Microsoft Senior Sales Excellence Manager - Eric Ligman

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Microsoft Open License Basics - Why you should stop selling or buying Software Assurance…

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Microsoft Open License Basics - Why you should stop selling or buying Software Assurance…

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Did you ever think you would see me say that? Well, that’s what I am saying to you today, with just one slight clarification. That slight clarification being the end of the statement above that was not included. What the full statement is, “Why you should stop selling or buying Software Assurance through the Open License (Open Business) Program.”

I write this post based on several conversations I have had with Partners as well as some comments/questions I received about my, “What are the various Open License Programs and how do they fit together?” post. The questions I received went something like this, “You say that Open Value is the program for people who want Software Assurance (SA) and that Open License (Open Business) isn’t. Isn’t Software Assurance available through Open License (Open Business) too?” The answer to the question is, “Yes, Software Assurance part #s are listed in Open License (Open Business); however, ever since the launch of Open Value back in 2001, you should be selling/buying the Software Assurance items through Open Value/Open Value Subscription, NOT Open License (Open Business). So, the Open License (Open Business) part #s should be one of those items that just never get used.”

Why is it that I make this statement? It is quite simple really. If I were to tell you that if you paid me a dollar, I would let you choose between two boxes: Box 1 contains 2 items & Box 2 contains both of the items in Box 1 plus many more. Which would you choose? Box 2, of course, since it gets you much more for the same dollar, right? Well, that is what we are talking about with Software Assurance through Open License (Open Business) and Open Value/Open Value Subscription. Let me show you:

  • On an annual basis, a year of Software Assurance through Open License (Open Business) and Open Value cost the same
  • Open Value/Open Value Subscription provides additional price discounts through the Company-wide option. Open License (Open Business) with SA does not.
  • Open Value/Open Value Subscription provides the ability to spread payments over the term of the agreement, no interest or finance charges. Open License (Open Business) with SA does not.
  • Open Value provides the ability to add items to the original agreement with 1, 2, or 3 years remaining SA coverage to better map to time left in your agreement. Open License (Open Business) with SA does not.
    • For instance, it is a fact that Software Assurance is only sold in a 2 year SKU through Open License (Open Business). This means that if your client has an Open License (Open Business) Agreement that is one year old and they add an item with Software Assurance to it, they are paying the 2 year SKU price; however, their Software Assurance coverage only lasts until the end of their agreement (1 year). In essence, you basically double-charged your client. Did you tell them that? If they had an Open Value agreement instead, you could have sold them the 1 year remaining SA SKU if they only had one year left on their Open Value agreement. That way, when they add SA SKUs to their Open Value Agreement, they are only paying for as many years as are left on the Open Value Agreement. This means you just saved your client money.
  • Open Value/Open Value Subscription provides access to promotions and rebate dollars, such as the Big Easy Partner Subsidy promotion. Open License (Open Business) with SA does not.
  • Open Value/Open Value Subscription can provide training vouchers for companies with 50 PCs or more through SA. Open License (Open Business) with SA does not.
  • Open Value provides the option to subscribe to software vs. buying licenses (through Open Value Subscription). Open License (Open Business) with SA does not.
  • Open Value/Open Value Subscription provides you rebate dollars through the Open Value VAR Rebate program. Open License (Open Business) with SA does not.
  • Employee purchase program is included in Open Value Company-wide and Open Value Subscription agreements. There is no option for Employee purchase program for Open License (Open Business) with SA.
  • In fact, there is nothing included in Open License (Open Business) with SA that is not included in Open Value; however, there is a lot included in Open Value that is not included in Open License (Open Business), all for the same annual SA cost. Plus, don't be surprised if you see the differences increase even more as time goes on.

So to be very clear, no, Open License (Open Business) is not the program to purchase or sell SA through. It is designed for Businesses that want Volume Licensing rights and do NOT want Software Assurance. Open Value and Open Value Subscription are designed for Businesses that want Software Assurance. Which means, getting back to my original statement, “you should stop selling or buying Software Assurance through the Open License (Open Business) Program.” Instead, you should buy and sell all Software Assurance through the Open Value/Open Value Subscription programs to ensure you and you clients are getting and offering so much more for every dollar spent on Software Assurance.

Thank you and have a wonderful day,

Eric Ligman
Microsoft US Senior Manager
Small Business Community Engagement
This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights

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