Microsoft Director of Business & Sales Operations - Eric Ligman

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Microsoft Open License Basics – 5 license minimum applies only on initial order

As a follow-up to my earlier, “Microsoft Open License Basics – You only need 2 computers to qualify for Volume Licensing” post where I showed you that you only need five (5) licenses, not five (5) computers, to qualify for Microsoft’s Open License and Open Value Volume Licensing programs, in this post I will clear up another misconception out there about that five (5) license minimum.  As my previous post stated, yes, you do need to make a purchase of five (5) Licenses, Licenses + Software Assurance, or Software Assurance at one time to start a new Open License or Open Value license agreement; however, did you know that for your subsequent orders, there is no minimum number you need to purchase?  That’s right!  You can buy one at a time if you want.


Let me show you how this works visually below, but first, let’s refer back to a few data points from my, “Microsoft Open License Basics – What are the different Open License Programs?” post that will come in handy:



Now let’s assume you are looking to purchase Licenses without Software Assurance and want to take advantage of the benefits of the Open License Program.  You would place your initial order of five (5) or more Licenses at one time and this would get you a new Open License Authorization Number and License number.  Your product licenses would be listed on the License Number you receive.  Because the Open License Program is a two year program, your Authorization Number remains open to have additional license numbers added to it for two years after that initial purchase:






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As you can see above, at any point during the two years following your initial order of five (5) or more licenses to start your Open License Authorization Number, you can supply your Open License Authorization Number to your Microsoft Volume Licensing reseller and ask them to place your additional orders on that Authorization number.  By doing so, your additional orders do not need to meet any minimum license requirement and you can order as few as one product license at a time if you wish to, while still getting all of the Open License benefits.  This also makes your license management and tracking much easier as all of your product licenses can be tracked under a single Authorization Number. 


Now if you are looking to acquire Licenses with Software Assurance (L+SA), or just Software Assurance (SA) for qualified licenses, then the Open Value Program is for you, since all purchases under Open Value come with Software Assurance.  Similar to the Open License program above, the initial order does require an in initial purchase of five (5) or more, so the initial purchase will be five (5) or more Licenses + Software Assurance or Software Assurance only.  Because Open Value is a three year program vs. the two years of Open License (above), you have three (3) full years to place any additional orders under your Open Value License Agreement # and the additional orders have no minimum requirements.  This means that you can place additional orders for as few as one (1) License + Software Assurance or Software Assurance at a time during the next three years.  Simply provide your Microsoft Volume Licensing reseller with your Open Value Agreement number when you order and ask them to add your new order to the existing Agreement Number.






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Hopefully this helps alleviate any misunderstandings there are out there that you need to order at least five (5) or more licenses every time you order through the Open License or Open Value licensing programs.  The only time the five (5) minimum applies is when you are starting a new Authorization number under Open License or a new Agreement Number through Open Value.  Except for then, you may want to look to consolidate your license purchases under your single Authorization or Agreement number to make your license tracking and administration much easier for you.


If you found this post helpful, you may want to view other posts in my Microsoft Open License Basics series.






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Thank you and have a wonderful day,


Eric LigmanFollow me on TWITTER clip_image001and RSS clip_image002
Global Partner Experience Lead
Microsoft Worldwide Partner Group
This posting is provided “AS IS” with no warranties, and confers no rights

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