Microsoft Services Provider License Agreement (SPLA): Comparison with other licensing programs

Comparing Licensing Programs

There are a wide range of options within the Microsoft licensing programs. Insight has the experience and expertise to advise you on the best options for your needs. The Services Provider License Agreement (SPLA) is for you if you have one of the following business models:

  • Web hoster
  • Application services provider
  • Messaging and/or collaboration services provider
  • Platform infrastructure provider
  • Streaming media service provider
  • Web/Internet Services Provider
  • ISV providing hosted applications
  • IT Outsourcers providing software licenses
  • Business Process Outsourcers providing software licenses
  • Consultants providing software services
  • Understanding Microsoft Licensing Programs

There are two distinct types of licenses at Microsoft - internal use licenses and commercial services licenses. Licenses acquired through the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM), Full Packaged Products (FPP), Open, Select, and Enterprise Agreement (EA) programs are for the use by the contracting entity and its affiliates. Service Providers cannot acquire licenses through these programs in order to provide commercial or hosted services to their customers.

The Services Provider License Agreement (SPLA) provides 3rd party commercial use rights to service providers, who will be the holder of these Microsoft licenses, so that end customers receiving services deployed on Microsoft Software Products, are not required to obtain their own Microsoft software licenses. End customers receive the right to interact with functionalities of Microsoft software through the services provider's SPLA licenses.

Customers Providing Own Licenses

Service Providers can provide services to their customers by having their customers provide all the necessary Server and Client Assess Licenses (CALs). End users cannot use their own Client Access Licenses to access services from a server which is licensed by the service provider. These end user customers will retain licenses to their Microsoft software if their relationship with the service provider terminates. When end users choose to outsource services to a service provider, but acquire their own Select or Enterprise Agreement (EA) licenses, the service provider should have their customers submit a Hosting License Verification Form to Microsoft, then retain a copy for their records.