedly better due to the location being closer to the sub-company.
  • Provides less complexity about managing admin roles on a large scale and can be less cumbersome.
  • In scenarios where the company is global and large sets of users are distributed, this provides the best performance on a per agreement basis.
  • Managing licenses is much easier and based intimately on the way each company operates.

The Cons

  • No single namespace and consolidated company domain support exists today.
  • Global policy adherence is very difficult to achieve since the policy setting company doesn't have a view into the settings.
  • Multiple locations to manage licensing can have limitations if only a single Microsoft licensing agreement exists.
  • Security of company information is in the hands of each company managing its own portal.
  • Compliance configurations are hard to regulate and enforce on an individual and consistent level.

If you have any addtional questions or would like to discuss, please contact us.

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Welcome to the Interlink Cloud Blog

All content provided on this blog is for informational purposes only. The owner of this blog makes no representations or warranties regarding the information from our partners or other external sources.