Skip to main content
Microsoft has announced dramatic changes to its licensing options. From 1st December 2014 customers will be able to purchase from the brand new Enterprise Cloud Suite – a new product bundle consisting of the Office 365 E3 Suite, the Enterprise Mobility Suite and perhaps most interestingly a Windows SA per user subscription offering.

Ian Goodwin, Softcat’s Microsoft business director, anticipates that this will have a significant impact on how organisations implement Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies, given the potential cost-savings.

“This is exciting news for our customers, for whom it is an expensive investment to get multiple devices per person licensed. With the new ‘per user’ subscription offering they can choose to license multiple devices per person for a one-off cost, which will help reduce overheads.” He added, “Microsoft’s new licensing terms aren’t surprising to us – in fact it’s exactly what we’d expect given their general shift towards becoming a services-led, cloud-ready company. They’ve recognised the demand for more flexible licensing and are determined to remove potential barriers to BYOD such as restrictive licensing options.”

The new Windows desktop operating system ‘per user’ subscription covers multiple devices per person including laptops, phones and PCs, with the opportunity for an unlimited number of Microsoft Office downloads to multiple devices. Office365 and EMS integrate to offer advanced single-sign on and multi-factor authentication, whilst also offering PC and mobile device management and information protection.

Bundle breakdown:

  • O365 E3 Suite: Office365 Pro Plus, Exchange Online, Lync Online, SharePoint Online and Yammer
  • Enterprise Mobility Suite: System Centre CM, Windows Server CAL, Azure Rights Management, Windows Intune and Azure AD Premium
  • Windows: Windows Enterprise edition, licensed per user with no device limit

The new Enterprise Cloud Suite will be available to purchase as a standalone product and also as an add-on for customers with partial ownership of the suite or existing investments in software assurance. There will also be options to transition to the Cloud Suite and an Office 365 E4 add-on is available for anyone wishing to deploy the functionality of Lync Voice. Each component of the suite will be available to purchase separately.

Softcat will keep customers updated as new information becomes available however please don't hesitate to contact your Softcat account manager or call 01628 403403 if you would like to discuss these changes in more detail.