In Office 365 Microsoft can give qualified schools access to the “Office 365 A1 Plus”-license. In Office 365 the license shows as “unlimited”, “free” and also with no “expiration date”. The license was originally created to give schools with “on-prem” licensing an easy way to start use Office 365 and to speed up the adoption rate for Office 365.
However the license is nothing but free… To qualify and use the licence the school needs to retain a institution-wide licensing for the “Office apps” (the OnPrem version with SA or the cloud version Pro Plus) for faculty and staff through EES (Enrollment for Education Solutions), OVS-ES (Open Value Subscription Education Solutions), CSP (Cloud Solution Provider) or a CASA (Campus and School Agreement).
So if you use this license, you need to make sure that all faculty and staff are covered by a active Office license under the above listed programs. As most schools are acquiring Office 365 licenses direct and provision those licenses to Office 365 the need to use the A1 Plus license is most often redundant and you should assigned the licenses your school actually purchase. The reason for this is of course to limit the risk for using more licenses than you have the right do use, and therefore jeopardize a big cost for a “True–up” during a license audit.
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If your goal is to provide students and faculty with basic functions in Office 365 (as in the free Office 365 A1 license) and the ability to install the Office applications (as in the “free” Office 365 A1 Plus license) i recommend to buy the Office 365 Apps license (the Office Pro Plus license) for all FTE (Full Time Faculty + (Part Time Faculty ÷ 3) + Full Time Staff + (Part Time Staff ÷ 2)) and then use the Student Use benefit that gives you 15 students licenses per faculty license for Pro Plus. If you need more advanced functions in Exchange or Teams the Office 365 A3 for Faculty or the Microsoft 365 A3 is needed. However the same student user benefits applies to those licenses.
If you need help with CSP pricing head over to Incudo and send me a message.