An Introduction to the Office 365 Add-ons

Starting on 1st August 2013 customers will be able to add Office 365 Add-ons to their Enterprise Agreement. Hurrah! Er, actually, why might they want to do this? Well, it’s a brand new model to help customers move to the cloud – let’s take a look…

Previously, customers HAVE been able to move to the cloud in their EA by transitioning their on-premise licences to Office 365 User Subscription Licences (USLs). The simplest example was a Core CAL customer who wanted to transition to Plan E1 who, in effect, traded in his Core CAL licences for E1 USLs and Bridge CALs to cover those components not included in E1 (the Windows CAL and Endpoint Protection). This worked well for customers who were committed to the cloud and didn’t need to retain perpetual rights to on-premise licences, and indeed transitioning will remain a licensing option for customers.

However, for the customer who wants to evaluate the cloud or who does want to move to hosted services, but feels uncomfortable about losing their perpetual rights to existing licences, the new Add-ons are a good solution.

Let’s take an example of a customer who has an EA with 500 Core CAL and Office Professional Plus licences who wants to move 50 users to the cloud and thinks that Office 365 Plan E3 will best meet his needs. He simply purchases 50 E3 Add-on USLs. The structure of the existing EA remains exactly the same with these add-ons which means that he still retains the rights to the underlying licences (downgrade rights, SA benefits etc) and if he decides that E3 isn’t for him, he simply cancels the subscription at anniversary and his licensing position is intact.

I’m sure that you’ve got lots of questions on this! Check our next blog post where we’ll look at the next level of detail on this.