Microsoft Enterprise Agreement: Pros and Cons
As a business, you want to maximize your resources and make smart investments. One major investment for many businesses is software – specifically, Microsoft software. Microsoft offers an Enterprise Agreement (EA) option for businesses to purchase and manage their licenses in bulk. But, as with any investment, there are pros and cons to consider before making a decision.
1. Cost Savings: The primary benefit of an EA is cost savings. By purchasing licenses in volume, businesses can negotiate a better price per license. Additionally, an EA allows for flexibility in the payment structure, so businesses can choose to pay upfront or on a yearly basis.
2. Simplified Licensing Management: With an EA, businesses can manage all Microsoft licenses in one place. This streamlines the process and reduces the risk of non-compliance or over-licensing.
3. Access to Microsoft Services: An EA often includes access to Microsoft services, such as technical support and training. This can be especially beneficial for businesses that may not have the resources to provide this in-house.
4. Upgrade Flexibility: An EA allows for flexibility in upgrading to new versions of Microsoft software. This can be especially valuable considering Microsoft’s frequent updates and new releases.
1. Upfront Investment: While an EA can save money in the long run, there is an upfront investment that can be daunting for some businesses. This investment may be prohibitive for smaller businesses that cannot afford the upfront cost.
2. Long-Term Commitment: An EA typically requires a three-year commitment, which can be a significant commitment for some businesses. This may not be ideal for businesses that have fluctuating licensing needs or are unsure about their future growth.
3. Non-Transferable Licenses: Licenses purchased under an EA are non-transferable, meaning they cannot be sold or transferred to another business. This may be a disadvantage for businesses that have fluctuating staffing needs or sell off parts of their business.
4. Limited Discounts: While an EA can provide cost savings, the discounts are limited to Microsoft software products. Other software vendors are not included in the EA, so businesses may not see cost savings on other necessary software.
Ultimately, the decision to choose an EA depends on each business’s unique set of circumstances. For larger businesses with consistent licensing needs, an EA may provide significant cost savings and simplify the licensing process. However, smaller businesses or those with fluctuating licensing needs may not find an EA to be the best solution. Before making a decision, it is important to consider both the pros and cons, and consult with a trusted IT advisor.