Microsoft Perpetual Licensing Joins the Cloud Solution Provider Program

Carrie Alicata

The COVID-19 pandemic has undeniably caused many individuals and businesses to embark upon a journey toward a large-scale digital transformation that nobody saw coming. In February, we were having conversations about the merits of moving businesses and school districts into the cloud, and in March, it became necessary. A new set of questions forced the world to consider out-of-the box solutions, and necessity is, indeed, the mother of invention. We found new ways to work, learn, and play; there were new methods to connect and engage with others and the world around us.

While the cloud presented a quick and easy way to help people keep moving forward, there are still many things about the world around us that deserve a little bit of a more hybrid approach.

To that end, Microsoft has been working toward providing a streamlined approach to creating that hybrid environment with their Cloud Solution Provider program (CSP). The goal in creating a single destination for business owners to purchase all their Microsoft licensing is to allow customers to purchase through the Microsoft partner of their choice, rather than being forced to obtain different types of licensing through different sources due to how programs are structured.

Introducing Perpetual Licensing in CSP

Beginning in January 2021, Microsoft will make perpetual licensing available in CSP: the next step in offering customers a more streamlined purchasing experience. With CSP, you can purchase, manage, and reconcile your Microsoft licensing purchases easily and without trying to track orders across various Microsoft partners. This would allow you to download or access keys from your Microsoft Admin Center in virtually the same way you currently manage your Office 365 license subscriptions.

While there are currently a limited number of perpetual licensing products to be available throughout the Microsoft partner network at the full-scale launch in January 2021, Microsoft intends to make more products available in the second quarter. In the meantime, core products, such as Office Standard and Professional Plus, Windows Server, and SQL Server will be available in Q1.

Open License Is Retiring

Microsoft recently announced its plans to retire the Open License program fully in 2022 to align with the goals of their new commerce experience. You will be able to buy new software licenses, Software Assurance, and Online Services, and you can continue to renew existing licenses through December 31, 2021. Starting January 1, 2022, commercial, government, education, and nonprofit organizations will no longer be able to buy services through the Open Licensing program.  If you prefer to buy software-only perpetual licenses, you will be directed to the CSP program. Please note that there is no change announced for the Open Value Licensing program.

CSP: The Way to Be

Being able to purchase perpetual products in CSP lets you access licensing faster, with product downloads and keys being accessible within hours. Moving perpetual licensing into CSP will help you create a hybrid environment for your digital transformation at the rate that makes the most sense for your specific business needs.

To find out more, contact your Connection Account Manager and Microsoft Center of Excellence resources today.

Carrie Alicata is a Partner Development Specialist with expertise in Microsoft licensing for state and local government, and education. In her free time, Carrie enjoys concerts, football, and traveling.

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