Microsoft’s New Licensing a Bit Hazy? Get help from a Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider (CSP)

The year 2022 has marked a massive change for Microsoft Licensing and the way this licensing is being procured with a harder push towards purchasing with a Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider (CSP). For one, Microsoft decided to raise prices this year however this shouldn’t be a shock since the last substantial increase was almost a decade ago. Perhaps the most significant changes are in response to a huge boom in remote working primarily driven by the pandemic. Cloud usage, the number of total users, and virtual desktop numbers have surged through 2021 and into 2022. While usage is up, Microsoft has decided to make a few moves—these are all in effect now, whether you realize it or not.

An Overview of the Need-to-Know Microsoft Licensing Changes – Including Why Microsoft Cloud Solution Providers

Microsoft Per Seat Subscription Models

Both Microsoft Office 365 and Microsoft Dynamics 365 were previously sold on a per-user license. The 2022 update changes that model to selling subscriptions per seat. That means that a single user can use licenses on virtually unlimited devices. Azure subscriptions will also transition so that they are bundled under a single plan.

This change can be very beneficial for those with multiple devices where they want to use the full features of Microsoft’s tools. Ultimately, Microsoft’s new commerce experience is designed to have a better end-to-end experience for all users.

Microsoft Annual Agreement Terms

Every subscription must also switch to an annual (or longer) subscription. This is true even if the user is on a monthly billing cycle. With the new annual subscription, businesses will no longer be able to add or remove licenses whenever they want. Instead, the only changes that can be made must be on a rotating, annual basis.

Based on feedback it received on the annual rollout, Microsoft is also offering a subscription on a month-to-month basis as well, but it comes at a roughly 20% increased cost. If you did not specifically request to move to a month-to-month subscription, chances are that you are on an annual subscription with a monthly billing cycle.

Business customers have the option to have a mix of month-to-month licenses and annual licenses, as needed. However, some licensing types will not have the monthly option available at all.

There might also be opportunities for companies to lock into three-year terms with Microsoft, allowing some clients to avoid potential future price increases over the next several years.

Subscription cancellations are not nearly as flexible as they once were. Instead, there is a limited 72-hour window in which clients can cancel subscriptions. Outside of this window, Microsoft allows full or partial upgrades and adding seats—but canceling or decreasing the number of seats will no longer be a viable option.

Price Increases

Microsoft increased prices for 2022. They explained that Office 365 had not had a significant price increase since its 2011 launch. At the same time, Microsoft has added substantially to the suite of tools since that time. It added 24 applications with over 1400 new features, including tools to increase security and foster coloration.

In addition to all of these existing tools, Microsoft has also included unlimited audio conferencing for team meetings. These new features make remote working much easier and more streamlined for a wide array of workers.

The End of Microsoft Open Licensing

Microsoft permitted small and midsized clients to purchase perpetual software through Microsoft’s Open License Program at a volume price, which significantly reduced the overall cost. Now, Microsoft has removed the option to renew or purchase new software licenses through the Open License program.

Although the number of actual seats this change affects right now is limited (only about 100 to 250 seats), additional changes may be on the horizon. Companies may need to start thinking about how this change could affect them if Microsoft decides to implement this limitation on large companies as well.

How a Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) Can Help

With all of the licensing changes, it is easy to become overwhelmed and end up choosing something that is more expensive than it needs to be. You might also unnecessarily opt to have fewer licenses to save money, which can end up doing more harm than good in the long run.

A Cloud Solution Provider (CPS) can help you determine the best licensing options for your unique situation and assist with setup and maintenance. Reach out to ComportSecure for help today!

Revamping CSP Arrangements

Microsoft had been selling subscriptions through CSPs for years before their new rollouts in 2022. However, Microsoft has given CSPs even more access and insight as part of the new changes to their licensing.

The Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider Program (CSP) allows CSP’s to help customers throughout their entire Microsoft cloud customer lifecycle. The partners that are in this program can employ dedicated in-product tools to directly provision, manage, and support their customer subscriptions.

Getting Premier Support from Microsoft Cloud Solution Providers (CSPs)

Regardless of your business size, a CSP can help you create the best program to meet your business needs. They can help you choose the right subscription levels to serve your team and provide ongoing insight and support as your needs change or as Microsoft alters subscriptions going forward. More changes may be on the horizon and partnering with a CSP can be the best way for you to plan and adjust to future changes.

Experience Matters: Working with the Right CSP for You

When working with a CSP, you should consider the longevity of the company as well as their skills in Managed IT Services. With over 40 years in the industry and a decade of managed services experience ComportSecure has worked with many clients to create technology solutions customized for individual company’s needs. Our white glove services include our ease of engagement, value-added services and licensing/cost optimization.

Ease of Engagement

ComportSecure makes it easy to keep track of the changes that Microsoft is making. As a CSP partner we have invested time to understand the current changes and can help you by looking at your environment and optimizing your licensing and technology solutions to enable your users and trim your bottom line.

In addition, a Cloud Solution Provider, has great insight to the future plans of Microsoft technology. Working with a knowledgeable CSP can mean faster reaction time to any impending changes with your CSP keeping track for you.

In addition, our team has an easy-to-use portal to contact us with any issues, we are literally right at your fingertips.

Value-Added Services

Our team realizes that your Microsoft technology needs don’t end at licensing. Organizations need help analyzing their security, managing their endpoints and ensuring your hybrid IT environment has what it needs like backups, security and threat detection. Our managed services can wrap around your Microsoft licensing acting as an extension of your technology to provide the support you need.

Licensing/Cost Optimization

What do our licensing and cost optimization packages look like?

ComportSecure’s Standard Cloud Solution Provider package is based off of Microsoft guidelines including technical support for troubleshooting and provisioning during business hours. We also provide consumption reviews during our cadence calls to identify potential duplicate billing items and look towards cost savings.

ComportSecure’s Premium Cloud Solution Provider package is for those organizations that need a bit more support with additional reporting and analysis. With this solution comport extends support from normal business hours to 24×7. In addition, we provide automated reports send daily, weekly or monthly depending on your needs. Finally, on an either quarterly or annual basis, our team provides a Azure architect to examine your environment and provide both cost and technical analysis.

Comport has been providing technology and managed services for many years. Our team has seen our customers through technology and licensing changes saving them costs and fine tuning their technical environment.  Let us help you with your Microsoft needs and ensure you are making the right IT choices for your environment and your budget. Contact us today.


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