Anyone who is in the market for a solution on the cloud has likely heard about Microsoft’s Enterprise Agreement (EA). Network World notes that EA’s are “designed for companies with 250 seats or above, who want to standardize their Microsoft products, have the rights for the most current version of the software, and only want to account for additional seats once a year.” The EA agreement is for three years and includes Software Assurance on all products for that length of time.
Benefits of an EA
There are a few benefits associated with an EA, some of which are quite attractive. Microsoft sets the pricing without markup from a reseller. This often means gaining access to a higher level of discounts and Software Assurance over alternative volume licensing programs. Another benefit is that the three-year contract is paid yearly over the three years, so businesses don’t have to foot the entire cost up front. However, not everything is perfect with an EA, either.
Disadvantages of an EA
When using an EA, the organization or business is obligated to one “True-up” in a year. This is the time when the company can remove or add users, services, and products without placing individual purchase orders and accounting for those changes during “True-up.” This can be convenient in many ways, but it can also lead IT managers to estimate the number of users to be added in a year when they sign the agreement. This can result in higher costs if the estimate isn’t accurate.
The thing is that “True-up” charges are a lump sum, which means the cost of the product for the entirety of the rest of your three-year contract must be paid immediately. For instance, if a company adds a certain service after a year of the contract, they will then have to pay the entire two-year cost remaining at “True-up” time, which can be costly and prohibitive for some customers.
Private Cloud Solutions Providers
With a private cloud solutions provider, like QuoteColo, you receive assistance with optimization and management of cloud services, even EAs. However, an EA isn’t the only choice, and it may not even be the right choice for some businesses. There are many other options out there that may better fit the needs of your particular business.
Some private cloud solutions providers have specific options for those in specific industries, like medicine, finance, and government. These options may be better for those who want someone in their corner to answer their questions and set up a solution that is perfect for their needs. In fact, some of these providers provide very specialized services that might be more difficult to tune in to on an EA without prior knowledge.
Another perk that may be relevant is that services from these providers can often be much less expensive than the three-year contract with a Microsoft EA agreement. They also are usually flexible and scalable. Some companies will allow you the choice of fully managing your cloud applications or co-managing it with your help. In many cases, there are programs and platforms available that make managing resources and files quick and easy.
Many private cloud providers also offer different sized environments, so you aren’t paying for a bunch of space you don’t even need. They’re also often launched with programs that are familiar, such as Cisco, VMWare, and Intel, which makes it an easy change for the IT crew working with the new cloud.
There are advantages and disadvantages to both options. Some businesses will find that an EA is perfect, while others will determine that a private host is the better solution. The critical thing to do is research and gain knowledge before choosing a solution. Make sure it works for you.