Microsoft Products and Services Agreement (MPSA) explained

The Microsoft Products and Services Agreement (MPSA) is a comprehensive licensing agreement that allows organizations to easily license Microsoft on-premises software, cloud services, or both as needed. With its streamlined licensing process, the MPSA eliminates the need for an organization-wide commitment under a single agreement, providing flexibility and control over licensing. Software Assurance, an optional add-on, offers additional benefits for organizations.

Key Takeaways:

  • The MPSA is a licensing agreement that allows organizations to license Microsoft Online Services, software and Software Assurance (SA) through the same agreement.
  • The MPSA is available for commercial, government and academic customers
  • The MPSA is aimed at transactional customers purchasing licenses on an ad-hoc basis
  • The MPSA is aimed at customers with 250 or more users
  • Software Assurance is optional and provides additional benefits for organizations.

 

What is the Microsoft Products and Services Agreement (MPSA)?

The Microsoft Products and Services Agreement (MPSA) simplifies the purchasing process for Microsoft cloud services, software, and Microsoft Software Assurance. It is specially designed for organizations with 250 or more users, providing a structured purchasing account system. With the MPSA, you have the flexibility to create purchasing accounts for individual departments, affiliates, specific personnel groups, or your entire organization. Each account is registered once and classified as commercial, academic, or government sector. The Agreement Administrator oversees the MPSA and has the ability to view assets across all accounts.

MPSA features include the following:

  • single indefinite agreement with integrated purchasing for online services, software, and Software Assurance.
  • Purchasing Accounts allow departments or business units to independently purchase and manage online services and software.
  • Purchasing Accounts automatically consolidate online services and software purchases, granting you the best volume discount.

 

For whom is the MPSA recommended?

The MPSA is suitable for organizations who:

  • require software licenses, with or without Software Assurance
  • want to renew Software Assurance through a transactional agreement
  • have multiple Open agreements and more than 250 users

 

Eligibility and Pricing

The Microsoft Products and Services Agreement (MPSA) is available to commercial, government, and academic organizations in various countries. This allows a wide range of organizations to take advantage of the streamlined licensing process offered by the MPSA. Eligible organizations can either sign a new MPSA or add a Purchasing Account to an existing MPSA.

Multiple Partners, Flexible Pricing

In the MPSA, multiple partners can be involved in a single Purchasing Account, providing organizations with the flexibility to work with their preferred partners. This allows for a collaborative approach in managing and acquiring Microsoft products and services.

Point Minimums and Price Levels

To maintain purchasing eligibility at a certain level, your organization must meet minimum point requirements for each active product pool. The point minimums are determined based on the number of users and the type of account, whether commercial, government, or academic.

By achieving higher purchase volumes, you can unlock lower price levels for the product pools, maximizing the value of your investment. This provides an opportunity to optimize your spending while still accessing the Microsoft products and services you need.

Additionally, the Microsoft Products and Services Agreement (MPSA) offers short-term subscriptions for cloud services, allowing you to address specific needs without committing to long-term contracts. This flexibility gives you the freedom to scale your cloud usage based on your organization’s requirements.

Points in Detail

  • Both onpremises and Online Services products are allocated to one of three product pools: Applications, Systems, Servers.
  • All products are allocated a points value with most Online Services subscription licenses having a value of one point
  • For government and academic customers there is a single Price Level each, denoted by Level D for government and Level A for academic customers, with minimums of 500 points or 250 Online Services User SLs per pool
  • For commercial customers, the MPSA Price Levels have an annual minimum per pool of either 500 points or 250 Online Services User SLs. The Price Level can change within a year and at the annual price level review.

Below, you find the different price levels for commercial customers:

Price Level Annual point minimums per pool
A 500*
B 4000
C 10000
D 25000

*250 Online Services User SLs in one pool is an alternative minimum for Level A

For a better understanding, consult a certified Microsoft Partner.

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Software Assurance and Benefits

Software Assurance (SA) is an essential component of the Microsoft Products and Services Agreement (MPSA) that offers organizations valuable benefits and comprehensive license coverage. By including Software Assurance in your MPSA purchases, you can optimize the management of your Microsoft assets and enhance your overall software experience.

It is easier to understand, manage and use through the MPSA:

  • Easier to understand: The portals give a clear view of how SA benefits align to licenses and services purchased
  • Easier to manage: The intuitive user interface means that self-service benefits management is simplified
  • Easier to use: There is now no need to activate benefits

Protect and Enhance Your Investments

With Software Assurance through the MPSA, your organization can safeguard your software investments and stay up-to-date with the latest Microsoft technologies. Software Assurance provides benefits such as access to new software releases and product updates, enabling you to stay current and take advantage of enhanced features and functionalities.

“Software Assurance gives you access to the latest technology and helps you maximize your investment in Microsoft software.”

Flexible Benefit Utilization

Software Assurance benefits can be tailored to meet your organization’s specific needs and requirements. With the MPSA, you have the flexibility to choose which benefits to activate and utilize, allowing you to maximize the value of your Software Assurance coverage.

Extended Support and Training Resources

Software Assurance includes access to Microsoft’s technical support resources, helping you address any software-related issues or challenges effectively. Additionally, you gain access to a wealth of training materials and resources that can enhance your organization’s skills and proficiency in using Microsoft software.

Seamless Integration

Software Assurance purchased through the MPSA seamlessly integrates with your existing Software Assurance coverage and benefits from other Microsoft Volume Licensing programs. This ensures that your organization can maintain continuity in your licensing and benefit management processes, irrespective of the agreement type or program you previously used.

By leveraging Software Assurance within the MPSA, your organization can optimize its Microsoft software investments, enhance productivity, and stay up-to-date with the latest technology advancements.

 

Purchasing Licenses and Online Services

When purchasing licenses and Online Services in the MPSA, there are differences in payment dates:

  • Software licenses are paid for in full at the time of purchase. Licenses with Software Assurance are eligible for spread payments, if desired.
  • Online Services licenses are pro-rated to the Purchasing Account Anniversary (from the next complete month) and paid upfront in full.
  • Online Services licenses are renewed at the Purchasing Account Anniversary by paying 12 months’ subscription
  • Online Services, software and SA licenses may be combined on the same order.

 

Managing Licenses: Systems and Tools

Customers use a portal called the Microsoft Business Center (MBC) and can view all orders placed under the MPSA, download software, access activation keys, self-provision Online Services and manage Software Assurance (SA) benefits.

Partners use a portal called the Microsoft Volume Licensing Partner Center (MVLPC) and can set up a new MPSA, create Purchasing Accounts, submit orders, create quotes and run reports.

Both portals share common MPSA data.

 

Comparison with Other Microsoft Agreement Types

The Microsoft Products and Services Agreement (MPSA) is one of the agreement types offered by Microsoft for licensing their products and services. It is important to note that there are other agreement types available, each with its own specific benefits and suitability for different types of organizations. Let’s take a look at some of these agreement types:

Enterprise Agreement (EA)

The Enterprise Agreement is designed for larger organizations that require comprehensive licensing across their entire enterprise. It offers flexible purchasing options and volume discounts for on-premises software, cloud services, and Software Assurance.

Enterprise Subscription Agreement (EAS)

The Enterprise Subscription Agreement (EAS) provides even lower annual costs and the flexibility to increase or decrease subscription counts on an annual basis not only for Online Services, but also for on-premises products. This ability to grow or downsize supports changes in workforce size and IT requirements. With an EAS you gain access to Microsoft online services and software for as long as you maintain your subscriptions.

Cloud Solution Provider (CSP)

The Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program aims at customers of all sizes who want to buy Microsoft online services on a highly flexible transactional basis. There is no minimum requirement for online services subscriptions, and consumption-based billing for Azure services without commitment. CSP is the perfect program for short term projects, small and medium sized companies or customers who want to flexibly shift to Microsoft online services.

In addition to online services you can also buy on-premises software as perpetual licenses or subscriptions through the CSP program.

Microsoft Customer Agreement

The Microsoft Customer Agreement is a simplified agreement that defines the usage rights for online services and Azure services acquired through Cloud Solution Provider (CSP).

Microsoft Open Value (OV) & Open Value Subscription (OVS)

Microsoft Open Value (OV) is the recommended program if you have a small to midsize organization with five or more devices and want to simplify license management, manage software costs, and get better control over your investment. It also includes Software Assurance, providing access to valuable benefits such as software upgrades and product support. If you standardize company-wide, you get even better pricing.

Microsoft Open Value Subscription (OVS) provides lower up-front cost with the flexibility to reduce in years when the user count declines. The subscription option gives your organization the rights to run the software only during the term of the agreement.

 

Choice of Solutions

With the Microsoft Products and Services Agreement (MPSA), organizations have the flexibility to choose from a range of solutions that meet their specific needs. Whether you prefer on-premises solutions, online services, or a hybrid approach that combines both, the MPSA has you covered.

Benefits of On-Premises Solutions

On-premises solutions offer organizations direct control over their software and data. With on-premises solutions, you can host applications and data on your own infrastructure, providing increased security and compliance. Organizations that deal with sensitive data or have strict regulatory requirements often prefer the control and customization that on-premises solutions offer.

Benefits of Online Services

Online services provide organizations with the convenience of accessing software and data from anywhere, at any time. With online services, you can benefit from automatic updates, scalability, and simplified maintenance. Online services are particularly beneficial for organizations that require collaborative tools, remote access, or a mobile workforce.

The Hybrid Solution

The hybrid solution combines the best of both worlds by leveraging both on-premises solutions and online services. This approach allows organizations to capitalize on the control and security of on-premises solutions while taking advantage of the flexibility and scalability of online services. The hybrid solution is ideal for organizations that need to strike a balance between control and agility.

On-Premises Solutions Online Services Hybrid Solution
Control
Scalability
Security
Maintenance
Flexibility

 

Account Administration

Within the Microsoft Products and Services Agreement (MPSA), an Agreement Administrator is designated as the primary account manager responsible for overseeing the agreement. As the Agreement Administrator, you have the authority and control to efficiently manage all aspects of your purchasing accounts and the MPSA agreement as a whole.

In this role, the Agreement Administrator is granted full access to view assets across all accounts associated with the MPSA. This comprehensive visibility allows you to effectively monitor and track your organization’s software licenses, cloud services, and other Microsoft assets.

Furthermore, the Agreement Administrator has the ability to terminate account associations if necessary. This feature ensures that you have the flexibility to make changes and adjustments to your purchasing accounts as your organization’s needs evolve over time.

Additionally, as the Agreement Administrator, you hold the authority to terminate the MPSA agreement itself if circumstances warrant such action. This control enables you to make decisions that align with your organization’s strategic objectives and business requirements.

 

How to Get Started with MPSA

Getting started with the Microsoft Products and Services Agreement (MPSA) is a straightforward process:

  1. Reach Out to Your Microsoft Partner:
    • Begin the process by contacting your trusted Microsoft Partner. They are your go-to resource for setting up and utilizing the MPSA.
    • Your Microsoft Partner can provide detailed information about the agreement, address any queries you may have, and guide you through the implementation steps.
  2. Discuss Your Organization’s Needs:
    • When you connect with your Microsoft Partner, be ready to discuss your organization’s specific requirements, goals, and needs.
    • This conversation will help your partner tailor their support and recommendations to match your unique situation, whether you’re a commercial, government, or academic entity.
  3. Leverage Official Microsoft Resources:
    • In addition to your Microsoft Partner’s assistance, explore the wealth of resources available on the official Microsoft website.
    • The website offers comprehensive documentation, training materials, and frequently asked questions (FAQs) related to the MPSA.
    • Use these resources to gain a deeper understanding of the MPSA and its benefits.
  4. Take Action:
    • Follow your Microsoft Partner’s guidance and utilize the official resources to confidently embark on your MPSA journey.
    • Remember that the streamlined licensing agreement provides numerous advantages for optimizing your organization’s software and cloud service procurement.
    • Sign the agreement.

Remember: Contact your Microsoft Partner to get started with the MPSA. They will guide you through the process and provide the necessary assistance for a successful implementation.

 

SCHNEIDER IT MANAGEMENT Software Licensing Experts for Microsoft, Adobe, Oracle & coBenefits of choosing SCHNEIDER IT MANAGEMENT as your MPSA partner

We at SCHNEIDER IT MANAGEMENT are a certified Microsoft Partner experienced in handling MPSAs. We have been providing Microsoft cloud solutions and services to customers for more than 11 years. As Microsoft Gold Partner, we have a team of certified and experienced cloud experts who can help you with licensing, deployment, and support of Microsoft products and services. We can provide you with all Microsoft licensing program types and offer you free expert licensing consultancy. This way, you will find out, which licensing program is right for you and we will optimize your organization’s Microsoft licensing for you.

By choosing us as your Microsoft Partner for your MPSA, you will benefit from:

  • Competitive pricing and flexible payment options: We offer attractive discounts and incentives for Microsoft cloud products and services. You can also choose to pay monthly or annually, depending on your budget and cash flow.
  • Personalized and proactive customer service: We have an experienced team of Microsoft experts that will provide you with regular licensing updates, reports, and recommendations to ensure your cloud environment is running smoothly and efficiently. We ensure, that you stay compliant and have the best conditions on your Microsoft licensing in MPSA.
  • Free expert consultancy: Just give us a go by booking free expert licensing consultancy for your organization and see, what SCHNEIDER IT MANAGEMENT can do for you.
  • Microsoft Partner for a Decade: We have a great relationship with Microsoft and have experience with all Microsoft licensing programs. We are the first Licensing Solution Provider (LSP) in Luxembourg and have experience with the most complex, multi-country contracts from organizations of all industries.
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Conclusion

The Microsoft Products and Services Agreement (MPSA) is a comprehensive licensing solution that simplifies the procurement and management of Microsoft on-premises software and online services for organizations with 250 or more users. By optimizing the purchasing process and integrating license and asset management, the MPSA offers significant benefits to businesses, government agencies, and academic institutions.

With flexible purchasing options, organizations can tailor their software and service selections based on their specific needs and budgets. The MPSA allows for the acquisition of on-premises solutions, online services, or a hybrid approach that combines both.

Furthermore, the integrated asset management capabilities of the MPSA enable organizations to effectively track and manage their Microsoft software licenses and cloud services. With streamlined access to the Microsoft Business Center and the Volume Licensing Service Center, organizations can easily view, provision, and manage their assets, ensuring optimal utilization and compliance.

By partnering with a certified Microsoft Partner, organizations can fully leverage the benefits of the MPSA. These partners provide expert guidance and support throughout the licensing process, helping organizations navigate the complexities of licensing models, pricing levels, and purchasing account management. With the MPSA and the assistance of a trusted Microsoft Partner, organizations can unlock the full potential of Microsoft products and services, driving innovation and growth.

 

FAQ

What is the Microsoft Products and Services Agreement (MPSA)?

The MPSA is a transactional licensing agreement that allows organizations to license Microsoft on-premises software, cloud services, or both. It provides a streamlined licensing process and eliminates the need for an organization-wide commitment under a single agreement.

What is the purchasing account structure in the MPSA?

The MPSA offers a purchasing account structure where organizations can register and assign a sector type (commercial, academic, or government) to their accounts. Each account can be a department, an affiliate, a subset of personnel, or the entire organization. The Agreement Administrator manages the MPSA and can view assets across all accounts.

Who is eligible for the MPSA and how is pricing determined?

The MPSA is available for commercial, government, and academic organizations with 250 or more users/devices. Pricing is based on the volume of purchases made through the MPSA, with different price levels for each product pool. Minimum purchase requirements may apply to maintain certain price levels.

What is Software Assurance in the MPSA?

Software Assurance is optional and can be included in MPSA purchases for additional benefits. It provides coverage and benefits separate from the purchase of licenses and online services. Existing Software Assurance coverage and benefits from other Volume Licensing programs are not affected by the MPSA.

How are point minimums and price levels determined?

To maintain purchasing eligibility at a certain level, organizations must meet minimum point requirements for each active product pool. The point minimums are based on the number of users and the type of account. Achieving higher purchase volumes can lead to lower price levels for product pools.

How can organizations manage their licenses and cloud services purchased through the MPSA?

Organizations can use the Microsoft Business Center, a tool provided by Microsoft, to view and manage their software licenses and cloud services. The Volume Licensing Service Center can be used to view licenses from other Microsoft Volume Licensing agreements. Cloud services can be provisioned directly from the Business Center.

How can organizations set up an account and manage their licenses through the Business Center?

Organizations can register and set up an account in the Microsoft Business Center. Instructions for registration and account setup can be found on the Business Center training and resources page. Cloud services can be managed and assigned through the “Online Services” tile in the Business Center. Volume Licensing Keys (VLKs) can be accessed from the Downloads and Keys page on the Business Center.

Can organizations use their existing accounts for purchasing through the MPSA?

Yes, organizations can use their existing accounts or set up new accounts for purchasing through the MPSA. The MPSA allows for association with multiple account types, such as commercial, academic, or government. Users access Microsoft tools and services through their organizational accounts, which are linked to the organization rather than the individual.

How does the MPSA compare to other Microsoft agreement types?

The MPSA is one of the agreement types offered by Microsoft for licensing their products and services. Other agreement types include the Enterprise Agreement, Microsoft Customer AgreementOpen ProgramsISV Royalty Licensing Program, and SPLA. Each agreement type has its specific benefits and is suited for different types of organizations.

How does the MPSA fit into Microsoft’s goal of transforming Volume Licensing?

The MPSA is part of Microsoft’s next generation of Volume Licensing, aimed at transforming the licensing process and improving the customer experience. It offers greater value, flexible purchasing, and simplified asset management through an improved agreement structure, new purchasing platform, and modernized systems and tools.

What are the benefits of the integrated licensing and asset management in the MPSA?

The MPSA provides a single agreement for integrated purchasing of on-premises software and online services. It allows organizations to acquire and manage their license and software asset portfolio, simplifying the contract process and maximizing the value of purchases. Multiple partners can be involved in the purchasing process to apply volume discounts.

What solutions are available through the MPSA?

With the MPSA, organizations can choose between on-premises solutions, online services, or a hybrid solution that combines both. Options include Microsoft Office and Office 365 for productivity solutions, and Microsoft System Center and Windows Intune for device and application management. The MPSA offers flexibility to customize solutions based on specific organizational needs.

What systems and tools are available to manage Microsoft assets?

Microsoft has invested in new systems and tools to simplify the management of Microsoft assets. The Microsoft Volume Licensing Center provides an intuitive interface to view and manage products and services assets. Enhanced self-service online tools allow organizations to have better management capabilities and a clear view of their portfolio. Self-provisioning of online services is also available.

Who is the Agreement Administrator in the MPSA?

Each MPSA has an Agreement Administrator designated as the main account for managing and overseeing the agreement. The Agreement Administrator has full access to view assets across all accounts, terminate account associations, and even terminate the MPSA itself. This role provides organizations with control over the management of their purchasing accounts and the overall MPSA agreement.

How can organizations get started with the MPSA?

Organizations can contact their Microsoft Partner for assistance in getting started with the MPSA. Microsoft Partners can provide more information and guide organizations through the process of setting up and utilizing the MPSA. Additional resources and support can be obtained through the Microsoft website.

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