EA order requirements - what are they and how do they work?
What are EA order requirements?
The EA order requirements dictate your minimum requirements for ordering and how subsequent orders should be handled.
When a customer signs up to an Enterprise Agreement, they need to sign an ‘Enterprise Enrollment Document’. The Enterprise Enrollment Document is legally binding and by signing the enrollment a customer agrees to adhere to its terms and conditions, inlcuding the order requirements.
The enrollment has two different sections:
- Terms and conditions
- Enrollment details
In this blog we delve deeper into the first part, namely the terms and conditions.
1. Minimum order requirements
The EA is for organizations with more than 500 Qualified Users and/or Devices. The minimum order states that a company must purchase at least 500 licenses within a single product pool for either Enterprise Online Services or Enterprise Products.
Single product pool
A single product pool refers to a specific group of licensing, such as Office Professional Plus, Windows Operating System or the Enterprise Mobility + Security suite to name just a few. For the Enterprise Enrollment a customer needs to procure at least 500 licenses within one of the following:
- Enterprise Online Services – cloud products such as Office 365 E3, Windows E3 or Enterprise Mobility + Security E3
- Enterprise Products – on-premises products such as Enterprise CAL Suite, Office Pro Plus and Windows OS
Different product pools
For instance, a customer needs licenses across different product pools for:
- Windows OS
- and Enterprise CAL Suite
They need to purchase at least 500 licenses in each product pool. You cannot divide the 500 licenses over different product pools. For instance, if you need licenses for Windows OS, Office and Enterprise CAL Suite, you can end up with a total of 1500 licenses, 500 in each product pool.
An Enterprise Enrollment stipulates that a customer must order enough licenses from the product pool for each Enterprise Product to ensure that each user and/or device is covered.
Within an Enrollment, an organization can mix Enterprise Online Services and Enterprise Products. However, if there is a link between the two (for instance CoreCAL Bridge for O365 and Office 365 E3), then the requirement is to license enterprise-wide for both the Enterprise Product and the Enterprise Online Service!
If an organization only wants to use Enterprise Online Services (e.g., M365 E3), they have to maintain at least 500 Subscription Licenses for these services.
2. Additional Products
This clause states that once a customer meets the minimum requirement of 500 licenses for Qualified Devices and/or Users, they can then order any Additional Products and Additional Online Services they require.
In the Enterprise Enrollment, additional products refer to any Microsoft product or service that an organization wishes to license beyond the product or service included in their chosen Enrollment option. This means any product except an Enterprise Online Service or an Enterprise Product.
For example, an organization opted for the single product pool option and set up an EA for Windows Operating System. They are able to procure any and all additional products such as:
- Dynamics 365
- Teams Phone Standard
All other Enterprise Products and Enterprise Online Services can only be included by signing additional paperwork with Microsoft.
3. Use Rights for Enterprise Products
You sign an Enterprise Agreement for a three-year period. Over this three-year period the chances are high that new versions of a product will be launched. However, if the new version rights are more restrictive than those agreed upon in your initial EA or during your renewal, these more restrictive use rights do not apply to you for the duration of your EA.
New Version Rights
This is not to be confused with New Version Rights. New Version Rights typically entitle an organization to upgrade to the latest version of a product or service. Only if they have an active license for the previous version.
For example, an organization has licensed Microsoft Office 2019 under their Enterprise Enrollment program. This entitles them to upgrade to Microsoft Office 2022 on its release. They do not have to purchase additional licenses.
However, if the upgrade to Office 2022 actually restricts their use rights, this does not take affect until the renewal of the contract. This allows a customer to mitigate some of the risk.
4. Microsoft Sales Affiliate
Orders must be submitted to a Microsoft Sales Affiliate. A Microsoft Sales Affiliate (also referred to as your local Microsoft subsidiary) and an Enrolled Affiliate (aka you, the customer) determine pricing and payment terms between them in a negotiation.
A Microsoft Sales Affiliate does not have authority to bind or impose any obligation or liability on the Microsoft Affiliate who enters into this Enrollment. This means the subsidiary has to play by the rules imposed by Microsoft’s main organs: the Regional Operation Centres.
5. Licensing Solution Provider
Any organization signed up to the Enterprise Agreement must choose and work with a Licensing Solution Provider (LSPs). The LSP is also referred to as a Software Advisor (direct contract) or a Software Reseller (indirect contract) in the Enterprise Enrollment document. Microsoft works with a network of LSPs to offer customers support.
- LSP must be approved for your location.
- LSP helps during the pre- and post-transaction for the EA.
- LSPs and other authorized third parties are paid by Microsoft to assist. Note: LSPs are “independent” but they gain financially through rebate fees in exchange for their advisory services!
- LSPs must meet certain requirements and undergo training to be certified by Microsoft.
- LSPs help customers select, purchase and manage Microsoft products and licenses.
- LSPs provide advice and guidance on licensing options, help customers optimize their licensing investments and assist with ongoing license management.
LSPs can help customers with aspects of the Enterprise Enrollment, technical support and training. However, it is important to keep in mind that LSPs generate income by selling you Microsoft products. Their motivation might not always be your best interests, but their own targets.
6. Adding Products
New products that were not previously ordered can be added at any time during the term of your EA by contacting your Software Advisor or a Microsoft Account Manager.
You can also add additional licenses for products you have previously ordered at any time (other than Online Services). The order has to be included in the next True-up order.
An order must be placed for the additional products in the month the product is first used. Except for Online Services for which an order must be placed before use!
Online Services need to be ordered before they can be assigned. However, software can be downloaded and installed before you purchase them as long as you order the product as soon as you can. Make sure to stay in compliance with the terms of your agreement!
For Online Services, additional licenses need to be ordered before using them. Except when Online Services are marked in either the Product Terms as eligible for the True-up or included in other licenses.
For Online Services you can use the License Reservation option to avoid being immediately charged for the use of these services and to postpone that charge to the True-up period.
Specific licensing requirements/restrictions
It’s important to note that some Microsoft products or services may have specific licensing requirements or restrictions. Organizations should ensure they comply with these requirements when licensing additional products.
Additionally, organizations should regularly review their licensing agreements to ensure they are compliant with licensing terms and that they are only licensing the products and services they need.
Need support with your EA renewal?
In this blog we have focused in depth on the EA order requirements . The Enterprise Agreement remains a complicated licensing model to understand and work with.
Other articles in this series:
- The basics of the Enterprise Agreement
- How to set up an EA(S)
- Enterprise Agreement order requirements explained
- What is the difference between the Annual Report and the True-up?
- How does Software Assurance work?
- What are the different types of Enrollment?
- 10 tips to reduce your Enterprise Agreement spend
- Understanding the Enterprise Agreement Renewal process
- 5 tips for renewing your Enterprise Agreement