Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) is not only the first cloud-focused licensing program, it is the latest licensing program from Microsoft.
It offers new initiatives, which are worth investigating because they typically offer the bulk of the incentives and focus from the company. The benefit of CSP’s cloud-focused licensing program is that it truly recognizes the cloud as a subscription model and fixes many of the things clients have been complaining about for years when buying cloud on their Enterprise Agreement (EA).
The Enterprise Agreement (EA) is the legacy licensing agreement used by many organizations today and has been a long-preferred agreement for customers who could meet the minimum requirements. When we look at some of the differences between CSP and the EA, there are a few that jump out.
View the comparison chart:
For organizations with less than 500 users, CSP is going to be your best option for licensing your O365 subscriptions. With the minimum being just 1 User, organizations can start an agreement with little upfront investment and move at their own pace to add licenses as they are ready to move them to the cloud, especially if they are migrating to the cloud for the first time. Organizations with more than 500 users now have a new decision to make - whereas before the EA usually made the most sense for larger companies but now with these new changes they will want to take a hard look at CSP.
The ability to reduce your license count at any time is a big differentiator, especially if your headcount fluctuates, you have a seasonal business, just hire interns in the summer, or if you are having mergers and acquisition activities impacting your headcount. You can now license the right number of users and make changes to match what you need. You no longer need to pay for users that have left your organization; you can simply reduce your license count.
Adding & Reducing Licenses
If you qualify for an EA, then there is a decision to make and there are pros and cons to each agreement. This flow chart, from Microsoft, can help you decide what is best for your organization and Interlink can also guide you through the process.
Questions to Ask: EA or CSP?
There are many companies who can resell CSP licensing, however it is important to understand the value of each company’s offering and what you are getting with your purchase. Microsoft empowers the CSP to set the price and build an offering, but the guidance is vague, so offerings can vary greatly from CSP to CSP.
Interlink is a Direct Partner with Microsoft. We are one of a small subset of all Microsoft Partners who transact directly with Microsoft instead of through a third party distributor. This helps ensure the best possible costing and support outcomes for our clients.