Office 365 License Management

License Lifecycle Management

When it comes to Office 365 license management, enterprise organizations face two significant challenges:

  1. Over-purchasing: Your total number of licenses exceeds the number assigned.
  2. Under-utilization: Poor user adoption means assigned licenses go untouched.

Each of these are costly: Over-purchasing consumes cash that could be better spent elsewhere, and under-utilization defeats the purpose of investment, which is to improve user productivity.

Tackling these challenges requires effective Office 365 license management and user adoption strategies, which need to be based on solid data. In turn, a data-driven approach requires the right toolset to gather, present and make use of this information.

Nova’s License Lifecycle Management solution combines reporting, delegation and adoption tools to provide IT, finance and business units with a comprehensive solution to the problems of over-purchasing and under-utilizing Office 365 licenses.

How costly is poor Office 365 license management?

Examining our Nova database, we found shocking figures that highlight the true extent of the O365 license management problem:

3.4M O365 users analyzed
18% Unused licenses
$150K Avg. E3 license wastage for 10,000-user orgs

If we take the Office 365 E3 license as a good indicator of standard cost, this presents a substantial opportunity to right-size licensing.

Looking across the same base, we also found a significant percentage of E3 and E5 users that used few – or zero – workloads beyond Exchange.

No. of workloads
(not including Exchange)
0 1 2 3 4 5 Users
Office 365 Enterprise E3 10% 14% 19% 35% 20% 2% 1,542,909
Office 365 Enterprise E5 12% 12% 15% 37% 22% 2% 122,198


Again, this shows the huge potential for significant cost savings if you close the gap to manage your licenses more effectively.

A bar graph showing the scope of Office 365 license management gaps Figure 1: The License lifecycle, showing the two key gaps – over purchasing and under-utilization.

Figure 1: The License lifecycle, showing the two key gaps – over purchasing and under-utilization.

Nova for O365 License Management

Listed below are the key areas where our Office 365 license management tool can optimize your organization. Click on each section to learn more:

Quadrotech’s License Lifecycle Management solution makes use of Nova’s powerful reporting engine, which combines multiple data sources with highly configurable views, including gauges, pie charts, tables and graphs.

The Office 365 usage data used for reporting is collected continually and placed in a secure encrypted cloud database for immediate and continual access. This data can be retained for a configurable period of time and is used to drive the Report Designer and specialist tools, such as Adoption Accelerator.

Nova’s powerful reporting capabilities allow you to combine license type data with other data points, such as country, when the license was last used, department, user or manager.

There is also a timeline view of license assignment, which is important when it comes to license renewals. Line of business views are enabled by Nova’s Virtual Business Boundaries which define the scope of what information individuals can see.

Reports can be scheduled so they are delivered to the right people at the right time.

License Policies enable you to both delegate the function of applying O365 licenses, and to automate by policy. The policy can be set on Active Directory Groups or, for cloud-only implementations, you can create virtual Organizational Units and assign licenses accordingly.

Delegation enables the assignment of licenses to be pushed down to administrators or even department managers to allocate licenses to their teams according to the needs of their department, resulting in less license wastage.

As an example, a delegated manager can be given a quota of PowerBI Pro, Visio and Project licenses. When a request is made for a license, the manager (or license administrator) would apply the appropriate license and that would be removed from their quota.

Many organizations struggle to align their licensing costs with business units due to the large amount of manual work involved in producing the reports. This hampers the ability to deliver effective internal billing.

Nova’s license reports extract the data needed to run internal billing by reporting on details such as license type, business unit, company, country, and manager. This enables you to define or refine your chargeback model and bill by Line of Business or User Group as required.

The investment in Office 365 licenses only has a business impact once users have adopted the workloads the license enables. Driving adoption proactively requires a good set of baseline data that shows exactly who is using their licenses, with workload-specific metrics.

Nova’s Adoption Accelerator service delivers this together with a campaign workflow to proactively drive adoption campaigns. Each campaign has a defined audience, a set of adoption goals specific to the workload and a number of phases, which determine how frequently you will be communicating with the audience.

Educational and motivational content from your chosen provider can easily be integrated into your communications, and you will be able to monitor adoption progress over the campaign timeline in a dashboard which displays all the measures necessary to tune the campaign as it progresses.

Mastering O365 License Management

For more information on Nova and our Office 365 license management solution, complete the form and one of our team will be in touch to discuss your requirements.