Forecasting, Pools and Points

With the Microsoft Select licensing programs, the terms forecasting, pools and points are heard frequently.  The three items are a means of creating license estimates and determining discounts.  We’re often asked how this is done and what it all means.

Forecasting gives organizations the ability to estimate the total number of points per product pool needed over the standard 3-year licensing agreement period, which gives a licensing forecast.  The forecasted points determine an organization’s price level qualification with the biggest discount going to those projecting greatest usage of Microsoft programs, servers, etc.  But, as we always caution, it’s not always about the discounts.

The different price levels are listed below (Note: the minimum point requirement is 1,500 to qualify).  The four point minimums for a 3-year forecast per pool starts at 1,500; 12,000; 30,000; and 75,000.

Software products are categorized into three distinct product pools: applications, systems, and servers. Examples of software products in each pool are:

  • Applications: Microsoft Office, Microsoft Office Excel, and Microsoft Office Project
  • Systems: Windows desktop PC operating system upgrade such as Windows Vista.
  • Server pool: Windows Server and associated Client Access Licenses (CALs).
  • To give you a better idea as to where you fall into these programs – a complete list of point values can be found at Microsoft Volume Licensing.  Not all organizations will need or be able to forecast using this model.  But, Microsoft Select offers flexibility for organizations that have changing business needs and may require varying numbers of licensing over its licensing agreement term.

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