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Microsoft License Program Glossary
Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) Microsoft makes many licenses for Office 365 and Azure available under the CSP program. CSP licenses may be billed monthly or annually based on your preferences. These are purchased from Liquid Mercury Solutions directly through Microsoft or via an intermediary / distributor. We can sell commercial, government, and educational licenses through CSP. Non-profit and charity customers are encouraged to apply for TechSoup licenses, since these are much less expensive. If you purchase cloud services from another vendor, we can still support you; ask us for details or a quote.
Government Community Cloud (GCC) and AOSG GCC is a special program for US federal government agencies and qualified contractors who must meet certain security requirements under DFARS, NIST, or ITAR. This program is recent and traditionally required a minimum of 500 seats and a Microsoft Enterprise Agreement. In March 2018, Microsoft announced the AOSG which is a special program that allows a limited number of partners to sell cloud services in the GCC. At the start only 3 partners were enrolled, but it is expected Microsoft will broaden its membership in future. Government agencies and contractors who require GCC or GCC High will need to obtain licenses through a qualified AOSG provider; please ask us for a referral to our preferred vendor/partner.
Azure Subscription Billing Unlike other Microsoft services, Azure subscriptions are based on actual consumption. Therefore, they must be billed after-the-fact, and invoices will vary from month-to-month based on factors such as VM configuration, processor, memory, storage, network bandwidth, and use of other services. If your quote includes a line item for Estimated Azure Consumption, this will be based on whatever information you have provided us and represents only a best-guess regarding actual costs.
Volume Licensing (VL) Microsoft Open and Open Value are volume license programs. Software and keys are delivered by download from a web site provided by Microsoft. New customers must allow up to two weeks for volume licensing account configuration. (Purchased products may not be returned after activation keys are made available on the VL website.)
Software Assurance (SA) Software Assurance guarantees your right to upgrade to the next version of you Microsoft product(s). While it is not required in all VL programs, it must be acquired at the time the license(s) are originally purchased.
MS Open Where Open licenses include Software Assurance, it is a 2-year term and the entire SA agreement must be paid upon initial purchase. Please note that cloud services which are sold through MS Open generally do not include support; accordingly, we recommend purchasing cloud subscriptions via CSP channel instead.
MS Open Value By contrast, Open Value is a 3-year agreement with only the first year paid in advance at the time of purchase. Thus, Open Value line items above do not include the cost for years 2 and 3, so tell us if you need these figures included in the quote.