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Recovering Unused Microsoft 365 Phone System Licenses

Microsoft 365 Add-On Phone System Licenses are EXPENSIVE

An issue we have heard consistently from our enterprise customers is related to “Never Used” M365 Phone System licenses that were assigned to accounts with E1 or E3 licenses. The users are active and making peer-to-peer calls and attending meetings within the Teams environment, BUT they don’t use the external calling to PSTN branched networks. This makes those add-on licenses a complete overhead cost. And the M365 phone system licenses are expensive. The advertised price for an add-on phone system license is $96/user per year, whether you use it or not.

As organizations begin to reign in their software spending, a great place to start is the recovery of these add-on licenses that are unnecessary. However, it is not that 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 EPM.

Microsoft 365 Add-On Phone System Licenses are EXPENSIVE

An issue we have heard consistently from our enterprise customers is related to “Never Used” M365 Phone System licenses that were assigned to accounts with E1 or E3 licenses. The users are active and making peer-to-peer calls and attending meetings within the Teams environment, BUT they don’t use the external calling to PSTN branched networks. This makes those add-on licenses a complete overhead cost. And the M365 phone system licenses are expensive. The advertised price for an add-on phone system license is $96/user per year, whether you use it or not.

As organizations begin to reign in their software spending, a great place to start is the recovery of these add-on licenses that are unnecessary. However, it is not that 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 EPM.

Business Challenge for Add-On Phone System 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 phone system licenses assigned. But it’s extremely difficult to match up their usage activity for placing / receiving external calls from their Teams client or mobile app. The result is that organizations continually pay for software add-on license features that were assigned yet remain dormant.

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 operations 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 license add-ons.

Business Challenge for Add-On Phone System 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 phone system licenses assigned. But it’s extremely difficult to match up their usage activity for placing / receiving external calls from their Teams client or mobile app. The result is that organizations continually pay for software add-on license features that were assigned yet remain dormant.

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 operations 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 license add-ons.

New Approach for Monitoring Usage of Add-On Phone System Licenses

The insights needed to make the license recovery decisions can be based simply on a cutoff date for usage activity. If the user account has NOT placed any external calls within that date range, it should trigger a process to mark that add-on Phone System license for removal / recovery. By automating this process, it makes it easy for the licensing administrators to maintain an accurate inventory of licenses that are required for the organization.

The latest version of OfficeExpert EPM provides the functionality to monitor the usage of these add-on Phone System licenses based on the call traffic related to each individual user account. For accounts that have the add-on license assigned, but have no matching usage activity, they will be flagged in reporting dashboards and included in audit reports for IT administrators and auditors.

New Approach for Monitoring Usage of Add-On Phone System Licenses

The insights needed to make the license recovery decisions can be based simply on a cutoff date for usage activity. If the user account has NOT placed any external calls within that date range, it should trigger a process to mark that add-on Phone System license for removal / recovery. By automating this process, it makes it easy for the licensing administrators to maintain an accurate inventory of licenses that are required for the organization.

The latest version of OfficeExpert EPM provides the functionality to monitor the usage of these add-on Phone System licenses based on the call traffic related to each individual user account. For accounts that have the add-on license assigned, but have no matching usage activity, they will be flagged in reporting dashboards and included in audit reports for IT administrators and auditors.

Example Report: Microsoft 365 Add-On Licenses for Teams Calling (segmented by Product Name and Usage)

Business Value Goals from Repurposing Add-On Phone System Licenses

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

Business Value Goals from Repurposing Add-On Phone System Licenses

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

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