A software license is the legal proof that you have the right to use a piece of technology. Traditionally you can buy such a software license through various software license programs, such as the Microsoft Volume License program with the Enterprise Agreement and Open License Agreement. Now there is a new way: buy your traditional software license through the Cloud Solution Provider program.
Read time: 4 minutes
Perpetual software license
The perpetual software license grants you the right to install, display, use or otherwise interact with a certain version and edition of the software product. As an example, a software license for Office 2016 Professional Plus grants you the everlasting right to use Office 2016 (version) Professional Plus (edition). Without a maintenance program like Software Assurance (for which you have to pay on a regular basis), you do not have upgrade rights to a new version. Nor does a license grant you rights to use a different edition of the product (example: SQL Enterprise on a SQL Standard license).
All this are very distinct rules and regulations, which fit in traditional IT and classic licensing programs.
In contrast to cloud computing subscriptions …. This new way of consuming technology is driven by the ‘always current’ motion and a pay per use financial model. It fits modern IT needs where we want flexibility and cost reduction, but thrive innovation at the same time. Like Office 365 E3, which offers the classic Office applications with additional online services for new ways of work (like Teams).
To enable all this, cloud computing technology is available in ultra-flexible ‘licensing’ programs based on monthly or yearly subscriptions.
Perpetual licenses in a cloud subscription program
Starting July 2020, Microsoft offers perpetual software licenses in the Cloud Solution Provider program. In other words, classic IT through a modern licensing solution. Does it make sense? We think it does, but there is a catch (off course, it is Microsoft after all) …
When you have the need for traditional on-premises software and would buy through the Cloud Solution Provider program at a certified partner you have a number of benefits:
- Start with just óne license instead of five in Open License
- Have the software and installation key available in minutes instead of days
- License registration in the Microsoft 365 Admin Centre portal, which works much better and is more customer friendly than the Volume Licensing Service Center
- Management of both your on-premises software licenses and cloud subscriptions in one portal
- Same price
But … within the Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program there is no Software Assurance available for perpetual licenses (nor is it for cloud subscriptions). This means that customers lack some important benefits such as:
- No upgrade rights
- No License Mobility for virtualized IT Infrastructures
- No spread payment rights
- No Azure Hybrid Benefits
And some more, but these are the most important.
Customers who need such advantages of Software Assurance have to buy their perpetual licenses and the software assurance through licensing programs such as Open Value. How long these licensing programs will last, nobody knows …
Do you want to know what this change in software licensing program means for your organization? Do you want to know what opportunities it brings, or what you need to do now the Open License Program is disappearing? Book one of our software licensing experts to talk you through the options.