Why an independent expert is better than an LSP

Software licensing is one of the largest IT costs for any medium- to large-sized company. Many IT managers mistakenly assume they need to work with a Microsoft Licensing Solution Provider to help them decide what they need and negotiate their contracts. However, the commissions the LSPs earn can incentivize them to sell you more or different products than you really need.
Read on to learn more about how Microsoft software licensing works and why an independent licensing expert can help you get the best deal.

What is a Licensing Solution Provider?

Licensing Solution Providers (LSPs, formerly Large Account Resellers) are authorized by Microsoft to sell software licenses to medium- and large-sized organizations through Volume Licensing programs such as an Enterprise Agreement or an Enterprise Subscription Agreement. They also sell MPSA (formerly Select), Open Value and CSP contracts.

Each LSP is bound by financial and legal agreements with Microsoft. These agreements are confidential and differ per country and region.


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What does an LSP do?

In addition to supplying licenses, the LSP is often the consulting party on behalf of Microsoft for many customers. They used to give ‘free’ advice, but increasingly they are asking companies to pay for that service. The LSP works with Microsoft to prepare the contract documents and pockets a generous commission once they are signed.

What are the downsides to working with an LSP?

While an LSP can get you the licenses you need, they often cost you much more than you want. Here are some disadvantages to working with an LSP:

  • The LSP advises customers and then supplies licenses on behalf of Microsoft, not on your behalf.
  • Their revenue model is based on earning commissions from Microsoft, so they are incentivized to sell as many products and licenses as possible.
  • Increasingly, they are double-dealing: charging companies for licensing advice while receiving generous commissions on the products they recommend.

So do I need an LSP?

You only need an LSP for one thing: the administrative processing of a Microsoft contract such as an Enterprise Agreement, Enterprise Subscription Agreement or MPSA agreement.

You do not need an LSP to advise you about the licenses and products your company needs. Your goal is to get the necessary products for the best price, and that is only possible by working with an independent expert who has no financial ties or obligations to Microsoft.

What can an independent expert do for me?

An independent software licensing expert is your partner in the licensing process. They can:

  • Help you assess your needs and decide what would best fit the structure of your business. This can improve your negotiating position and prevent you from buying licenses that are unnecessary (or unnecessarily expensive).
  • Share information that can help you make the best decisions. LSPs are not allowed to share information about other company’s contracts or their own commission structure. Independent experts aren’t bound by such agreements and can be more transparent about the market and discounts that might save you money.
  • Get you the best deal. An independent expert has no contractual or financial ties to Microsoft, so they can truly work on behalf of your company.

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What can Blackbelt XP do for me?

Our experts can offer you independent knowledgeable advice on all your software licensing needs. And not just Microsoft: we also advise clients working with other big vendors, like Oracle and SAP.

What are some advantages to working with Blackbelt XP?

  • Experience. Our experts have worked for companies like Microsoft and SAP, and they know the ins & outs (while, of course, remaining independent and focused on your needs).
  • The best dealmakers. Together we negotiate the most advantageous contracts with vendors for you.
  • Smart technology. We use smart technology to make your license structure and usage as insightful as possible. This and your organization’s roadmap help us work out different scenarios. So we can negotiate a contract with the optimal price and conditions for you.
  • Ongoing support. Your dedicated Blackbelt Account Manager will support you in continually optimizing your ROI and making data-driven decisions that benefit your company.

How do we get started?

Our proven optimization approach simplifies the complex world of software licensing and puts you in the driver’s seat. No more unexpected costs or overspends! Our three-prong approach:

  1. Insights. We work with you to gain a clear understanding of your current software usage and needs. This minimizes your financial and security risks and enables you to make informed decisions.
  2. Optimization. We use your company’s Insights and roadmap to develop scenarios, ensuring you access to the best contractual terms with your top software vendors. With our knowledge, experience, and independent position, we are 100% focused on securing the best results for your company.
  3. Protection. Once your contracts are in place, we help you secure your savings, avoid risk and maintain control of your software licenses and contracts. So you can focus on your organization’s core business. Stay ahead of the curve of the everchanging market.

Want to know more? Contact us for a free, no-obligation consultation. Learn how Blackbelt XP can be your expert partner in optimizing your software licensing!

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