Microsoft Azure Licensing – Enterprise Agreement (EA) vs. Pay-As-You-Go

At Synegrate, we are often faced with a common question from our customers in regards to Azure licensing: What is an EA and what does it mean for my business?

Before diving into what an EA is and the benefits of an EA, let’s first take a summary look at different types of ways to license an Azure subscription:

Free Trial:

For those users that are new to the Azure platform, Microsoft presents an option to sign up for a free $200 credit to get you started. This gives you the freedom to play around on the Azure platform with $200 in credit that can be applied to Azure services. This is a great try-before-you-buy option. You have access to virtually all services available in the Azure marketplace.


Provide your credit card details and you will get billed for services as you use them. You have access to virtually all services available in the Azure marketplace. Some services such as Virtual Machines are billed per time, which means you will be billed for every hour the VM is up and running. Then you have services such as Logic Apps that are billed per instance or action. Other services are billed monthly, such as Application Insights.

CSP (Cloud Solution Provider):

Buy Azure services (Azure subscriptions, Dynamics, Office 365, etc.), from a Microsoft Partner organization such as Ingram Micro.  You will be billed by the partner organization. First line Azure support will be provided by the partner organization.

Azure in Open licensing:

Buy Azure credits using a 12 month upfront commitment from a Microsoft Partner reseller. The credits are redeemable in $100 increments. This option is a great way for companies that are used to working with the Microsoft Open Licensing program.


Now that we’ve briefly outlined the different options to buy/license your Azure subscription, let’s look at the Enterprise Agreement (EA) model.

Enterprise Agreement (EA):

Although options such as Pay-as-you-go are great ways to purchase Azure services, there is a better option for organizations wishing to maximize their investments in the cloud. An EA can save your organization a considerable amount of money each year. Here are 3 reasons your should consider switching to an EA:

1. Management and Governance:

When you sign up for an EA you will receive access to the EA portal, designed to manage subscriptions in your EA. Since all the subscriptions in your EA rolls up in your portal, you will have a enterprise overview of all the spending and budgeting related to your organization’s Azure spend. This is a key feature and ensures that organizational departments adhere to corporate policies around spending.

2. Discounts

Generally, EA’s offer considerable discounts over pay-as-you-go subscriptions. An EA will be cost effective and way more efficient than running the same services as the pay-as-you-go option, under the right circumstances. Services such as Azure Virtual Machines have a discount rate up to 30%! Taking this into consideration, think of how cutting a third out of your pay-as-you-go spend will affect your budget!

3. Enterprise Level Capabilities and Features

Azure offers exclusive enterprise only services, such as Azure Active Directory Premium (AAD Premium). To purchase this service, you will need to have an EA in place.

Contact Us

It is well worth a discussion to ascertain if an EA will be a good fit for your company. Contact for more information.