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Volume Licensing Service Center – Getting Started

Learn how to get started with the Volume Licensing Service Center

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TechSoup - November 11, 2012
Learn how to get started with the Volume Licensing Service Center (VLSC), Microsoft's website to help you get installation keys, download or order Microsoft installation software, and access other benefits.

About the VLSC

The Volume Licensing Service Center (VLSC) is a Microsoft website to help you get installation keys, download or order Microsoft installation software, and access other benefits.

To use the VLSC, you must first create an account. It's separate from your TechSoup account, and TechSoup account management specialists have no access to your VLSC account.

After you first register at the VLSC, you can later invite other people within your organization to create their own VLSC accounts and can give them access to various parts of the site.

Note: If you had an eOpen account before December 6, 2009, you automatically have access at the VLSC and to any licenses you had at that time.

The VLSC requires the use of Internet Explorer for some of its functions.

Before You Start

You need the following items to access the VLSC.

Business Email Address

The first person to register a new donation must have access to the email address for your organization's TechSoup account. TechSoup sends this email address to Microsoft along with the donation request. Microsoft calls this the "business email address."

Microsoft Account

Everyone who registers at the VLSC must have a Microsoft account.

The Microsoft account should be the same as the organization's business email address. For example, if the organization's business email address is tech@socialbenefitgroup.org, all VLSC users in the organization would share the Microsoft account tech@socialbenefitgroup.org.

If you don't have a Microsoft account, take the following steps to create one.

  1. Go to https://signup.live.com to display the account sign-up page.
  2. Complete the form and click Create account.

Note that it may be more appropriate to use a different email address for the Microsoft account. For example, the IT manager of SocialBenefitGroup might want to register with a personal email address. This would be fine as long as the manager has access to the tech@socialbenefitgroup.org email account to confirm the registration as described below in step 5. After registration, the manager will use the personal email address for VLSC activities.

Registering Your Account

To retrieve and manage your Microsoft volume licenses, you must first register and accept your agreement at the VLSC.

The instructions below are also provided in the email from TechSoup following your donation request.

  1. Go to https://www.microsoft.com/licensing/servicecenter
  2. Click the Sign In button.
  3. Enter your Microsoft account email address and password; then click Sign in. The VLSC checks whether you are a registered user.
  4. If you aren't a registered user, confirm your business email address. This must be your organization's email address with TechSoup. You will receive an email that welcomes you to the Volume Licensing Service Center and asks you to validate your information.
  5. Wait at least a quarter hour and then open this email and click the link to validate your email address.
    Note: The VLSC sends this email after your user account is created, but there is a lag before the VLSC makes the terms and conditions available.
  6. The link opens the VLSC page for accepting the terms and conditions of your Open License Agreement. To accept them, select the appropriate options from Country of Usage and Language and click Display. After you review the Open License Agreement, enter your name and click I Accept.

Note: If the terms and conditions do not appear immediately, you may need to wait up to 48 hours for access to be granted before you can click the link in the email again.

Logging In to Your Account

Once you have registered, use this procedure to sign in.

  1. Go to https://www.microsoft.com/licensing/servicecenter to display the VLSC home page.
  2. Click the Sign In button in the Sign In box to display the Microsoft account login page.
  3. In the Sign in to Microsoft section at the right side of the page, enter your Microsoft account address in the E-mail address box and your password in the Password box; then click Sign in. The VLSC home page reappears.

Understanding the VLSC

You can navigate the VLSC from the menu bar located at the top of the page. The home page also includes links to the most common tasks at the VLSC.

Microsoft is constantly seeking to improve the VLSC experience. If you have any difficulty with any of the procedures described in this guide, please refer to the VLSC's Frequently Asked Questions.

The Volume Licensing instructions and definitions provided by Microsoft are generally aimed at customers who purchase software through resellers. The License Information section of this guide can help you understand how the terms on the VLSC site apply to donations requested through TechSoup.

Renewing Software Assurance

In order to maintain your software assurance benefits, you can renew them up to 90 days before their expiration date. There is no grace period after the end of the license period to renew your benefits.

To renew your Software Assurance benefits, you'll need to directly contact a Microsoft Charity Reseller. Software Assurance benefits can't be renewed via TechSoup or through Microsoft's VLSC.

  1. Select a reseller from the list on Microsoft's website: Microsoft Open License for Charities Resellers.
  2. Have the following information ready:
    1. Authorization Number (available from the VLSC)
    2. Expiration date of your Software Assurance benefits (available from the VLSC)
    3. Credit card information
    4. Business email address (the same email address you use to log in to the VLSC)
  3. The reseller should be able to provide you with a quote for the Software Assurance renewal price for each product. The renewal cost should be approximately one-third of the fair market value of the product.
  4. Within 24 hours, you should receive an invoice via email. You will need to send an email approving the reseller to charge your card based on the invoice.
  5. The license and software assurance renewal will take three to five business days to appear in the VLSC.

Getting Help

You can find instructions for using the VLSC by clicking Help from the VLSC menu bar and then clicking the name of the FAQ that relates to your question. VLSC Help is also available if you're not signed in.

Microsoft also offers a series of videos on how to use the VLSC, covering account registration, user management, benefit activation, and more. For more information, see Manage My Agreements.

If you have a specific question that the FAQs don't answer, click Contact Us to find out how to email or phone VLSC customer service. When you talk to customer service, keep in mind that the Microsoft donation program through TechSoup is somewhat different from the Open License program available through other channels. The information below should help.

  • If you are asked to call your reseller to have them resolve a problem, explain that you did not receive the products through a reseller. TechSoup provides a service to Microsoft by administering one of their donation programs. TechSoup usually cannot resolve your VLSC issues, so please try calling Microsoft customer service again before asking for help from the TechSoup Account Management group.
  • Although the Open License agreement you sign when you register at the VLSC might imply it, the products did not come through the Charity Open License Program. The TechSoup program is a donation from Microsoft, and the fees paid to TechSoup pay TechSoup's costs for administering the program. The Charity Open License Program is a separate program whereby products are made available at a reduced cost through authorized resellers.
  • If VLSC customer service asks for your agreement number, you can find this number on the VLSC by choosing Licenses > Relationship Summary and viewing the number listed under Parent Program for the applicable licenses. See License Information for additional details.

You might also find these links useful:

If you need specific information available only from TechSoup, contact information is available on the Need More Help? page.