This is part eight of a series, covering the Education sessions at the Microsoft Australia Partner Conference.
Start at part one (The Microsoft Australia Education Team) here...

How Microsoft Academic licensing helps Microsoft partners

How Microsoft Academic licensing helps you sell

One of the questions that new partners often ask is “How does your licensing work in education?”. When they sell software solutions to education customers, they often rely on (or include) some Microsoft software components. For example, if a partner is selling a business intelligence solution for education that uses the capability of Windows SQL Server 2008, they will need to work out whether an education customer already has the server licence, or needs to buy a new one.

So to help, during our Australia Partner Conference session, we gave a quick overview of how education customers in Australia license their software - and which software. It’s general guidance only, rather than specific for an individual customer - so treat it as an introduction!

What Microsoft licensing is common for public education institutions?

For public schools, TAFEs and state-funded universities in Australia, it is common for most customers to have a subscription agreement for their Microsoft software. Normally this is negotiated at state or national level (to get the best pricing) and covers all of the organisations below the main body. The common licensing agreements are:

  • Public Schools: Normally covered by a School Agreement or an Enrolment for Education Solutions (EES) agreement, that covers all of their computers.
  • TAFEs: Are normally covered on the same basis as schools
  • Universities: They’ll normally have an individual agreement, called a Campus Agreement or an Enrolment for Education Solutions (EES) agreement, that covers all of their computers.

With these agreements, it normally means that the customers has licences for the Microsoft Education Desktop - which includes the latest Enterprise versions of Windows, Office and one of two Client Access Licences (CAL) suites:

  • Microsoft Core CAL - The Core CAL pack includes Windows Server Standard CAL, Exchange Server Standard CAL, SharePoint Server Standard CAL, Lync Standard CAL, Forefront EndPoint Protection Suite CAL and System Center Configuration Manager CAL.
  • Microsoft Enterprise CAL - Includes all Core CAL Suite components plus Active Directory Rights Management Services CAL, Exchange Server Enterprise CAL, SharePoint Server Enterprise CAL, Lync Enterprise CAL, System Center Client Management Suite CAL, and Forefront Unified Access Gateway CAL

In addition, most customers also license their servers through their annual subscription agreement, using an option called ‘Enrollment for Application Platform’ (or EAP). This gives them server licensing for the products they choose.

Which means that…

So all of this means that you can assume your customer has licences for Windows 7, Office 2010 and also access to SharePoint, SQL server and Lync for IM and collaboration etc. And if they use the EAP option, they’ll also have the licences they need for Windows/SQL servers - although you will still need to check they have the right version licensed (for example, if they are using their SQL Server for Business Intelligence they will need the Enterprise version of the licence - see my overview about other reasons you need SQL Enterprise versions).

What Microsoft licensing is common for private schools?

For private schools in Australia, it’s also common for schools to have a subscription agreement:

  • Many Catholic schools will switch this year into a new national Enrolment for Education Solutions (EES) framework agreement. It simplifies licensing for the schools, because all they have to do is count their FTE staff, and they are then licensed for all of the computers they own (except for those that are given to a single student under a 1:1 scheme, which are licensed separately). And being a subscription, they always have the licences to the latest versions. There are still some buying their software under a Select licence, but this will reduce over time as they realise the immediate and long-term cost advantages of the EES scheme.
  • Independent schools may be on any kind of licence agreement - Select, Open, School Agreement and EES. Often it may be because they’ve not heard about how EES works, so it will be worth discussing it with them (as they would be likely to save money by using it).

Which means that…

Where a customer has an EES or School Agreement, you’ll find the customer will be licensed for the Microsoft Education Desktop - which includes Windows 7 Enterprise, Office 2010 Professional Plus, and one of two Client Access Licence (CAL) suites (see above). 

If the customer buys their software through a Select or Open agreement, then they are less likely to have the licences for the latest versions across their whole school, and you’ll need to check more closely what they already have.

How does this help partners?

With many Microsoft customers in the commercial market, our partners will have to get involved in a deep discussion about the licences needed for a particular business solution to be implemented. But the situation tends to be much easier in education. Subscription customers are automatically licensed through their subscription for the latest version of key software, and many will have licensing for servers already sorted. As a partner, it means your discussion can focus on your own software and services, rather than their Microsoft licences. And where they do need additional licences, they will often procure those separately through their existing Microsoft Academic licensing agreement.

You can find out more about our licensing for schools, TAFEs and universities on the Australian Microsoft Education website

Learn MorePart Nine - Key successes of the last year, and next year