Feb 21, 2019

How Office 365 License Management Will Make You the MVP of 2019

Want to be this year’s Most Valuable Player? There are just two ways to get your name up on the wall: close a big sale or bring significant cost savings.

If you’re not one of the big closers, a prized quarterback or home-run hitter, then MVP might seem out of your reach. But even the in-field has its moment in the sun, and regular, reliable catches can turn your defense into game-cinching strategy. So while it might not be the most obvious play for the leaderboard, Office 365 license management will be a winning one.

How Office 365 license management will make you the MVP of 2019

Over the lifetime of a subscription, an E3 Office 365 license can cost your company up to 80% more than a traditional perpetual license. That’s huge! Cloud license management opens new plays for defending your revenue and getting the most out of your resources both on and off the field.

But you can’t do this without a clear software license management strategy.

Back to basics: Office 365 license management

Microsoft Office 365 is almost as fundamental to your daily business needs as your operating system. It provides essential communication and management tools, all bundled together in an easy-to-use cloud-based platform. But getting the right licenses at the right price for your business needs can be a significant challenge.

When it comes to reducing costs, the first rule is always: don’t pay for what you don’t need. To reduce and avoid ballooning Office 365 software licensing costs, you want to manage your estate and trim out any unnecessary licenses. To do this, you need:

  1. The right subscriptions. Each of the four subscription types – Pro Plus, E1, E3, and E5 – include different entitlements. Pro Plus, for instance, doesn’t include Power BI but the E5 subscription does. An E5 subscription costs $23 more a month than the Pro Plus, so it’s important to know whether your employees with E5 licenses in fact need all those entitlements, and whether they are actually using them.
  2. The right number of licenses. Not everyone will need an Office 365 subscription. The reasons for this vary – some people might still have perpetual licenses – but in the end, you want to make sure that you’re not purchasing more subscriptions than you need.
  3. The best contracts. Although you can change the details of individual licenses – re-harvesting unused subscriptions or moving from a higher-cost to a lower-cost subscription – the best way to keep costs low is by negotiating better contracts from the start.

Meet your goals with software asset management

A Software Asset Management program is the only way to find cost reduction opportunities in your current environment and to prepare for your next round of contract negotiations. If your company already has a Software Asset Management program in place, then your first move is to contact the team lead, explain your concerns and goals, and partner with them to create an Office 365 license management strategy.

If you don’t already have a SAM team or strategy in place, here’s what you need to get things started:

  1. Contract information. What are the terms and conditions of your current contracts? When do they expire, and what options do you have for making changes during the contract period?
  2. License overview. How many licenses do you have and what kind? How many are assigned, and how many are still available?
  3. Usage data. Who is using all or most of their entitlements and who isn’t?
  4. A SAM tool. A software license management tool like LicenseControl for Office 365 can analyze your usage and contracts to help you find the right combination of licenses and entitlements for your environment.
  5. Long-term strategy. Once you’ve created an overview of your Microsoft Office 365 licenses and optimized them, make Microsoft license management a regular part of your business strategy. Develop a team, on-board relevant stakeholders, and establish processes for maintaining control over your Office 365 estate.

Cloud software asset management: what is changing?

The cloud presents greater software license management challenges, but also greater opportunities for cost reduction. A successful Cloud Software Asset Management strategy for one of your biggest SaaS software products can allow you to make more informed decisions about entitlements and licensing.

By shifting to lower cost software subscriptions and reducing your total number of subscriptions, you can dedicate more of your total budget to revenue-driving activities. Save money to make money. An Office 365 license management program won’t just make you popular with the C-suite, it will make you MVP in 2019.

Topics: Cloud, Microsoft, SaaS