Licensing can get complicated quickly.

We are here to simplify the process and make sure that you have the right software, correctly licensed. 

Founded by developers for developers, we specialise in providing licensing advice that spans even the most complex scenarios. Covering the full range of Microsoft products, we have several specialist
licensing accreditations:  

  • Direct and Indirect Cloud Solution Provider
  • SPLA reseller, hosted global licensing
  • Sole authorised distributor of Microsoft Bing Maps for the EMEA and APAC regions 
  • ISV Royalty distributor, on-premises global licensing 

 

We’ve created an overview of the licensing schemes out there. If you would like a more detailed overview of any of the licensing schemes mentioned on this page, get in touch with our team of Microsoft licensing experts.  

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Please select the relevant licence

Cloud subscriptions – CSP 

Microsoft cloud subscriptions are available to purchase on the Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program, via either the Direct or Indirect channel. The Indirect model is for those selling on to others. The Direct model is for those purchasing for their company’s own use. 

Subscription-based offerings encompass software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications and include Office 365, Windows InTune and Azure. Find out more. 

ISV Royalty 

The ISV Royalty Licensing Program offers Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) a convenient and economical way to integrate Microsoft products into their software business applications. Creating a unified solution which can be replicated and distributed as a fully licensed solution to their customers.

We are an authorised ISV Royalty Licensing Program distributor in and for the UK and Ireland. We can provide the necessary ISV Royalty License and Distribution Agreement documentation and assist you in completing and submitting it. We are then responsible for providing pricing and for managing your account, receiving your reports and payments. 

SPLA  

SPLA is an agreement used by service providers supplying hosted solutions to 3rd-party clients. Service Providers may be at liberty to rent or sell time on their hardware. Normal Microsoft licences do not permit the licence holder to sell or rent the use of their software to 3rd-party clients. The SPLA scheme allows the rental of the software to clients on a monthly charge basis.

Licensing for dev teams 

Visual Studio with Software Subscriptions provides cost-effective software development and test licences for organisations developing for the Microsoft platform. Visual Studio Subscriptions are a subscription service available from the Microsoft store. Or through the volume licensing schemes, which are generally the more advantageous way to obtain the subscription.  A monthly Visual Studio Subscription is also available through CSP but provides access to the Visual Studio IDE only. 

SQL Server licensing 

There are now four main editions; Express, Standard, Enterprise and Developer. The Business Intelligence edition has now been removed, but the Web Edition remains only available under SPLA. 

Note: Business Intelligence users, with Active Software Assurance, will have the opportunity to migrate to the Enterprise edition, under a Server and Client Access Licence model. 

The Express edition is a free download to all users and carries basic functionality to support basic requirements. 

The Standard and Enterprise edition are available to purchase under a Per Core licensing model.  

The Developer edition is a free download to all Visual Studio Team Services members (registration is free) and is licenced per user, for a development and testing setting only. No production use is permitted for this edition. This edition gives the same functionality as the Enterprise edition. 

Volume licensing 

Enterprise & Enterprise Subscription are volume schemes aimed at organisations with at least 500 desktops and are prepared to commit enterprise-wide to certain key products. This includes the Software Assurance benefits as standard. The Enterprise option results in perpetual licences, the Enterprise Subscription option is a non-perpetual, rental scheme. For these schemes, although assisted by us, the client contracts directly with Microsoft. 

Software assurance 

Software Assurance is a volume licensing scheme offering a broad range of benefits in addition to the basic software product licence. On some volume schemes it is an option at the time of the licence purchase (Open Licensing and Select Plus). On other schemes it is a standard inclusive part of the offering (Open Value, Enterprise, School and Campus). As well as giving upgrade entitlement, it combines the latest software with tools and resources to help you deploy, manage and migrate your software. 

Retail products 

Suitable for home users and organisations with less than five desktop PCs. The licence itself – called an End User Licence Agreement (EULA) – is displayed electronically at the time of software installation. The software may be supplied as a Full packed product (FPP). The software discs will be found in the pack along with any documentation, FPP Medialess. The software is not supplied with the pack, but a key is supplied to activate the installation from the Microsoft download site. Or more commonly Electronic Software Download (ESD) an email is sent with a key and link to Microsoft download site. 

Licensing for academic  

There are a range of flexible licensing programmes available for customers from academic institutions. These programmes aim to meet the different requirements of staff and students in qualifying educational institutions: universities, colleges or schools.  

Licensing for public sector 

There are a range of flexible licensing programmes for customers in the public sector including the Microsoft Open Value Licensing Programmes for Government and Enterprise licensing schemes. 

What next?  

These are very brief overviews of Microsoft licensing schemes. Our licensing experts can go through the details with you. Helping you to understand the best licensing scheme for your needs.

Get in touch with our team

We have dedicated Microsoft licensing experts who will be able to select the most cost-effective and complaint licensing scheme for your requirements.
Whether you’re an SME with hundreds of users or a small start-up.  

 +44 (0) 1364 655 100

 info@greymatter.com

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