Microsoft Licensing Uncovered

Microsoft Licensing has long been a black art understood only by the initiated. As OmniCom is a Microsoft Authorised Educational Reseller, we have to undertake an annual exam demonstrating our proficiency in this ninja art.


The major innovation over recent years has been Microsoft’s introduction of EES (Enrolment for Education Solutions) agreements. These have massively reduced (if not removed) the complexity of Microsoft Licensing in Education but also (surprisingly) reduced their cost.

To date, we probably have around 50% of our customers with an EES agreement, although we’d always quote one where applicable.


An EES agreement is essentially a fixed term agreement (typically 3 years) which you pay annually. The cost of the agreement is based on the number of full-time equivalent staff (FTE) in the school and you must have a minimum of 5 x FTE to ees agreement

Once an EES agreement is in place it allows you to upgrade desktop PCs to current operating systems or old versions of office to current versions completely free of charge. It’s probably worth explaining by way of an example: –

A school is looking to buy 30 new Laptops running Windows 7 and Microsoft Office 2013 and upgrade 20 other laptops with Windows 7 and Microsoft Office 2013.

Without an EES agreement, the school would spend maybe £300 on each new laptop x 30 = £9,000

They would need 20 Windows 7 upgrade licences for their old laptops = £1,200

Finally, they would need 50 copies of Microsoft-Office 2013 = £2,750

In total the whole exercise would cost about £12,950


If they had an EES agreement they could buy cheaper Laptops running Windows 7 Home and OmniCom would upgrade them (Windows 7 Pro) free of charge,

£260 per laptop x 30 = £7,800

The 20 Windows 7 upgrades could be done free of charge = £0

The 50 copies of MS-Office would also be free of charge = £0

In total with an EES agreement the cost would be about £7,800


Okay, so a saving of £5,150 is fantastic but what’s the catch?

An EES agreement isn’t suitable for every school as it really depends on how many FTE staff you have.

Each FTE costs £37.23 per annum for a fixed 3-year term. If you have 8 x FTE the cost would be £297.84 per annum so in the above example you’d still be saving.

If however, you had 20 x FTE the cost would be £744.60 per annum, so over 2 years the cost would be £2,233.80 and the savings would be proportionally diluted.


EES agreements aren’t usually to be considered unless you’re looking at a purchase of Laptops or PCs as that’s where you’ll get your savings immediately.

An EES agreement should be considered as leasing a large school-wide software licence from Microsoft as you’ll need to buy licences again if you don’t continue after 3 years.

Equally, it’s a constant upgrade path as you have the right to the latest and greatest version of Windows and Office throughout the duration of the EES agreement.


Hopefully, this has demystified Microsoft Licensing to some extent, but if you have any queries please do feel free to call Paul on (0191) 375 1973.