On 18 December 2015, the NATO Communications and Information (NCI) Agency and Microsoft signed a new Enterprise Level Agreement.
This new Microsoft Enterprise Agreement (EA) will cover the period 2016-2018 and replaces the current 2010-2015 agreement which expired on 31 December 2015. The new EA reflects the increased scope of NCI Agency's responsibilities as it includes ACO, NATO HQ, NCI Agency, NSPA, other NATO entities, and 3rd parties. By having established a 3rd Party enrolment, the Agency is able to provide these latter stakeholders (RS, RAP ROM, NFIUs, and many others) with the NATO preferred customer pricing that is available under the EA.
A major feature of the new EA is the introduction of user-based licensing; that is, users are licensed, not devices. This allows users access via multiple devices (pc, laptop, thin clients…), on multiple networks (business, operational, missions & exercises), and also to leverage the mobile devices that are increasingly typifying our environment (phones, tablets, iOS, Android). This user license model approach achieves the two aims that have been long sought by our largest stakeholder (ACO). Namely: reduced cost and vastly simplified licensing and management.