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Microsoft To Add Cloud Licenses to Enterprise Agreements

Large customers will soon be able to buy cloud licenses through their Enterprise Agreements and deploy licenses on-premise or in the cloud -- and switch those licenses back and forth.

"New license mobility options will become available July 1, 2011, through Microsoft Volume Licensing agreements with an active Software Assurance benefit," Microsoft said in a statement this week. "The new options will provide customers with the flexibility to deploy application services on-premises or through hosted service providers in the cloud."

The move to add cloud licenses to SA customers is a boon for Large Account Reseller (LAR) partners, who generally serve the 250-seat-and-up market, and could rapidly expand the number of Microsoft customers using cloud services, including the forthcoming Office 365, Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online and Windows Intune.

While definitely more convenient for customers, some non-LAR partners could start to see themselves edged out of Partner of Record status in corporate accounts where they've sold Business Productivity Online Suite and other cloud products.

There are two mitigating factors that could keep a lid on conflict. First, indications are that not all that many customers are using BPOS or other online services yet. Second, much of the activity is at the sub-250-seat level, so current and future Partners of Record could be in the clear.

Posted by Scott Bekker on May 19, 2011 at 11:58 AM


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