Microsoft Director of Business & Sales Operations - Eric Ligman

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Microsoft Open License Basics – The $8 way into Microsoft Volume Licensing

In my earlier, “Microsoft Open License Basics – You only need 2 computers to qualify for Volume Licensing” post as part of this series, I showed you how you could qualify for Microsoft’s Open License programs with just two computers (not the 5 that some people think you need).  In this post, I will teach you another little trick on meeting that initial 5 license minimum to start a new Open License Agreement if your initial purchase falls short of the quantity 5 needed.

Let’s say that you are a company with just two computers, like in my example from the “Microsoft Open License Basics – You only need 2 computers to qualify for Volume Licensing” post and you want to order Microsoft Office licenses for both computers and one or two Windows Upgrades for those computers.  This would give you a total of 3 or 4 licenses, depending on if you did the one or two Windows upgrades.  This leaves you short of the 5 license minimum for Open License, so now what?  Here’s what you can do:

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  • Download the Microsoft Open Business Estimated Retail Price List (I am using the U.S. as an example, so your links may be slightly different in other countries since each subsidiary can lay out their own portal slightly differently, but the principle remains the same).
    • Go to the Microsoft Partner Portal: https://partner.microsoft.com
    • Click on the “Licensing” tab
    • Under “Making Licensing choices” in the left-hand navigation bar, click on “U.S. Retail Price Lists”
    • Click “Open Business” and download it
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    • Once you open the Open Business Estimated Retail Price List Excel sheet up, click on the “ERP Price” column (See image to right)
    • Sort in reverse order “A->Z” or “Smallest to Largest” depending on whether you choose to sort using the “Sort” function in your ribbon bar or by right-clicking on the column and using the drop down menu (See image to right)
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    • Look for the first item with “Standard” or “License/Software Assurance Pack” listed in the “Product Type” column

    In the current month’s U.S. Open Business Retail Price List, the first “Standard” item you will come up with is Part #: BRE-00129, which is an Office Mobile license and the ERP price for this SKU is $8.00.  Now, remember back to my “Microsoft Open License Basics – You only need 2 computers to qualify for Volume Licensing” post where I said you just need five (5) total licenses and they don’t need to be for the same thing?  Well, there’s your answer! 

    In the example above, say you wanted the two (2) Office licenses for your two computers and the one (1) or two (2) Windows Upgrade Licenses for your computers.  If you find yourself one or two licenses short, simply add one or two of these lowest cost “Standard” or “License/Software Assurance Pack” items to your order (since both of those items are full licenses and don’t require any qualifying licenses be owned by you already, unlike the “Software Assurance” only SKUs which would need a qualifying product for them for purchase) and you have me your five (5) license minimum order for your new Open License Agreement and you can now take advantage of all of the benefits of Volume Licensing with no minimum re-order limits (as shown in my, “Microsoft Open License Basics – 5 license minimum applies only on initial order,” post.

    Now a few quick things to note about the information above:

    1. Be sure you have downloaded the latest Open Business Estimated Retail Price List when you do this as part numbers get added and removed as products come in and out of lifecycle, so the lowest qualifying product today may not be the lowest qualifying product next month. This also means the the lowest qualifying product may not be $8.00 each month either, it may be lower or higher depending on what products are available.
    2. The example I gave above uses the U.S. site as an example of where the Open Business ERP Price Lists are posted.  this will vary by country as the countries can choose where they post it at on their portals.
    3. Yes, you can use a similar tactic with the Open Value licensing program; however, the ERP price list for Open Value is not posted on the portal for download.  I would suggest asking your Microsoft Authorized Volume License Distributor to assist you with that.

    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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