Monday 1 June 2009

Open Value Licensing Beats Open Business for Small Business Hands Down


A freebie 24x7 Problem Resolution ticket for one!

On Open Business there are spending thresholds to cross before the 24x7 Problem Resolution gets tacked on as a Software Assurance benefit. Finding this out the hard way can be via an expensive phone call to Product Support Services when the consultant has hit the wall.


Open Value Software Assurance (SA) benefits span the full three years of the agreement where Open Business is only a two year agreement.

That three year period is going to be a big bonus for clients that purchased Office SA, Small Business Server SA, and especially Windows Desktop OS SA in the next 12 to 18 months.


There is an option to set up the Open Value agreement with Three Year Spread Payments. The total cost of the agreement is divided up into three with the first due on signing the documentation and the next two due on the second and third year agreement anniversary respectively.

In today’s economic situation, what small business would not want to spread the cost across the duration of the agreement as opposed to one lump sum upfront payment?

Top that off, we get to be the ones invoicing our clients on those anniversary dates so that brings in some anticipated revenue across the duration of the agreement.


Clients can add licenses to the existing agreement at any point during the agreement’s term.

Now, this is where Open Value can kill OEM licensing for value: If the business wants a two to three year refresh cycle on their hardware, Open Value will provide the best long term value for their licensing costs over OEM:

  • Open Value licenses are owned by the licensee and can be moved from one piece of hardware to another.
  • OEM OS licensing and OEM CALs are bound to the original equipment only. OEM CALs are not transferrable to a new OEM Server OS licensed server.

When the third and final year of the agreement comes about, those owned licenses would now qualify for Software Assurance only licensing on another Open Value Agreement with the same three year spread payment option!

Since the client already owns the license, the only cost coming to them on the new agreement will be Software Assurance.

  • NOTE: A new Open Value Agreement for SA on those owned licenses will need to be in place within a certain time period of the original agreement’s expiry date.

Open Value Licensing with Software Assurance really shines when it comes time to renew that three year period with SA only licensing.

Over the long haul, that is when OEM gets to be a lot more expensive and painful to manage.

And one more thing: An Office Suite license + SA has Home Use Rights (Microsoft Site). Essentially the client’s users get to register for and receive a copy of Office 2007 for their use at home at no extra charge. That is two for one folks!

Philip Elder
Microsoft Small Business Specialists
Co-Author: SBS 2008 Blueprint Book

*All Mac on SBS posts will not be written on a Mac until we replace our now missing iMac! (previous blog post)

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