SPLA licensing

SPLA: Services Provider License Agreement

What are SPLA licences and how do they work?

SPLA, or the Services Provider License Agreement, is a Microsoft licensing programme that allows service providers to offer Microsoft software products as a service to their customers. SPLA is a pay-as-you-go service which means companies pay based on usage, in the case of SPLA usually per core and/or per user. The service provider can be seen as the middleman between the end user and Microsoft. The service provider has to declare usage every month.

Can SPLA licences be used on-premise?

SPLA licences can be used on-premise if certain conditions are met. Companies may use SPLA licences on-premise only as part of a service provided by an SPLA service provider. This party must have access to the servers on which the SPLA licences are installed and to the main administrators of these servers. If this condition is not met, the use of SPLA licences on-premises is prohibited.

Types of SPLA licences

The SPLA programme offers different types of licences to meet the diverse needs of service providers. Here are the main types of SPLA licences:

  1. SPLA per processor: This licence type is based on the number of processors in the server. It is ideal for companies that need a lot of computing power to deliver their services. The per-processor licensing model allows companies to scale their server infrastructure without restrictions on the number of users or devices that can access the software.
  2. SPLA Subscriber Access License (SAL): The SAL licence type is based on the number of users or devices accessing the software. This licence is suitable for companies with a fixed number of users or devices that need access to the software. SAL allows companies to conveniently manage and track licences to ensure compliance with licence agreements.
  3. SPLA External Connector: The External Connector licence type is designed for companies providing services to external users or entities. It allows an unlimited number of external users or devices to access the software, making it a cost-effective option for companies serving a large number of external users.

How do I become a Microsoft SPLA partner?

To start offering SPLA licences as a service, one should follow the following steps:

1. Sign up for the SPLA programme: The first step is to sign up for the SPLA programme through the Microsoft Partner Network (MPN). There are certain eligibility criteria, such as having a valid business licence and meeting Microsoft's technical requirements.

2. Sign the SPLA agreement: Once the application is approved, the applicant company must sign the SPLA agreement. This agreement describes the terms and conditions, licence conditions, usage reporting requirements and payment terms.

3. Access to licences and pricing: As a Microsoft SPLA partner, companies get access to licensing and pricing information for software products covered by the SPLA programme. In this way, the new SPLA partner can plan offers.

4. Implement and offer services: Now the SPLA Service Provider can implement and offer the licensed software products. Ensure that appropriate systems are in place to track usage, generate accurate usage reports and comply with the terms of the SPLA agreement mentioned earlier.

Frequently asked questions about SPLA

Can companies use SPLA-licensed software for internal business activities?

No, SPLA-licensed software is specifically intended for offering services to customers. If the SPLA partner requires software for internal business operations, they may need to explore other licensing options such as Volume Licensing or Open Licensing.

Can companies combine SPLA licences with other licensing options?

Yes, companies can combine SPLA licences with other licensing options, depending on business needs. However, it is important to ensure that the company complies with the terms of each licence agreement.

Can we offer SPLA-licensed software to customers outside my data centre?

Yes, SPLA allows service providers to offer licensed software to their customers outside their data centres. This is known as "outsourcing" and is a common practice among service providers.