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Podcast: How to Become an O365 License Management Superhero

24 Apr 2020 by chris.cahill

An IT admin contemplating how to become an O365 license management superhero

Paul Robichaux, Quadrotech’s CTO and Microsoft MVP, was a special guest on this week’s Practical 365 Podcast, alongside O365 license management expert Ben Marshall, and fellow MVP Sigi Jagott.

The talented trio discussed the urgency for organizations to audit expensive IT estates, specifically the need to optimize Office 365 license management by investigating unassigned licenses.

You can listen to the episode below, and learn how the Avengers Prime of this topic can help you become a budget-saving superhero. (We’ll leave it up to you to decide who plays Thor, Iron Man, and Captain America in this particular scenario.)

Mastering O365 Licenses

As Paul notes in the podcast, it’s essential to determine two key points when setting out your O365 license management strategy:

  1. Establish precisely what you need
  2. Drive adoption to ensure everything you buy is actually used

All too often, enterprises over-purchase, as the ‘one SKU fits all’ policy is an easy route to go down.

Procurement departments are generally incentivized to ‘get the best deal’, so if this means they’re offered a substantial discount on 10,000 E3 licenses, they’ll happily toast another successful transaction.

However, this approach is somewhat shortsighted, as without a targeted adoption strategy, scores of those licenses will inevitably go under-utilized, with multiple workloads never being touched.

In fact, after analyzing our database of 3.4 million licenses, we found an astonishing 18% were unassigned. In monetary terms, for a 10,000-user organization on standard E3 licensing, this would equate to an annual loss of $150,000.

What would your Chief Financial Officer say if they discovered your organization was wasting such vast sums on a stack of licenses that simply collect digital dust?

Understanding Functionality

Getting to the bottom of user profiles is key to refining your approach to O365 license management. If you have a group of staff who only require email, for instance, why squander money on workloads they’ll never adopt?

For more technical roles, you might have a slew of Power BI, Project, and Visio licenses, but getting insight into user activity is notoriously difficult. Thus, there’s a high chance you’re racking up bills for products that aren’t in use, and it’s all too easy to buy new licenses upon request rather than investigate whether you can reassign.

While keeping customers in the dark might be a money-spinner for Microsoft, it’s not a long-term strategy for success. We were sold the dream of cloud adoption on the premise of boosting user productivity, but if IT teams can’t prove this is the case in a cost-effective manner, there’s a risk that enterprises will look elsewhere.

That’s why driving user adoption is a huge focus for Microsoft, as they realize demonstrating value is key to securing renewals.

O365 License Management Tool

A pivotal use case for our Office 365 managemnt platform, Nova, is the ability to get immediate insight into your entire library of licenses.

We have a range of reports that will expose where money can be saved on unused and unassigned licenses, and also highlight where you need to introduce adoption programs to get your team up to speed with the workloads they need.

You can learn more about our most common license management reports at the links below:

As the current global uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 puts finances in the spotlight, immediate cost savings can be made by getting to grips with your O365 license management strategy.

At Quadrotech, the mantra we preach is ‘buy only what you need, and adopt all that you buy’, and our solutions can help you achieve just that.

If you’d like to learn more, please contact us today and one of our Office 365 management specialists will be happy to help.