Volume Licensing: Your Key To Business Optimisation
Software licences come in various types, each with its own rules, costs, and support options designed to meet the needs of different users and clients.
This article goes over the fundamentals of the most common licensing type for business: volume licensing. You’ve probably come across the term while surfing the web. So, what’s behind it?
What is volume licensing?
It is a software selling method that allows a single computer program licence key to be used on multiple devices or by many users within an organisation. Clients of this licensing type are businesses, educational institutions, non-profits and government agencies.
While volume licensing has traditionally been intended for large corporations due to high upfront costs and a more complicated purchase process, smaller businesses in certain regions(1) can benefit from the functionality and ease of deployment that volume licensing offers at a lower acquisition cost through certified pre-owned licences.
There are various ways of deploying and managing volume licences. The most common approach is through the manufacturer's backend platform, using individual accounts for each member. Other methods primarily used by Microsoft are MAK (Multi-Activation Key) and KMS (Key Management Services).
Buying licences in bulk simplifies management and reduces the per-unit cost for clients. However, the value of volume offers goes beyond a quantity discount. They often include special features to meet specific infrastructure requirements or special conditions for particular use cases.
Volume licensing frequently goes with extra options for technical support and upgrades. It also delivers simpler and faster deployment. One way to do so is to configure a setup that will automatically download, install, and activate the software on each computer, thus saving a lot of hassle for the IT department. Another way is to import an entire department's emails and automatically send setup emails to large groups of employees.
In a nutshell, with volume licensing, you improve your organisation's processes while spending less on IT.
However, not all vendors provide bulk licensing opportunities. The following volume offers are available at LicenceDeals:
See the full list of products here.
Check out the complete list on this page.
Here, you can access the complete list.
What are each brand’s volume program specifics, and how can they help your business? Let’s outline the main points.
Microsoft Volume Licensing
It is the most adaptable and cost-effective method for businesses to obtain Microsoft software. Usually, the minimum number of licences required for a volume agreement is five. Customers can later add more in lesser quantities.
The choice of a particular Microsoft volume licensing program depends on the type of organisation (commercial, educational, or governmental), the size and industry of the company, the number of devices/users, and the location.
Small businesses (up to 250 devices or users) have several affordable program options to get the latest Microsoft technology and cloud services:
- Open Value Agreement offers two options - perpetual and subscription-based licences - and includes three-year Software Assurance (SA) as a bonus. Payment is either one-time or annual. The Open Value subscription is optimal for companies with a floating number of employees, as the payment depends on the number of users/devices.
- Open Licence Program (OLP) offers perpetual volume licences, but it has been unavailable for commercial customers since January 2022. Instead, clients should use the Cloud Solution Partner program. The already purchased OLP licences remain valid. Commercial customers can still get OLP licences if purchasing certified pre-owned software (learn about CPO here). The main characteristics of the Open Program include no contract obligations, easy management, one key for all product licenses and downgrade rights.
- Cloud Solution Partner Program offers perpetual volume licences from qualified partners. The partners provide consultations and flexible options to meet specific customer needs. If you’d like to participate in the program, check out the partners’ list in your country or contact the team of LicenceDeals directly.
- Select Plus for the public sector provides an agreement for perpetual licences with an optional SA.
- The transactional Microsoft Products and Services Agreement (MPSA) is an optimal solution for organisations needing software (on-premise, cloud or both) without much hassle. SA is optional.
- The three-year term Enterprise Agreement (EA) is for those that want to combine cloud-based and on-premises software. Its advantages are comprehensive SA, access to a wide range of services and products, higher discounts, fixed pricing during the term, etc. There is also a subscription version. One of the most significant benefits of the EA Subscription is the ability to change the number of licences annually.
MobiSystems Business Licence
The Business licence is Mobisystems’ answer to all volume licensing customers. It provides scalability by allowing an adjustable number of seats/users (between 1-200), making it ideal for small to medium organisations. The number of seats can change at any time. The licence allows installing the software on five desktops, five phones and five tablets per user.
Purchasing and managing Mobisystems' business licence is simple, thanks to a dedicated dashboard menu. Clients also receive priority support services.
Note: Orders of more than 200 seats are possible based on custom offers.
Adobe Volume Licensing
AVL is yet another program by a well-known brand to simplify licence management and provide discounts. It has several options.
The subscription and term programs are two:
- Value Incentive Plan (VIP) is a flexible subscription licensing for organisations with changing needs. The program provides centralised deployment and simple management, but most importantly, flexibility about the term and the active number of licences. The discounts increase with new purchases. Eligible members (10 items or more) get more substantial savings and loyalty rewards with VIP Select.
- Enterprise Term Licence Agreement (ETLA) is a three-year term licensing recommended for stable or growing enterprises. It allows larger customised deployments and the latest updates. The payments are annual, predictable and set on the same date throughout the term.
The Perpetual programs are the following:
- Cumulative Licensing Program (CLP), as the name suggests, offers accumulative cost savings and budget predictability. CLP is a two-year agreement. The initial order determines the discount level, but customers can improve it by making new purchases and upgrades.
- Transactional Licensing Program (TLP) has no requirements for a membership or contract. It is the fastest and most cost-effective way for a one-time purchase. It’s ideal for companies that want to avoid unnecessary bureaucracy.
Customers' Key Benefits of Volume Licensing
Volume licences offer much greater flexibility than Retail or OEM types. The primary user advantages are:
- One product key. It handles the software installation and activation on hundreds of devices. It is time-saving and makes deployments easy.
- Efficient central licence management via dedicated service centres
- Simpler software asset management
- Better budgeting and no last-minute surprise expenses
- Cost-effectiveness and additional discounts (significant savings in some cases)
- Customisable agreements allowing scalability
- Downgrade rights to use a previous software version if necessary (for instance, for compatibility reasons)
- Transferable rights to use the same licence on another device at no additional cost (only in some cases)
- Re-imaging rights that allow reimaging a device with a different software version or edition than the original one (only in some circumstances)
- Other advantages depending on the terms of the agreement, may include free upgrades, technical support, home use rights, etc.
Volume licensing is what professionals do
When you are in charge of a larger organisation, your top IT priority should be to find the most cost-effective, customisable and scalable solution for your particular use case. And that’s when volume licences save the day. This licensing is for any business or public sector customer seeking to maximise the value of their IT investments.
But before choosing which volume program best suits your organisation’s needs, take into account the following factors:
- How will you use the software? For how long?
- How many licences do you want to acquire?
- Do you have to licence all of the company’s devices?
- Do you prefer a perpetual or a subscription agreement?
- Do you wish to pay upfront or on an annual basis?
- Do you need software installed locally (on-premise), online (Cloud) or hybrid?
- Do you need additional services included?
If you’ve already decided, look at LicenceDeals’ volume licences section. If it is not your cup of tea, we have another solution for better savings. Check out our CPO Software Volume Licensing page and contact us so we can help you make the best choice for your business.
(1) EEC, EEA, EU