Microsoft sweetens SMB licensing with new program

Microsoft will offer staggered payment terms to small business under its new Open Licence Value program (OLV).

The scheme starts in Australia in October.

The three-year OLV agreement, available to the 5-250 seat business segment, is modelled on the terms currently available for enterprise level customers. Under OLV, customers can pay for licenses and software sssurance, or just software assurance on its own.

“The upfront payment option is a bit hard,” Microsoft licensing marketing manager, Thomas Kablau, said. “This way they can spread the payment and if the customer commits to the ‘company-wide’ option, they get a better price point.”

Resellers will act as agents, in return for a 10 per cent fee, or 12 per cent fee if they are certified partners. Distributors will handle the administration, including processing license applications and billing.

Express Data, Ingram Micro and Tech Pacific will be the Authorised License Providers (ALPs) for the program.

The new licensing program would allow resellers, or Microsoft Software Advisors (MSAs) to “keep ownership” as the customer contract point for sale and implementation, Kablau said.

While customers would be free to cease dealing with their MSA at any time, the new MSA picking up the customer wouldn’t receive a fee until the next annual fee came due, he said.

The Open License Value will join Open Business and Open Volume, both of which will be available for customers wishing to take two-year agreements and make license-only payments.

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