Microsoft 365 and Office 365 are wonderful, although potentially expensive, tools that can boost production and connectivity in your business. Especially with the current situation in which we are living, where businesses are forced to either work from home or temporarily shut down entirely, Office 365 may be critical to your business. But for roughly 44% of businesses with Office 365, their subscriptions are underutilized, or they are buying a more expensive product than they need. At MetrixData 360, we are experts when it comes to the proper management of licenses and subscriptions, so here is a list of tips on how to get the most out of your Office 365 Licenses.

Optimization Through Education

Companies are built through the efforts of a wide variety of people, all with different educations, experience, and expertise. While your company may hold some tech-savvy people who fully harness all their Office 365 license may offer, there may still be employees who only open Office to check an email simply because they don’t know about Office’s amazing features. Accessing the video training that Microsoft offersM is a great way to catch everyone up on the value of their own licenses; you can also set mandatory lesson plans and training sessions to encourage participation. What’s the point of having great licenses if no one knows how to use them?

Create a Value Gap

While there may be employees who only open Office to check an email because they don’t know about the value Office offers, other employees might rarely use Office simply because of the type of job they have. Doctors who are on their feet all day and who all share a desktop, or manual laborers who only interact with technology to clock their working hours, are just two examples of workers who don’t need a top-of-the-line Office 365 subscription to get their jobs done. Yet, when companies buy their Office subscriptions, they purchase only thinking about the members of their company who need five screens to get their work done. Those users will rely heavily on the subscription and so will require the most expensive one. It would make no sense to buy an expensive, top-of-the-line license for every employee if not every employee will use it to the same extent, therefore it’s important to make unique profiles with consideration to each employee’s workload and their needs. Perhaps employees who are extreme tech users will need an E5 license, but those who only use their Office 365 to check their emails will only require an E1.

Consider if You Honestly Need an E5 license

The E5 licenses is the most expensive but also offers the most expansive package, including all of Office’s services and products. However, among companies who have purchased the E5 license, 38% have the possibility of downsizing all the way down to the E1, which while it is more basic, it is also far cheaper. They have this possibility simply because they are barely using all the features that come with the E5 license. If you aren’t using it, why have it? Especially when it comes to subscription licenses. Before this current age of subscription licenses in the Cloud, it was considered a smart business move to purchase a software license that was a little bigger than necessary to leave room for any expected growth in the immediate future. As companies are making the transition to the Cloud, that knee-jerk reaction of buying more than you need remains. It’s important that you only buy what you are intending to use, since it is easy to upgrade with Microsoft at any time but far more difficult to downsize.

Track Your Spend and Usage

Knowledge will be your most important tool at your disposal when trying to cut back on your Office 365 spend. You’ll need data and visibility into how much of their subscription your staff actually use on a daily basis or if your employees are allowed to use everything they are using. Many companies have difficulty keeping track or making sense of the data collection that Microsoft offers. This is why at MetrixData 360, we have created an Office 365 Reporting Tool. Our tool’s prized features include (although not limited to):

  • Detecting Multiple Subscriptions: Multiple subscriptions for Office 365 can be accidentally repurchased over time and can prove to be a quiet drain on the IT budget.
  • Tracking Consumption of Subscriptions Over Time: You can track how much you owe and what sort of value your company is getting out of these subscriptions.
  • Detecting Blocked Users: Sometimes having a blocked user is intentional, but other times the customer is unaware of these subscribed users, and the user themselves will be unaware since they can’t access the account. By removing their subscriptions, you can save a lot of money.
  • Detecting Last Usage: If an account has not been active in 90 days or longer, it usually means one of two things: either the account has been retired (or at least attempted to be), or it simply belongs to a user who doesn’t need the subscription. Either case justifies the removal of the license.

For More Information

Saving money doesn’t always mean lessening the quality of the product. At MetrixData 360, our goal is cutting away waste, so you get the most out of what you pay for. Given the current global situation, now is not the time to be wasting money on things that your business doesn’t need. If you’d like to learn how you can save on your Office 365 license, or elsewhere in your software environment, feel free to contact us, and our director of client success will get back to you within 24 hours.

About MetrixData 360

Forward thinking Software Asset Management professionals with unparalleled expertise allowing you to move beyond traditional SAM. We Leverage and visualize accurate data to make software licensing and audits clear, concise, and cost effective.