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    Enterprise Agreement or Cloud Solution Provider Program:

    Which solution is right for you?

    Side-by-Side Comparison of Microsoft Volume Licensing through a Microsoft Enterprise Agreement (EA) and the Microsoft CSP program

    A Microsoft Enterprise Agreement (Microsoft EA) was once the go-to licensing vehicle for large organizations with over 500 seats. However, the complex, 3-year agreement that was once so popular is becoming obsolete. With cloud-based services like Azure and Office 365 becoming the norm, even large organizations are shifting how they purchase products and services, and looking for more flexible Microsoft Volume Licensing options.

    Reading the tea leaves of change, Microsoft has since introduced their Cloud Solutions Provider (CSP) program. With CSP, you pay a monthly fee for only the licenses and software you need, which becomes much more convenient and cost effective for larger organizations.

    To help you decide whether you should make the switch to CSP, we’ve created this handy EA vs CSP comparison chart, which highlights key differences between these two agreements.

    EA vs CSP

    • Comparison Points

    • Ideal number of users or devices
    • Payment requirements
    • True-up Billing
    • Contract terms
    • Ongoing support
    • Provided services

    • Ability to add / remove users
    • Flexible licensing
    • Enterprise Agreement (EA)

    • 500 and above
    • Upfront, yearly
    • Annually
    • 3 year minimum with some caveats
    • Not included
    • All Microsoft Products (even the ones no one uses)

    • Anytime, but with annual true-up billing
    • Not available
    • Cloud Solution Provider Program (CSP)

    • Flexible
    • Monthly
    • None
    • Pay as you go
    • Premier support
      • Office 365
      • Exchange Online
      • SharePoint Online
      • Skype for Business Online
      • MS Office Pro Plus
      • MS Enterprise Mobility Suite
      • MS Dynamics Online Visio
      • Project Azure

      Always have the latest versions of: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneDrive for Business, OneNote, Publisher, Skype for Business, Access

    • Anytime, as needed
    • Only pay for what you use

    Make the switch to CSP today

    Find out more

    It’s easy to switch to CSP

    Find out more

    Use case examples

    We thought it would be beneficial to use two examples where the decision to choose between an EA or CSP can have a real impact on an organization. Below are two scenarios that should better show the benefits and potential drawbacks of these offerings from Microsoft.

    • Example 1

      Let’s take a small startup as an example that currently has 30 employees but is looking to grow to 150 within a year. They’re in need of Office 365 now, but may be adding some more robust production or supply chain resources that could require additional software offerings and tools in the near future.

      This sized company is completely ineligible for EA, but can have significant flexibility with a Cloud Solutions Provider. Users can be added or removed throughout the year, and the support for an EA can grow as needed.

    • Example 2

      An enterprise level company with 750 employees has merged with another sizable company and is looking for ways to cut costs across the larger organization. If they’re currently locked into an EA, they’re essentially stuck if they take an inventory of what’s being used and realize that a large portion of their staff isn’t fully using what they’re paying for.

      In this instance, an EA can be seen as a roadblock that could have been easily avoided with a CSP.

    Request more information about the MessageOps CSP Program

    If you’re ready to make the switch or want more information before you decide, fill out this form to speak with one of our licensing experts.