in Blog, OfficeExpert, Products

Recovering Unused Specialty Licenses

An issue we have heard from many of our enterprise customers is related to special software licenses from Microsoft that are assigned to accounts and never get used. The users are still there, they’re still active sending e-mail, BUT they don’t use the MS Project, Visio, or Power BI Pro software they have assigned. These add-on, specialty licenses are expensive. The premium version of Power BI is $240/user per year.

As organizations begin to reign in their software spending, a great place to start is the recovery of these add-on licenses so you don’t have to buy more of them when needed. However, Microsoft does not make it easy to identify the usage of these specialty licenses. It requires some serious investigation within log files and PowerShell scripts, unless you have an automated toolset like OfficeExpert.


Business Challenge for Specialty License Recovery

The complexity for licensing administrators stems from hidden data about software usage. It’s relatively easy to see who has the add-on, specialty licenses assigned. But it’s extremely difficult to match up their usage activity for that specific piece of software. The result is that organizations keep paying for software licenses that were assigned yet remain dormant.

In the end this equates to companies overpaying Microsoft for those specialty licenses which are unused. The business challenge with today’s software model is to pay only for software which is being utilized. But that requires a proactive approach by IT groups to maintain an accurate license inventory, which is extremely difficult to perform without specialized tools that provide the data analytics and actionable insights they need to recover inactive licenses.

New Approach for Monitoring Usage for Specialty Licenses

The insights needed to make the recovery decisions can be based simply on a cutoff date for activity. If the specialty software is untouched within that date range, it should trigger a process to mark that license for removal / recovery. By automating this process it makes it easy for the licensing administrators to maintain an accurate inventory of license that are actually required for the organization.

The latest version of OfficeExpert provides the functionality to monitor the usage of these add-on licenses. For accounts that have the licenses assigned, but have no usage activity, they will be flagged in reporting dashboards and included in audit alerts for administrators.   Workflow processes are also available in OfficeExpert to automate the removal of these licenses based on approvals by administrators.

Example to distinguish between Subscriptions and Sign Ins:

Example for Usage of Special Licenses within a certain time frame:

Business Value Goals from Repurposing Specialty Licenses

An organization that engages this type of proactive recovery for specialty licenses will greatly reduce their yearly licensing budget. Organizations we talked with said their goal was to reduce their oversubscriptions by leveraging the data analytics from OfficeExpert to institute monthly workflow processes that will automatically recover the unused specialty licenses from accounts that are not using them. By implementing these methods they estimate a reduction in licensing costs and can maintain a more accurate inventory of assignable specialty licenses when they’re requested from users that really need them.

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