While licensing software might not seem like the most brilliant of subjects, it pays to be up to speed. The traditional desktop model for Microsoft applications can be expensive to purchase and maintain. The licensing fees and purchasing of servers can drive up your company’s capital expenses.
Your IT resources will need to update operating systems and other applications to the latest version as they become available, as well. Today more and more companies have employees on-the-go and working off-site regularly. As these employees will need to access the companies files, Microsoft 365 comes into play.
Because it reduces wasted software licensing costs. You only pay for what you are using, and also you secure your business with trusted software. Microsoft licenses allow you to have access to a new security feature called Office 365 Trust Center. Access to security blogs and how-to videos is available for users and administrators. There is also encryption technology that will keep your sensitive data safe.
You will also increase your overall work productivity. Users don’t have to be a Microsoft expert to run Microsoft products efficiently. You can gain more time working on your core business, rather than trying to figure out new tools. No training needed.
We know that choosing an O365 license can be difficult before migrating to the cloud. With multiple options for small, medium and enterprise businesses, navigating the differences can get overwhelming, but which are the different license types?
Office 365 Enterprise E1: This is the cheapest Enterprise plan (and actually costs less than the Business Premium license). It’s for users that don’t need desktop versions of Outlook or Office applications but still require eDiscovery and data governance.
Here’s what you get with the E1 license:
Email 50 GB mailbox (only accessible from Outlook online), Skype for Business web conferencing, IM, online meetings and presence, OneDrive for Business, Yammer, SharePoint, Video Sharing, Web versions of Office 2016 applications: Outlook, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, File sharing and 1 TB OneDrive storage, HD video conferencing, Team sites, eDiscovery search and Data Governance manual classifications and manual policies for retention and deletion.
Office 365 Enterprise E3: The E3 license is one of the more popular options for digital-driven businesses. You gain email, archiving, information protection and more storage options, and it’s for businesses that need more advanced BI, compliance, email, security and voice capabilities.
Here’s what’s included in E3:
Everything included in the Office E1 License plus Office Client Apps, Legal compliance and archiving needs for email: archiving, eDiscovery hold and export, mailbox hold. Information protection: message encryption, rights management, data loss prevention. Azure Rights Management and document management functions: archiving, rights management, data loss prevention, and document-level encryption. Email storage for in-place archive, Unlimited OneDrive storage, eDiscovery legal hold, eDiscovery export, and case management and Hosted voicemail support.
Office 365 Enterprise E5: Building off the E1 and E3 business plans, Office 365 E5 is the highest tier Microsoft offers.
With this license, you gain:
Everything included in E3 and E5 licenses and enhanced security features: Advanced e-discovery, secure attachments, and URLs and access controls. Microsoft’s Business Intelligence tools for end-user organizational analytics, Enterprise voice with Skype for Business (on-premises only). Skype for Business Cloud PBX, Unlimited OneDrive storage, PSTN conferencing to dial in to Skype meetings from anywhere, Cloud-based call management, Advanced analytics with Power BI Pro and Microsoft MyAnalytics, Advanced eDiscovery, Advanced Data Governance, Advanced security with Advanced Threat Protection and Customer Lockbox and Enhanced visibility and control of your Office 365 environment.
How to manage Office 365 licenses costs and chargebacks?
For many organizations, long gone are the days when you research, select, and invest heavily in servers, with the knowledge that the process will not be repeated for a good few years.
Typically, your team would make infrequent purchases for hardware or software at a high cost, and then when it comes to sharing the prices across the entire business, a common practice would be allocating the spend based on a per-user basis for each department, based on size. The bill is calculated and sent to each team so that their IT costs can be deducted from their budget.
Other models for IT chargebacks also proliferate, some calculate the cost based on usage, profitability or needs of the various teams, but all schemes aim to spread the cost of IT across the entire business in a way that is fair and proportionate. The process requires time, consideration, and an accurate view of how your business units are interacting with IT systems.
If your company is in the cloud, you will know that billing structures are typically more frequent, and while the cloud promises more flexibility to scale up and scale down costs based on user numbers and usage needs, it can often make chargebacks far more challenging to manage.
One of the most significant issues with effective management is that most organizations are repeatedly fluctuating. Whether it’s new employees joining or leaving every month, or even moving to different departments, it can be a constant headache trying to accurately and consistently calculate each department’s cost, and charge it back to each business unit in your organization.
If you add different locations and thousands of users into the mix, then it can become far more complicated to keep track of who is where.
Asignet gives you complete and comprehensive visibility of licensing so you can get a full picture of your license information to accurately and efficiently coordinate IT chargebacks for your organization.
This allows you to identify areas where you can reduce your Office 365 license spend by assigning a cheaper license to a user without them losing any of the functionality they need.
How to manage unused licenses costs?
Even with all of the great features O365 brings to organizations, there are several license management challenges when it comes to managing subscriptions and licenses.
If organizations don’t know what subscriptions have and how they’re using them, negotiating with Microsoft can be an almost impossible feat. Asignet gives them the insight and visibility into their Office 365 subscriptions and puts them on a level playing field with Microsoft, providing upgrade and downgrade reports, and suggesting the most cost-effective subscription and product combinations for organization’s needs.
Even with Office 365, you run the risk of buying too many subscriptions because anyone with a company credit card can purchase a subscription, making it harder to manage them centrally. Asignet provides a complete overview of your subscriptions, to ensure that you avoid purchasing new subscriptions if you already have unused ones available.
This is an essential tool for your license harvesting and joiners, movers, and leavers processes, giving you control of your license and subscription purchasing as employees enter and exit your organization or change roles.
Contact us if you want to manage your O365 Licenses efficiently.