How to Choose a Microsoft Open License

By Lauren Fritsky

Open licensing agreements are geared toward small to midsized businesses, including commercial, health, government and education organisations, with at least five desktops. Maximising the benefits of this type of license involves knowing how you want to manage costs and how flexible you need the licensing terms to be.

Decide your ideal payment model

If you want to get your license payments out of the way, the traditional Open Licence agreement lets you pay for all your licenses up front in one lump sum. You don’t have to worry about repaying until the next two-year term begins again. If this isn’t the best payment situation for your business, you could choose the Open Value agreement, which lets you make three annual payments instead of paying everything upfront. For businesses needing to tightly control their spending, a more flexible option is the Open Value Subscription. This agreement requires the least upfront payment and allows businesses to add or subtract costs depending on how many desktops they add or remove in a given year.

Consider your ties to the software

Organisations that want Software Assurance, which offers upgrades and training support, can opt for the Open Value orOpen Value Subscription agreement. If you want your entire company to use the same software, choose the Open Value Companywide agreement. This plan rewards you for standardising your desktop fleet by offering price protection and discounts. The Open Value Subscription is essentially the most non-committal of these options, as it doesn’t require the organisation to actually purchase the licenses, but offers the ability to run the software throughout the business for the duration of the agreement term.

Determine if you need scalability

If you don’t know how many desktop licenses you’re going to need in the years to come, the Open Value Subscription allows you to scale the number of licenses as the number of seats goes up or down. Your pricing is adjusted to reflect how many licenses you need once your annual payment is due. This means you can add more desktops for a short-term basis – for contract workers, for instance – if you need to without incurring extra cost, as long as the total number of users remains the same by the time your next payment is due.

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