Microsoft offers a variety of agreements to help businesses of all sizes manage how they purchase software licenses. These agreements cover everyone, from smaller organizations with a handful of desktop PCs to multinational organizations that manage tens of thousands of client and server units.
Volume discounts are the most obvious benefit of these agreements. But Volume Licensing also helps organizations with the following tasks:
Tracking software use to ensure legal compliance
Deploying updates and new versions, especially on desktop PCs
Organizing software license purchasing through centralized purchasing practices
In general, Microsoft Volume Licensing commercial agreements align to two main categories: those for companies with fewer than 250 users or devices and those for companies with 250 or more users or devices.
For organizations with up to 250 users or devices the Microsoft Open agreements—Open Value, Open Value Subscription, and Open License—have flexible, low-entry requirements. Open agreements offer three choices to meet an organization’s specific needs, and they are all available from resellers, solution providers, and online vendors.
For organizations with 250 or more users or devices, Microsoft offers the Microsoft Enterprise Agreement, Microsoft Products and Services Agreement, Microsoft Open Value, Open Value Subscription, and Select Plus (being retired effective July 2015). These options are available through Microsoft Licensing Solution Partners (LSPs) and Microsoft Enterprise Software Advisors (ESAs). Both LSPs and ESAs offer flexibility in payment schedules.
All organizations can also subscribe to online services through the Microsoft Online Subscription Program or through the Microsoft Products and Services Agreement.