How Office 365 Works – The Organization’s Guide

One of the most cutting-edge and comprehensive work tools on the market is Office 365. It has several components intended to help organizations become more productive and improve routine operations. But while Office 365 can significantly enhance how your business runs, properly integrating the program into your company’s daily operations can be challenging.

So how can you get around this problem?

Since Office 365 is a holistic platform for office productivity, and new functions and features are constantly added, employees should have access to initial and ongoing training on how it works. This will help them become acquainted with the software and its features, ensuring a smooth technology diffusion within your organization.

Subscribing to Office 365 represents a significant change for many organizations, which have traditionally purchased Office products for a one-time charge and then utilized the software for as long as possible. It may feel like an uphill battle, so organizations that are up for this transformation should be well-equipped with the necessary information. There are several factors to consider when licensing a software suite in this modern paradigm. Understanding how Office 365 works and how it is licensed will undoubtedly influence its efficient implementation within your organization, ultimately helping with Office 365 cost-cutting.

Below, we will go through a few reasons why you should consider switching to Office 365 to upgrade your organization’s operational efficiency.

 

Why Organizations Need Office 365

One of the primary reasons you should consider upgrading to Office 365 is that Microsoft is discontinuing its traditional desktop solutions in favor of subscription-based cloud solutions. This is true for both Windows and the Office 365 suite. Security updates will always be available for Microsoft cloud subscription products but not for older, unsupported versions of perpetual licenses. This could imply that there will be no updates, fixes, training, or support, potentially making outdated, non-cloud programs more vulnerable to malware and hackers and putting you, your data, and your organization at risk.

 

Office 365 Features and Functionality

Microsoft’s objective is to provide Office 365 members with a one-stop shop of continuously growing relevance, which is the opposite of the depreciation of their desktop products. Knowing how Office 365 works allows ease and efficiency in your operations. It now includes several frequently used company management features, communication tools, document and file management workflows, and even backup.

As a result, you gain more capability for your investment and benefit from the simplicity of learning only one user interface. You also benefit from the power of integration. All your documents, storage, and tools communicate with one another and work seamlessly together, saving you a tremendous amount of time and hassle.

 

1. Versatile Planner  

Microsoft Planner is another time-saving functionality that comes with Office 365. A supervisor or a project manager can start a new group in Planner, such as for a department within your company or a specific task it is working on. A group in Planner and Office 365 can be momentary, like for an occasion, or permanent, like for regular responsibilities given to a sales department. Once a Planner group has been made, the group owner can create swim channels, or what Microsoft refers to as “buckets,” after which any group member can establish tasks that must be completed to achieve the planned goals.

Each task in Planner can be allocated to a single person or a group of people, and if necessary, it can be given a due date. Individual tasks can have attachments and components that are a portion of one major task, and each group or project Planner can be adjusted and updated. If a person’s role changes or they transfer to a different project or group, it is simple to redistribute their responsibilities. Since all group members can see the responsibilities, Planner helps facilitate transparency and effective collaboration.

 

 2. Effective for Teamwork 

The Office 365 service Microsoft Teams is the optimal solution for corporate group chats. Microsoft Teams offers visibility and accountability regarding discussions and work activity while enabling employees to interact with each other creatively and professionally. Microsoft Teams can be integrated into everyday business processes for companies who subscribe to Office 365 Business Premium, Business Essential, or Enterprise (E1, E3, or E5). With the help of Office 365, Microsoft Teams enables divisions inside an organization to collaborate more efficiently.

Microsoft Teams also offers many advantages over comparable competitors, like Slack. It not only provides greater benefits at a lower cost, but it also makes work more efficient and user-friendly. Strive to have your employees on the same page, as this will improve the working atmosphere and boost output, which will benefit your bottom line. With the right training, you can easily integrate Office 365 and its services into your company’s everyday operations.

 

Ongoing Battle: Organizations Struggle with Office 365 Cost-cutting

Despite the multitude of benefits of Office 365, most organizations are almost certainly paying too much for it. We surveyed 100 IT managers and purchasers, and 42% stated they were paying too much, while another 30% stated they were confused by licensing. The intricate licensing arrangements that enterprise agreements require are intended to be confusing, increase your expenditure and regulatory risk, and make it more difficult to keep records of who uses what licenses in your company.

Man working

It is essential to compare your utilization to the accessible licensing, illustrate where your staff members are over-licensed, and identify how much it costs you. For enterprise-level organizations, the cost of over-licensing staff can result in thousands of dollars being overspent each month.

Organize your licensing so that it is detailed and simple to comprehend, more feasible and efficient, and so you can make educated choices about your software expenditure, resulting in a streamlined and contemporary approach to software asset management.

 

MetrixData 360: Office 365 Licensing Specialists are Here to Help

It might be an unfamiliar and exciting opportunity to switch to Office 365, so it’s important to comprehend what you require and how you’ll employ it. By doing so, you can come up with a custom solution that best matches your organization’s needs, keeping your costs low and your productivity high. MetrixData 360 specializes in helping businesses transition from desktop services to cloud-based platforms by establishing a contemporary approach to software asset management for Office 365 cost-cutting

Visit our website to learn how MetrixData 360 helps its clients understand how Office 365 works and to see how much you can save.

Microsoft 365 vs. Office 365: What’s The Difference?

Sometimes Microsoft 365 and Office 365 are used interchangeably, which can lead to confusion about what each represents. If you’ve wondered about the difference between Microsoft 365 and Office 365 and which one is the better option for you, you’ve come to the right place. Although they are frequently substituted for one another, they are significantly different. The term “Microsoft 365” describes a broader range of software and services, including Office 365.  

Let’s explore the differences between Office 365 and Microsoft 365. Once you are aware of the differences (and similarities), you can better distinguish between them and recognize their main characteristics. This knowledge can help you conquer the uphill battle of choosing the most cost-optimized Microsoft solution.

The Office 365 Suite

The Office 365 suite components are referred to as “Microsoft Office 365.” Microsoft launched the Office 365 package as a collection of teamwork tools to facilitate productivity. These include Microsoft Teams, Microsoft Exchange, SharePoint, OneDrive, and Microsoft Excel. Each of these instruments is designed to function with the others.  But just because they were built to run on top of Windows doesn’t mean they have to. One of its greatest benefits is that most contemporary suites are cloud-based and readily available online. They can also be accessible on various platforms, including Mac and Linux laptops, iOS and Android mobile devices, and desktop computers. The Office 365 suite has effectively been expanded so that it is now essentially platform-neutral. Therefore, Windows-based machines are no longer exclusively used with the Office 365 package, which is significant for the larger “Microsoft 365” framework. While one of the top creative and collaboration suites for most organizations is still Office 365, Microsoft Teams allows staff members to collaborate on software like Microsoft Word and Excel from anywhere in the world. The Office 365 suite must also be carefully controlled to maintain communication efficiency and data protection.

The Microsoft 365 Suite

The Office 365 collaboration toolset and the larger Microsoft 365 environment are collectively known as “Microsoft 365”, comprising both the Enterprise Mobility Suite and the Microsoft Windows operating system. The operating system, mobility suites, and collaboration architecture have all seen significant improvements thanks to Microsoft – something that has become essential in a world where more employees work remotely. While operating the Office 365 suite from the cloud is an option, Windows also improves the simplicity of switching fluidly between desktop and cloud-based tasks.

Organizations that desire higher levels of flexibility and privacy are supported by Microsoft 365. The Office 365 suite can be utilized on various systems, but it mostly connects with the Microsoft 365 environment. This infrastructure was designed to assist and surround the Office 365 product line.

Another benefit of adopting a Windows system is its versatility. Windows computers have significantly boosted security and manageability support, provided regularly-updated security fixes, and offered more capabilities for remote work and collaboration

The Comparison: Microsoft 365 and Office 365

When you purchase Microsoft 365 (M365), Office 365 is included in the M365 package. So, what’s the difference between Microsoft 365 and Office 365 if Microsoft 365 also includes Office 365? In truth, both Microsoft 365 and Office 365 are essentially Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions. But Microsoft 365 has more services bundled together, which can be particularly useful for enterprise-sized organizations.

Along with O365, Microsoft 365 also consists of the Windows operating system and Enterprise Mobility + Security (EMS). Because it contains the operating system and the EMS, two platforms with considerable capabilities, Microsoft 365 truly isn’t the same as Office 365. With additional services included, M365 offers a single, secure package for organizations to use for enhancing operations and collaboration.

While it may appear like semantics, it’s not. When researching systems, diagnosing them, or learning more about updating, optimizing, and managing them, it’s critical to be aware of the distinctions. It’s also significant from a developmental and architectural perspective. Would you like to spend money on the complete Microsoft 365 infrastructure? Or are you just thinking about Office 365? The distinctions (and similarities) between products like Office 365 E3 and Microsoft 365 E3 can considerably contribute to well-informed purchase decisions.

MetrixData 360: Here to Help

It isn’t necessary to spend significant time and effort finding hard savings in Office 365 subscriptions. You can start recognizing savings within six months with our support. You’ll be able to identify the areas where money is mismanaged and which individuals have excessive, insufficient or no licenses, helping to make your regulatory shortcomings and value gaps in your purchases more evident. 

If you’re interested in software asset management, then visit our website to learn more about our Office 365 Licensing Bootcamp.

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Bring Your Own License (BYOL) Rules on Third-Party Cloud Providers

Bring Your Own License (BYOL) Rules on Third Party Cloud Providers

Software licensing is ridiculously confusing, and its hyper complexity is not slowing down anytime soon. This confusion can easily lead to overspending, which equates to more money in the software vendor’s pockets, taken at the expense of your company’s software budget. how does overspending occur? One key reason behind our client’s overspending stems from the complexity of Bring Your Own License rules (BYOL) on their third-party cloud providers. 

At MetrixData360, we have helped hundreds of companies save millions of dollars, in this article, we will clear the waters by showing you the steps you can take to mitigate any potential areas of overspending in your software licensing environment.

 

 

 

Rule Change 

Microsoft changed its rules as of 1st October 2019 around how Microsoft products are licensed in 3rd party hosting scenarios.  These changes primarily impact AWS, Google, and Alibaba clouds (although others are affected).  The concept of Bring Your Own Licenses (BYOL) is influenced significantly by these changes.  Before these changes, as long as you had hardware dedicated to your use (i.e., were not using shared infrastructure), you could BYOL now.  With these changes, you may be required to purchase subscription licenses for these products through the hoster (e.g., Windows Servers, Office).  Specific versions may still be licensed via BYOL if licenses were acquired for those products before October 2019 or on a contract still active as of October 2019. 

 

To understand these rights, you must review the Microsoft Product Terms.  Below are the relevant sections: 

 

 

  1. Customers may use the server software on a Licensed Server, provided it acquires sufficient Server Licenses as described below. 

 

A Licensed Server is: 

A Licensed Server means a single Server, dedicated to the Customer’s use, to which a License is assigned.  Dedicated Servers that are under the management or control of an entity other than the Customer or one of its Affiliates are subject to the Outsourcing Software Management clause.  For purposes of this definition, a hardware partition or blade is considered to be a separate Server. 

 

 

The Outsourcing Software Management clause states: 

Customers may install and use licensed copies of the software on Servers and other devices that are under the day-to-day management and control of Authorized Outsourcers, provided all such Servers and other devices are and remain fully dedicated to Customer’s use.  The customer is responsible for all of the obligations under its volume licensing agreement regardless of the physical location of the hardware upon which the software is used.  Except as expressly permitted here or elsewhere in these Product Terms, the Customer is not permitted to install or use licensed copies of the software on Servers and other devices that are under the management or control of a third party. 

 

Authorized Outsourcer means any third-party service provider that is not a Listed Provider and is not using Listed Provider as a Data Center Provider as part of the outsourcing service. 

 

AWS is a Listed Provider.  Next, we need to determine if we have a right to utilize software at the Listed Providers through Microsoft License Mobility through Software Assurance right: 

 

License Mobility through Software Assurance 

Under License Mobility Through Software Assurance (SA), Customer may move its licensed software to shared servers under any of its Licenses which are designated as having License Mobility for which it has SA, subject to the requirements below.  Products used for Self-Hosting may be used at the same time under License Mobility through SA rights, subject to the limitations of the Self-Hosting License Terms.  

 

Permitted Use: 

With License Mobility through SA, Customer may: 

      • Run its licensed software on shared servers;  
      • Access that software under access licenses and for which it has SA, and under its User and Device SLs that permit access to the Products;  
      • Manage its OSEs that it uses on shared servers; and/or  
      • Manage its OSEs that it uses on its servers using software that it runs on shared servers. 

 

Requirements: 

To use License Mobility through SA, the Customer must: 

      • Run its licensed software and manage its OSEs on shared servers under the terms of its volume licensing agreement;  
      • Deploy its Licenses only with Microsoft Azure Services or qualified License Mobility through Software Assurance Partner; and 
      • Complete and submit the License Mobility Validation form with each License Mobility through Software Assurance Partner who will run its licensed software on their shared servers. 

 

License Mobility allows for use on a shared server.  Products that have this right associated with them allow BYOL (as long as you have active Software Assurance).  Next, we need to see if a product has Server Mobility.  For Windows Server: 

 

4. Software Assurance 

 

Windows Server does not include License Mobility rights.  For Windows Server (or any product without License Mobility), this means BYOL is only available for versions that were released before October 2019 and for which licenses were acquired prior (or on active contracts as of October 2019) to October 2019 

 

 

Please refer to the current Product Terms to ensure this info is still accurate as Microsoft makes changes frequently to their licensing rules. 

 

Start Saving on Your Software Licensing

Being able to cut software licensing costs will mean money back into the IT department for smarter and more innovative investments. This can be done by tracking the life cycles of your assets through the successful deployment of an inventory tool (along with someone who can effectively read it), through having a clear understanding of usage during contract negotiations, carefully considering your migration to the Cloud, and by conducting internal audits to ensure compliance.

At Metrixdata360, we can help you cut down your costs to save you from unnecessary drains on your budget and potentially heavy audit penalties. Don’t put off saving money, get your free consultation today!