Microsoft Government License Comparison

Microsoft Office 365 offers a wide range of communication, collaboration, and document management tools. The government license is specifically designed for government organizations. It provides all the features of the standard Office 365 package with added security and compliance features to meet the specific needs of the public sector. 

Compared to the standard Office 365 license, the government license offers higher security and privacy. It complies with government regulations such as FedRAMP and DISA, ensuring that sensitive information is protected. The government license also offers a dedicated US government cloud infrastructure, providing a secure and reliable platform for government organizations.

In terms of cost, Microsoft 365 government licensing can be more expensive than the standard Office 365 license. However, the added security and compliance features make it a more suitable option for government organizations. The government license also offers flexible pricing options, allowing organizations to choose the package that best meets their needs and budget.

There are a few layers of complexity to peel back to grasp how these licenses function fully. To begin, government organizations must meet the criteria for a Microsoft Government License. Second, the public sector has various licensing options to select from. The following discusses the prerequisites and compares the multiple licenses on offer.

The Different Microsoft Government Clouds

Microsoft has a multitude of so-called “sovereign clouds”, including specific clouds for China and Germany. In the US, the four most important clouds to understand are commercial, the Government Community Cloud (GCC) and GCC High. Depending on your regulatory requirements, you may be required to utilize one over the other. We go into depth on this topic, and the suitability of the different government clouds in our blog, What is GCC High, GCC, DOD, and Commercial Microsoft 365?.

Microsoft Government License Eligibility

Volume licensing from Microsoft is available to government agencies at the federal, state/local, and tribal levels; however, these organizations cannot be for-profit. This category includes all federal, state, and local government departments, agencies, instrumentalities, and other entities created by law. Any local or state agency permitted to make purchases via state contracts is also included. Any tribal organization discharging governmental duties and, therefore, eligible for Department of the Interior support falls into this category.

The organization could qualify even if it’s for-profit. Yet, they must satisfy the following conditions:

  • The government receives 100% of the earnings, while private investors receive nothing.
  • Company tax exemption has been granted to the group.
  • More than half of the group’s funding comes not from private enterprises but rather from the government.

Many government agencies need help to obtain Microsoft Government Licenses because they also engage in commercial activities like transit, financial services, and telecommunications. After engaging in a licensing agreement with Microsoft, if the eligible status of the organization changes, the agreement will remain in effect. Still, the organization will not be qualified to extend the contract when it expires.

Microsoft Government Licensing Options

Examining Microsoft’s many licensing options is a must for government agencies. Good discounts are offered, and the terms are consistent with how governments typically acquire technological services and licenses. Outside of the price and contract, the government agency’s size is a significant consideration. Microsoft has created government licenses for both small and medium-sized organizations, as well as large organizations.

Price Comparison for Office 365 Government Plans and Licenses

One of the primary considerations when comparing government licenses for Office 365 and Microsoft 365, including GCC and GCC high, is cost. While the prices in this section reflect Microsoft’s list price for government contracts, there are several options to negotiate cheaper rates with a CSP or reseller. We can assist you in calculating actual costs.

GCC License and Cost ($/user/month)

  • M365 F1 - $2.40/month
  • M365 F3 - $8.60/month
  • M365 F5 Security add on - $8.60/month (requires F3)
  • M365 F5 Compliance add on - $8.60/month (requires F3)
  • M365 F5 Security and Compliance Add On - $13.90/month (requires F3)
  • O365 F3 - $4.00/month
  • Office 365 Enterprise G1 (Government Pricing) - $8.00
  • Office 365 Enterprise G3 (Government Pricing) - $20
  • Office 365 Enterprise G5 (Government Pricing) - $35.00
  • Microsoft 365 G3 (Government Pricing) Includes Windows 10 Enterprise and Advanced Threat Protection - $32.00
  • Microsoft 365 G5 (Government Pricing) Includes Windows 10 Enterprise and Advanced Threat Protection - $57.50
  • Microsoft 365 G1 (Government Pricing) - $10.00

Various Small and Medium-Sized Microsoft Licenses for Public Sector Organizations

Open License for Government: By combining the purchase of licenses and Software Assurance into a single agreement, this license gives government agencies the flexibility to work with any qualified reseller.

Features of the license: Five or more desktop computers are required. (The license condition is not necessary for web-based services and is even waived in some cases).

  • Software Maintenance: Available as an add-on to a purchased license.
  • Options for purchasing licenses include standalone licenses, bundles with software assurance, and recurring software assurance plans.
  • Depending on collections of products, prices are set (Volume discounts are available)
  • Two-year duration of the agreement (The license is not renewable)
  • Up-Front or Later Payments
  • Direct from the manufacturer or via a distributor/reseller
  • Provision of Online Services

Open Value For Government: This government license makes buying and monitoring technology easier by allowing for easier asset management, spread payouts, and predictable expenses. A five PC minimum is required for this license, as opposed to two for the Open License. Including Software, Assurance brings many additional advantages, such as access to newer versions of the software, educational opportunities, assistance with deployment, and technical support.

Features Of The License

  • Five or more desktop computers are required. (For Online Services, this is not necessary.)
  • Constant Updates and Security Patches for Your Software.
  • Provided license options include initial licenses, updates to existing software, and extended licenses with software assurance.
  • Costs assumed to be incurred by desktop computers.
  • Three-year duration of the agreement (The license is renewable).
  • You can pay monthly or yearly.
  • Direct from the manufacturer or via a distributor/reseller.
  • Provision of Online Services.

Open Government Value Subscription: Similar to the Open Value License, but with lesser initial investment, this license is ideal for startups (if the PC count drops, it is also possible to reduce the licensing cost with it). During the contract’s duration, the government agency will have the option to incorporate Microsoft’s cloud services and software licenses and the single platform option.

Features Of The License:

  • Five or more desktop computers are required.
  • Constant Updates and Security Patches for Your Software
  • Provided license options, including initial licenses, updates to existing software, and extended licenses with software assurance.
  • Costs assumed to be incurred by desktop computers
  • Three-year duration of the agreement
  • A yearly payment schedule is available.
  • Direct from the manufacturer or via a distributor/reseller
  • Provision of Online Services

Microsoft Office 365 Government Cloud

Large and Medium-Sized Government Entity Permits

Business Partnership With The Government: This public sector license was created for companies with more than 250 employees. It helps set current enterprise-wide IT benchmarks. Acquiring technology is streamlined by using a single agreement, providing more stable pricing, and allowing for installment payments. Included in the subscription fee is a period of Software Assurance.

Enterprise Subscription Agreement For Government: The Enterprise Agreement is comparable to this alternative, except this one has a lower initial investment. During the contract’s duration, you’ll also have access to Microsoft’s cloud services and software licenses, and Software Assurance.

Microsoft Products And Services Agreement: This license aids government agencies in consolidating their IT product purchases under one umbrella. All software and Online Services are bundled into one agreement that gives you more leeway in how and where you use each (for example, you can have software installed locally, in the cloud, or a hybrid configuration) and more control over your software and data. MPSA gives users the option to include Software Assurance at no additional cost. The minimum number of users or devices required to qualify for the agreement is 250.

Select Plus For Government: If your organization cannot use MPSA, Select Plus offers a government license with similar features. The company can benefit from the license, while specific divisions can purchase software licenses as needed. There are some significant distinctions between MPSA and Select Plus, despite their similarities.

  • The MPSA’s Online Services are available and can be factored into the cost calculation.
  • Multiple business associates can be grouped into one MPSA profile.
  • With MPSA, multiple types of accounts can be covered by a single set of terms.
  • Self-provisioning is legal, and organizations can try out Online Services before placing an order thanks to MPSA.
  • Sales of Licenses to All Sizes of Government Agencies

Contracting Microsoft’s Cloud Services for Government Use: This contract allows you to acquire cloud services on a pay-as-you-go basis. Models of cloud solutions exist to meet the specific requirements of any given organization.

Microsoft Azure Government (GovCloud)

Microsoft Azure Government is a cloud platform tailored to the needs of government agencies, with features like built-in governance, multi-factor authentication, and support for FedRAMP and FIPS. The platform can be customized in three different ways. United States Department of Defense, State and Local Government, and Federal Government.

State and Local Government Plans for Microsoft Office 365

Microsoft developed specialized versions of Office 365 to cater to government requirements and comply with regulations like it developed a cloud platform for the government. The choices are:

F1: This package includes everything offered in the Exchange Online U.S. Government Plan 1 package, plus:

  • Servers used internally or by a group
  • Communication in high definition via video
  • Communications via the Internet, such as chats and conferences
  • Free and secure cloud-based file storage and collaboration
  • Just add on the extras you want!

F3: Improvements over the previous F1 release can be found in this version, which includes:

  • Voicemail that is hosted and has an attendant can help save time.
  • Methods for Electronic Discovery
  • Application Management in a Business Environment
  • Business Intelligence as a Service
  • Software for the Workstation Office 
  • Just add on the extras you want!

G5: When compared to F3, this new Office 365 version boasts:

  • Conferencing in the form of audio transmission
  • Secure Communication in the Face of Online Danger
  • Insight into yourself and your company
  • Use Skype for Business Server to strengthen team communication.
  • Use of text analytics and predictive coding in modern eDiscovery

Getting Microsoft Government Licensing

Agile IT was one of the first partners selected by Microsoft to provide licensing and services for Azure Government and Microsoft GCC and GCC High. We have been providing IT and managed services since 2006, with over two million accounts migrated to the cloud. We are capable of providing licensing and support to State, Local, Federal, and tribal governments and their contractors. Request a quote today.

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