OLP vs. CSP: What are your options?

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Cloud Solution Provider

The retirement of perpetual licenses from January 1, 2022, makes it pivotal for the business and customers to switch to the cloud. Earlier, Microsoft's Open Business License tied customers to a 2-year agreement and asked for upfront payments with discounts on volume purchases. But now, IT providers have to enroll in Microsoft's Cloud Solution Provider program, which offers rebates and much flexibility.

At DirectDeals, we want your migration to the CSP program to be as smooth as possible. We also have compiled 10 important things every user should know about the new life in the clouds. Today we will share some differences between OLP vs. CSP to help you understand why this move of Microsoft is the forthcoming idea that we should adjust to. On similar lines, we will cover some issue topics for better clarity on the program: Is there an end to the perpetual license? What is LTSC and Subscription- which one best fits your organization?

OLP vs. CSP: Comparing Options

Minimum required licenses: The licenses are bought depending on the customer's needs. The OLP program's minimum purchase requirement was five licenses, and it goes up to 499 users per customer for on-premise software. However, customers with over 500 license requirements have to buy it via enterprise agreement. While in the Mircosoft CSP program, one or more users per customer can purchase the license.

Duration of agreement: The open business license tied its users to the 2-year agreement, adding or removing seats annually. While the CSP program offers a 12-months subscription with monthly add/ remove seat options. Users who want flexible options are included in the CSP, as business needs change as they grow.

Upfront payments: Main footfalls of the open license were that it asked for prices - one to two years right away. The only way to save is via large volume purchases or on bulk orders which offer discounts. But in the new program, you pay for what you use. The CSP model asks for an upfront payment every month which is much lower than the earlier model. If you wish to cancel a specific license after one or a few months, you are not at a loss. It assists businesses in saving a lot of money by offering rebates after purchases.

Customer support: The OLP provides support to its customers via Microsoft directly or through a limited set of partners. But the CSP cloud solution provider has mandatory customer support, which is partner-led. So your partner is equipped with the task to make your transition smooth. Here, Microsoft offers two options- Direct bill partners and Indirect resellers.

Note: There are around 90,000 direct and indirect CSP partners in the new program.

With so many organizations partially, if not wholly, having digital transformation, the Cloud Service Provider (CSP) Program is an attractive offer. It is well applicable even for Microsoft's most loyal Enterprise Agreement customers. But the rolling out of the CSP program has put doubts on many small to mid-sized companies. How are they going to make a sudden shift to cloud services? What if they are not ready to move their resources to the cloud yet?

Is there an end to the perpetual licenses?

Many of you might wonder what happens to the earlier OLP program and the perpetual licenses? This open program comes under Microsoft's Volume Licensing program and consists of Open Value, Open Value Subscription, and Open License. They come with or without software assurance as per user needs of getting security updates and support. It allows academic, corporate, charitable, or government organizations to obtain volume licenses at discounted rates.

Now, the changes are made in the open license part where Microsoft has added this perpetual license to the CSP program. Here, license claims are held indefinitely by the customer who purchased them, but they won't get security updates putting their data at risk. Customers have to shift to the new program at some point due to data vulnerability. So, it's not an end to perpetual license but the end of support by Microsoft. What else does it mean to have a perpetual license category under CSP Microsoft licensing?

  • It means the perpetual license in the CSP program is termed as LTSC products.
  • It allows the shift to the cloud an easy path.
  • It comes without software assurance (SA).
  • There are no changes in the open value and open value subscription.
  • The non-standardized purchases will retire on December 31, 2021.

Despite all its benefits, like getting rid of maintaining on-premises infrastructure and flexible billing, small businesses feel reluctant. This journey to the cloud is not an easy one! And it's fair enough because adapting to new online premises will take some time. But with LTSC as part of the CSP program, you need not worry.

Microsoft understands that the dilemma for non-subscription-based users is that they are comfortable with the on-premises model, but the need for time is about going digital. This is why the CSP license program offers two options- LTSC products and subscription-based products. The LTSC is volume licensing or perpetual license without software assurance. In comparison, the subscription provides working under the cloud or online premises.

There is the need to rethink the business strategy with your CSP cloud solution provider. For building a robust digital ecosystem- subscription would be a great option. It helps manage everything from solutions, billing, and support to a remote working network. You can also bundle your other subscription with Microsoft's solutions such as Office 365, Azure, Dynamics CRM, and other standalone solutions. Thus, getting a complete end-to-end IT solution with the mandatory support system.

CSP: A futuristic option!

Recent global events (Coronavirus outbreak) have shown that digital technology and data are crucial for organizational productivity. So the move to end the OLP program from December 31, 2021, is a far-sighted view of Microsoft, where most of the work can get done remotely. This is to say that Microsoft wants organizations to shift to the cloud model for better digital inclusion. The seamless operations and complexities are well managed in the cloud operation. In this transition, DirectDeals- A certified CSP license provider, wants to help you with a fast and easy solution. Take the help of our experts and do your business ahead of the competitors.

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