With the retirement date for the Open Licence program coming up 31st December 2021, hear from our licencing experts on what you need to know about moving to Microsoft CSP and how we can help.

Richard Runko Richard Runko Microsoft Sales Specialist at Dicker Data
Richard Runko

Final Curtain for the Microsoft Open Licence Program

Just over a year ago Microsoft announced that they will be discontinuing the Open Licence Program (also known as Open Business) at the end of 2021. This was quite big news at the time as the Open Licence program had been around for over 20 years and was Microsoft's most transacted Volume Licencing program for SMB customers.

This move is Microsoft's first step towards transitioning customers off their traditional legacy Volume Licencing programs (such as Open Licence, Open Value, Select+, MPSA and Enterprise Agreements) and into the more streamlined purchasing model under the Microsoft Customer Agreement and transacted through the Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program on the New Commerce Experience billing platform.

What does this mean for customers?

Instead of customers having to purchase via a range of different Volume Licencing programs with their varying eligibility requirements, commitments and individual agreements that need to be setup, maintained and renewed, the Microsoft Customer Agreement is instead a single digital evergreen agreement that simplifies the customer’s purchasing experience whether the customer acquires the products and services from their partner via the CSP program, through Microsoft online directly or via a Microsoft sales representative (in the case of large enterprises).

In the 12 months since that announcement, we have been helping our reseller partners with their transition from the Open Licence program to CSP. The process has been going really well with great feedback from our partners.  Many of our partners have been transacting Microsoft 365 and other subscriptions via our CSP portal for some time now and when they realised that they can now transact perpetual software licences using the same method it came as welcome news.


What are my options if I haven't transitioned yet? 

If you’re not already transacting CSP perpetual software via our CSP portal I’m sure you’re really going to appreciate the ease and speed in which CSP perpetual transactions can be made, it’s just as easy as provisioning M365 subscriptions. Once you have the customer's tenant associated in our CSP portal you can have a perpetual software licence provisioned and accessible to the customer in their M365 Admin Center in minutes. Contrast this with the Open Licence program ordering process which can take anywhere from 24 to 72 hours to get access to the software in the VLSC (not to mention issues related to VLSC access, permissions, tracking licences etc.).

Now that we are fast approaching the end of the 2021 what options will you have to purchase perpetual software for your SMB customers that you have up until now transacted via the Open Licence Program?

Let’s have a look at the options that will be available from 2022:

  • Your customer would like to purchase new perpetual licences without Software Assurance
    You will need to transact these perpetual licences without Software Assurance via the CSP program.
  • Your customer would like to purchase new perpetual licences with Software Assurance
    The customer can purchase these licences under the Open Value program which is a three year agreement term that includes Software Assurance. The customer can either pay in full upfront or spread the payments annually over the three year term.
  • Your customer had previously purchased licences with Software Assurance under the Open Licence program and the Software Assurance is up for renewal in 2022 or 2023.
    When the Software Assurance comes up for renewal it can be renewed into the Open Value program where the customer can either pay for 3 years in full upfront or spread the payments annually over the three year term.

If you aren’t already registered as an Indirect CSP Reseller you should look at getting this completed as soon as you can so that you can continue to transact software purchases for your customers without interruption once the Open Licence program has ended. The CSP program not only provides you with access to the full range of cloud services such as Microsoft 365, Dynamics 365 and Azure, it now also includes server subscriptions and perpetual software allowing you to provide a full suite of offerings to your customers under the one simplified purchasing model with self-service provisioning via our CSP portal.

Becoming a Microsoft CSP Indirect Reseller is a relatively straight forward process that doesn’t cost you anything to register apart from the small amount of time that it takes you to complete the online registration process. The steps to register as an Indirect CSP Reseller are:

Step 1 - Join the Microsoft Partner Network
The Microsoft Partner Network is your entry point and if you are not already a MPN member you can join here.

Step 2 – Enroll as an Indirect CSP Reseller and accept the Microsoft Partner Agreement
Please see here where you can start the enrollment process.

Step 3 – Establish a relationship with Dicker Data as your Indirect CSP Provider
Click here where you can authorise Dicker Data as your Indirect CSP Provider (note that you will need to have Global Admin permissions in your Microsoft Partner Center account to authorise the relationship).

Here at Dicker Data we have a dedicated team of Licencing, annuity, technical and partner enablement specialists that are here to help you with your transition to the cloud through the CSP program. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us for assistance whether that be for advice on migrating from Open to CSP, registering as an Indirect CSP Reseller and transacting via Dicker Data or for advice on how we can help to grow your cloud business.

The Microsoft CSP program offers an opportunity to transform the way you work with cloud, learn more here. If you have any questions or need assistance please contact us at microsoft.sales@dickerdata.com.au or 02 8556 8061.


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