As it’s been discussed on many occasions, Office 365 will be accompanied by changes to the Enterprise Agreement. These changes will give you the ability to have both cloud and on-premise based deployments incorporated into one unified licensing agreement and strategy. Even if you’re not ready to migrate to Office 365, it’s better to be prepared and consider signing the EA Amendment.
You are not required to pay any additional charges/fees by signing the amendment. It is basically giving you the option to consider moving to the online services if that is something you’re organization is considering during the balance of your Enterprise Agreement.
I wanted to touch on a few hot topics of what the Amendment means for you and additional actions to consider moving forward.
Provides a new flexibility to transition users online in a single agreement:
- Transition to cloud services at your own pace
- Move users back and forth between on-premises and online services
Match and adjust online service plans to meet user needs
- Online services will continue to be sold in a “per-user” model
- The model is based off of the users’ messaging and collaboration needs
Respond to additions and variations in your workforce size
- Reduce the quantity of Online Services at anniversary
- Only additional Online services seats can be reduced
No incremental online service costs in the year a user transitions
- Billing for online services will not begin until after the next anniversary date
- “Transition” simply means converting a license with active Software Assurance to or from a subscription license.
Actions to consider
Single Agreement for on-premise and online services.
- Added flexibility to move users to online services throughout your agreement
- Enterprise Online Services that satisfy company-wide commitment of an Enterprise product can be reduced in license quantity as long as the sum of Enterprise Products and Enterprise Online Services exceed the number of qualified devices
Signing now does not affect your current Enterprise Agreement
- Signing the amendment enables you to take advantage of Microsoft Online Services by adding them to your Enterprise Agreement but your existing Enrollment remains unchanged
You can consider signing the new Amendment now if you plan to add (upon its release) Office 365 to your current Enterprise Agreement
- Signing now simply allows you to migrate to Office 365 as soon as general product availability or when your organization is ready
Before you sign, consider the fine print. There are implications to Microsoft’s Enterprise “True-up” process. They’re giving you a very structured time-frame within which they ask your organization to communicate usage to them. Essentially, if you’re adding or subtracting users into this cloud, you need to let Microsoft know so that they can bill you accordingly. While this has always been Microsoft’s approach, it seems that this time around, Microsoft is a lot less flexible in allowing you to be late with this reported usage.”