in Blog, OfficeExpert, Products

Proactive Monitoring and License Management to Drive Cost Savings

The new subscription-based, software purchase models of cloud computing are challenging IT organizations around the world to closely monitor and track the licenses that they actually need. Microsoft 365 is a perfect example of this confusing problem with its complicated bundling of software products within different packaged offerings. IT groups now find themselves supporting a mix of M365 licensing plans that offer different add-ons to enable or disable as needed.  As a result, challenges with proper distribution of licenses, monitoring inactive accounts, and identifying overlapping licenses arise continuously.

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Combining that licensing complexity with minimal reporting oversight on usage by license type, and you can easily imagine how enterprise organizations become oversubscribed. To reduce overall software spend, organizations are now focusing on more proactive and frugal methods to cut the extra costs derived from unused and unnecessary licenses. Today, that puts the pressure squarely on the IT organizations responsible with maintaining an accurate inventory of software license allotments. To drive down software license costs, those IT groups need a modern approach that leverages specialized data analytics tools for license management.

Business Challenge for Oversubscribed Licensing

The risk of having unlicensed users is almost non-existent these days since a user without a license is unable to access any cloud services. But on the other hand, organizations can easily incur an oversubscribed licensing scenario by not identifying and repurposing licenses that are inactive or unnecessary. The risk of becoming oversubscribed can be divided into three different categories: unassigned licenses, unused licenses, and oversized license packages.

The business challenge with today’s pay per use software model is to pay only for services which are being consumed. However, many organizations lack the detailed insights to identify inactive accounts, or match who is using which services with the specific licenses they are assigned. In the end, this equates to companies overpaying their service providers. Most organizations we have spoken with this year have estimated that they are oversubscribed in their cloud software licenses by at least 10% to 15%.

New Approach for Monitoring M365 Licenses

What if there were a simple and automated way to monitor and manage your license inventory? By continually tracking license assignments and mapping that information with the actual user activity in the M365 environment, an optimized IT management team can retrofit their licensing allotments based on real metrics.  With this detailed business intelligence, the inactive licenses can be flagged and recovered, and overlapping/redundant licenses can be repurposed and assigned to the users that have the business need for that license type.

The latest version of OfficeExpert provides that functionality to empower IT groups with the information they need to proactively manage their M365 license inventory. In addition, organizations can leverage the chargeback accounting features in OfficeExpert to generate accurate billing reports for each business unit and send out summaries on a scheduled basis. This will help departmental managers identify over-subscriptions for their group and enable IT admins to re-harvest those licenses.

Business Value Goals from Optimized License Management

An organization that engages this type of proactive inventory management model for M365 licenses will greatly reduce their yearly licensing budget. Organizations we talked with said their goal was to keep just a small buffer of 2% to 4% of additional licenses on hand just in case they have an immediate need. And other enterprise organizations described their plans to leverage accurate data analytics from OfficeExpert to reduce their oversubscriptions by instituting workflow processes that identify inactive accounts, or overlapping licenses, and automatically generate tasks to recover those licenses automatically. Utilizing these processes will greatly reduce the license costs for your organization.

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