Microsoft Director of Business & Sales Operations - Eric Ligman

Eric Ligman, Microsoft Director of Business & Sales Operations Blog

What do you mean I only need 2 PCs to qualify for Volume Licensing?

There is a very common misconception out there that a company needs at least 5 PCs in order to qualify for the various Volume Licensing Programs, such as Open Business and Open Value.  This is absolutely false!  In fact, we have had companies with as few as 2 PCs taking advantage of the benefits of the Open Business and Open Value Programs for many years.


So how is this possible?  It’s quite simple, really.  The minimum purchase to begin a new Open Business or Open Value License Agreement is just 5 Licenses (L), Licenses + Software Assurance (L+SA), or Software Assurance (SA).  NOTE: This quantity of 5 is only required to start a NEW Agreement.  If a company already has an existing Open Business or Open Value Agreement in place, there is no minimum purchase to add any additional (L), (L+SA), or (SA) to the Agreement, they can do it one at a time if they wish.


Here is a visual example on how a company with only 2 PCs can start a brand new Open Value Agreement:


2 PCs Needed (Click image to view full size) 


As you can see, by purchasing Qty. 2 Windows Upg+SA, Qty. 2 Office Small Business 2007 L+SA, and Qty. 1 Digital Image Suite L+SA, they have purchased a total Qty. of 5 L+SA which would meet the minimum of 5 needed to start a new Open Value Agreement.  Now, this company could purchase any additional Microsoft software through their Open Value Agreement without any minimum quantity required.


Note: The one time you would need to order for at least 5 PCs to qualify for Open Value is when you purchase a Company-wide option, such as the Small Business Desktop Advantage.  This does not mean the company has to have 5 PCs, it just means the initial order would have to be at least 5 PCs.  For instance, there are some companies with 4 PCs that purchased a 5 seat Small Business Desktop Advantage Agreement since the savings of the Small Business Desktop Advantage made it more affordable to purchase 5 Small Business Desktop Advantage licenses instead of purchasing the individual software licenses for the 4 PCs.


This is a topic I cover during the Introduction to Open License for Partners webcasts I give, so if you are interested in learning more about the Open Business and Open Value Programs, be sure to register and join me for one of my upcoming sessions.  You can also look to attend a local Licensing Bootcamp for Partners, such as the ones we have scheduled in the New England, Southeast, or Gulf States areas.


As of October, 2008, platform options (such as the Small Business Desktop Advantage) are now handled through the “Build Your Own Platform” model.  Here is the post that explains this new option for you.

Thank you and have a wonderful day,


Eric Ligman
Microsoft US Senior Manager
Small Business Community Engagement
This posting is provided “AS IS” with no warranties, and confers no rights