What Microsoft’s new EES licensing model means for Primary Schools

Today is the first day of Microsoft’s EES licensing and this has massive implications if your school uses Microsoft Products.

I am not going to cover the student licensing model because I’m relatively confident this model wont fit for most Primary Schools.
The new licensing model we will look at covers Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office licensing.  We are also ignoring Exchange and Sharepoint CALs(CAL Suite).

What does this all mean in real terms?

  1. You pay Microsoft per year for licensing
  2. Teachers can use Microsoft Office at home
  3. An average 2 form entry will be paying for 30 members of staff
  4. Updates to latest versions of products without any extra cost (Software Assurance).

When might EES not be appropriate?

  1. EES may also not be cost effective if you purchase OEM licenses or don’t use Microsoft Office.
  2. EES may not be useful if your school does not have a high quantity of devices (netbooks/laptops) running Microsoft Office.
  3. If your school intends to NOT purchase new hardware or new Microsoft products.
  4. If you don’t want to get into an annual rolling contract with Microsoft due to funding uncertainties or due to a requirement of a grant etc.

Time for some maths…

All of these figures are based on a 2 form entry school buying new Microsoft Office licenses every 5 years.
Standard licensing model:
Cost per office license per machine, £32
Average # of devices with office installed, 80
*Windows License — Excluded because is OEM (Roughly £50 per device)
Average cost every 5 years — £2560
Ergo cost per year on Non EES per device license model — £512

Average cost per EES Office license per member of staff — £20
Average # of staff members per 2 form entry: 30
Ergo cost per year for office on EES: £600
Ergo cost per year for Windows on EES: £600
Note that I haven’t covered any Server CALS.

To summarize

EES breaks even at roughly 100 devices in a 2 form entry school but the advantage is that staff can use Microsoft Office at home so don’t need their own copy.
It is unlikely EES will be cheaper than OEM as buying a device without windows lately is difficult however XP Pro upgrades are roughly £50 per device so if you buy 15 devices per year then EES Windows Licenses work out better value. A smart hardware manufacturer should see this opportunity and provide OS free hardware so that schools can leverage this new licensing model.

Hopefully someone from Microsoft can respond with some information about CAL licensing and any mistakes in this post. Word on the street is CAL pricing will be staying relatively similar for Server CALS, this pricing isn’t due to be released till May.

I quickly bashed up an EEE license cost calculator so you can see if it’s cost effective for your school to move or not

If you want to know more about EES please get in touch with Primary Technology who will be happy to help.

Hardware and Software inventory in your primary school

Performing a hardware and software in your school can be a long, boring & time consuming task. Well not any more! Primary Technology have released publicly our web2 application which is incredibly easy to install and gives you real time information on what software is installed.

Included in the tool is a Becta recommend minimum requirements comparison tool which allows you to see which machines you may need to replace in the next 12/24 months.
Screen shots:
Hardware inventory
Software inventory

To access the Inventory tool visit the Primary Technology Control Panel

Microsoft SESP Licensing – The reality

I read through all the Becta and Microsoft schpeil on their new licensing model (SESP) and how it is the best thing since sliced bread for education so I wanted to put it through its paces.

The first Edular I worked with refused point blank to quote me on SESP as it wasn’t in their system etc. They knew nothing about SESP – even its existence was a shock to them.

I went back to my MS licensing contact at Microsoft via Twitter and asked him if he had a recommendation on another Edular to try.. I also recommended he managed communication and training better with future education licensing models, he agreed.

The second Edular admitted they knew nothing but said they would investigate. A few days later after hearing nothing I rang them back to ask for an update, they sent me through a Select quote but not a SESP one so I emailed and rang back requesting SESP, 4 days later, still no quote….. On the 5th day I vented my frustration online and a third Edular (I didn’t know so many existed…) got in touch via twitter saying they can help and dropped me through ane email asking what I was looking for so I sent them an email with my requirements.

On the 7th day I was told by the Edular they were having some problems getting the actual pricing from Microsoft.

12 days later I still didn’t have a quote so I wrote a few tweets online which were picked up by some Microsoft people who then scurried away to ask the licensing team why Edulars couldn’t provide a quote.

14 days later I eventually have a price, thanks to Richard from Bechtle for all their hard work in helping me obtain these prices.

One of the things that’s different between Select and SESP if that you need to know the total amount of devices, amount of pupils and teachers inside of the school – as far as I’m aware with select licensing you just need machine count.

Lets compare the old vs the new pricing model

I have requested 2 pricing structures: Select & SESP.

For this experiment I’m supplying the Edular with machine and pupil counts for an average size 2 form entry Primary School in Bradford (480 pupils – 28 staff members) and requested the following licensing:

  • 2x server 2k8 standard licenses
  • 30x office 2k7 standard
  • 90x XP desktop cals

Basically in this model it works out at 5 pupils to 1 device. At this point in the article I think we should consider the value of this licensing prior to reading on to find out the actual costs..

Please take a few moments to think to yourself what you would pay for these licenses…

If you are like me you will want to pay about £30 per office license, £100 per server and £1 per CAL so a total of £1190. You will also take into consideration that in 3/5 years time your school may need to spend this level of money again to relicense newer versions.

With the SESP licensing you must annually renew each license.

The pricing I recieved was (rounded up/down):

£50 per standard server license

£13 per Office Enterprice license

£1.15 per CAL

So my total costs were:

£100 on servers per year

£390 on office per year

£103.5 on desktop cals

Total annual cost of a school licensing model (excluding any oem licenses) is £593.50.

These licenses include software assurance which is basically spin for receive the latest version free.

To summarize

Over a 5 year period schools under a SESP agreement will be paying £3,000 on licensing where as before they were paying between £1200-£1600.

Hopefully someone has made an error on pricing and I can update this article…

UPDATE: 06/12/2010  this article was never updated because MS sat on it and didn’t do jack ish.  They now have a new licensing model out.

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