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Remove Overlapping Licenses from Microsoft 365 Accounts

With the advent of cloud-based SaaS solutions the complexity of software licensing has increased dramatically. Customers are now paying twice for the same exact features by inadvertently applying redundant add-ons to user accounts that already include that feature from a license SKU bundle. And Microsoft 365 is at the forefront of this confusing problem. With a multitude of software bundles and tricky product add-ons for security, figuring out Microsoft cloud licensing has driven IT Directors to near madness as they try to unwrap the snarled ball of twine that is their monthly M365 license distributions. According to a November, 2020 report from Insight,

“Enterprises spend an average of $2.78 million every year on software licenses for applications they don’t even use.”

The time has come to take control over your SaaS license management and drive down the over-payments to your software vendors. And you will not be alone. Another recent article from Insight states that, “over the next 12 months the average organization aims to cut SaaS and software spending by £1.45 million.”

Remove Overlapping Licenses from Microsoft-365 Accounts

Business Challenge for Identifying Overlapping Licenses

There are two key considerations for tracking the assignment of duplicate licenses from M365 features. The first is to understand all the products and features included in a SKU bundle. Here is a link to the Microsoft site that lists their bundled license packages (i.e., Office 365 E1, E3, and E5).

The second consideration is to know what add-ons you can purchase as stand-alone features that can be included in a lower cost SKU bundle, instead of purchasing the higher-priced SKU to receive that feature.  An easy analogy to understand bundles versus add-ons is to think of it like ordering a meal at a fast-food restaurant. You may get fries with your meal if you purchase the bundle, instead of paying a separate price for the single order of fries. However, for Microsoft this includes over 40 combination options to go along with five different bundle SKU’s.

Now add to this headache the fact that Microsoft changes their bundles occasionally and may now include your add-on feature to a bundle you already have assigned to your user accounts. For instance, if you had purchased Azure AD Premium for your E1 licensed users and then upgraded their accounts to E3’s without removing the add-on for Azure AD Premium, just like that, you are now paying double for that feature because it’s already included in the E3 bundle.

The business challenge with today’s pay per use SaaS software model is to pay only ONCE for features which are assigned to an account. But that requires a proactive approach by IT groups to maintain complete oversight on their assigned license bundles and add-ons, which is extremely difficult to perform without specialized tools that provide the data analytics and actionable insights they need.

Example License Management Report for Possible Overlapping Licenses:
27 Users have been identified who have overlapping licenses resulting in € 530 monthly savings.

New Approach for Monitoring Overlapping Licenses

What if this was automated by an intelligent algorithm that leveraged accurate information from your M365 tenant? What if you could aggregate that information into a dashboard with real-time reporting? By continually tracking license assignments and mapping that information to identify redundant license components, an optimized IT management team can quickly remove those duplicate license types and reduce costs.

The latest version of OfficeExpert provides that functionality to empower IT groups with the information they need to proactively manage their M365 license assignments and easily identify overlapping licenses. The reports showcase the various SKU bundles and add-on features that each user with an M365 account is assigned and flags any double-licensing items for removal.

Business Value Goals from Removing Overlapping Licenses

An organization that engages this type of proactive inventory management model for M365 licenses will reduce their yearly licensing budget. Organizations we talked with said their goal was to completely remove any overlapping license assignments and ensure they continually audit their inventory in the future.

Get Started With Your Personalised Demo

Complete the form to get in touch with one of our experts to see our OfficeExpert platform in action. We’ll show you how you can use OfficeExpert to build a culture of action of continuously improving M365 experiences across your line of business.

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