Microsoft to add Enterprise Advantage to MPSA licensing in early 2017

Microsoft is continuing its quest to consolidate its many volume-licensing agreements with a new addition called Enterprise Advantage on MPSA, coming in early 2017.

Microsoft is continuing its quest to simplify and consolidate its volume-licensing plans with the introduction of a new purchasing option called Enterprise Advantage on MPSA.

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Microsoft is notifying customers of the coming changes -- which won't actually start to take effect until some time in early 2017 -- on July 1, the first day of the company's fiscal 2017, and a couple of weeks before the start of company's Worldwide Partner Conference in Toronto.

Enterprise Advantage on MPSA -- the Microsoft Products and Services Agreement -- is meant to bring the traditional Enterprise Agreement terms and offers to MPSA. The coming plan is meant to appeal especially to mid-size organizations who want the option of doing organization-wide purchasing.

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Enterprise Advantage on MPSA will be available to any and all commercial customers in markets where MPSA is available, but is expected to be of particular interest to customers with between 250 to 2,400 users or devices, according to Microsoft.

Microsoft is characterizing the addition of Enterprise Advantage for MPSA as "the next step in the development of modern licensing," in the words of Mark Nowlan, director of marketing for Microsoft's Worldwide Licensing Programs.

MPSA is Microsoft's licensing/purchasing agreement that is meant to enable users to consolidate various licensing contracts into "a single, nonexpiring agreement for all organizations." MPSA was designed to replace software-centric licensing and purchasing agreements with something simpler that would appeal to customers using a mix of Microsoft software and services.

With MPSA, Microsoft's goal is to streamline its multiple licensing/purchase agreements down to a single agreement and two options to buy (transactional/buy as you need or organizational-wide), Nowlan said. As part of this consolidation, the Perpetual Desktop Enrollment, Subscription Desktop Enrollment, and Server and Cloud Enrollments will go away.

Microsoft isn't doing away with Enterprise Agreements, though it is continuing with plans to phase out its Select Plus agreement, as originally announced in 2014, starting next year. Microsoft did increase the minimum Enterprise Agreement commitment from 500 from 250 users or devices earlier this year.

Microsoft also plans to introduce Government Advantage on MPSA and Education Advantage MPSA options later in calendar 2017, Nowlan said.