O365 License Optimization Guide
This article contain a 6 step guide to O365 License optimization, simply scroll down to read it. Lets begin with what O365 business plans are available to organizations.
There are three main categories of Office 365 licenses:
- Business plans which are limited to 300 users
- Enterprise plans with no limitations on users or features
- Frontline worker plans are specifically designed for mobile or remote employees.
What is included in O365 License?
- Office apps for PC, Mac, and mobile devices, including Word, Excel, and PowerPoint Office Online, a web-based version of Office for viewing and editing office files
- Exchange, an email service with inbox, calendar, address book, tasks, and security features
- Teams, a communication tool with instant messaging, online meetings, file sharing, and collaboration
- OneDrive for accessing, sharing, and syncing personal files in a browser and on any device
- SharePoint for building intranets, searching content, and analyzing data
- Yammer, an enterprise social network for internal communication and reducing email usage
- Stream, an internal YouTube with high-performance video streaming and mobile access
- Planner, a task management tool similar to Asana
- Groups, an enterprise collaboration workspace integrating Exchange, SharePoint, Skype, and Planner, with conversations, files, notes, calendars, and tasks in one place
- Delve a tool for searching for files and people using Artificial Intelligence and Office Graph.
- Basic data analytics using a free, limited version of Power BI and information about Office 365 usage
- Advanced data analytics with Power BI Pro, Excel services, and Personal Productivity Analytics
- Basic security features such as multi-factor authentication
- Advanced spam and malware filter with Exchange
- Simple e-discovery, data loss prevention, and document encryption
- Advanced threat protection with additional configuration options for data loss prevention, conditional access, and advanced malware scanner
- Customer Lockbox in E5 suites for granting access to data for the support team
What is O365 Business?
Office 365 Business has three plans: Basic, Standard, and Premium
- Basic includes web and online versions of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, and 50GB of email hosting
- Standard offers all collaboration and communication services, as well as desktop productivity apps
- Premium includes all the features of the previous two plans and advanced security capabilities
What is O365 Enterprise?
Office 365 Enterprise has three main plans: E1, E3, and E5.
- E1 includes Office Online and a range of communication and collaboration services, as well as Stream and work management apps like Planner and To Do
- E3 extends E1 with data analytics, additional security features, and the Office client.
- E5 is the most comprehensive product suite, including complete protection, Power BI Pro, Advanced DLP, and user activity monitoring.
O365 for Frontline
- Office 365 has Frontline Worker Plans for employees who primarily use mobile devices, such as customer-facing workers.
- These plans include Exchange Kiosk, which provides a 2GB mailbox that can be accessed via a browser or POP3 protocol but does not offer synchronization with Outlook.
- The F3 options offer access to Power Apps and automation tools, as well as advanced security features in Microsoft 365 F3
O365 License Management
Microsoft Office 365 offers various license options to meet the needs of different businesses. However, tracking software licenses can be challenging, especially with a high turnover of employees. This can lead to gaps in coverage and problems such as unassigned licenses, misuse of licenses, and ongoing charges for inactive licenses. As the importance of information and data analytics increases, it is important for enterprises to provide employees with reliable solutions that can be quickly reported to upper management. To address these issues and optimize Office 365 license management, there are six tips that can be followed:
- Obtain access to license data using tools that collect and present this information to managers through reports and dashboards.
- Regularly conduct health checks to ensure that licenses are being used properly and are in line with the company’s licensing agreement.
- Assign license pools to specific business units, allowing them to distribute and recover licenses as needed and limiting the number of licenses they can use from the general pool.
- Implement a chargeback system to promote fiscal accountability for license management at the department level.
- Recycle inactive licenses from old user accounts to save costs and increase efficiency.
- Consider using license optimization tools to help identify areas where cost savings can be made.
O365 License Optimization
The first opportunity to optimize the cost of Microsoft Office 365 licenses is to identify all licenses assigned to employees who have left or are leaving the company. This issue often arises due to a lack of SAM processes, controls, or governance for assigned licenses.
While this can be frustrating for SAM professionals, it is a simple fix. To address this problem, follow these steps:
O365 Optimization Steps
- Request an updated employee transition report from HR, including temporary or contracted workers and permanent staff, going as far back as possible. Consider requesting a monthly report and implementing processes for O365 and offboarding employees to prevent this issue in the future.
- Export a report from the Microsoft Office 365 Admin Portal for all licensed users, focusing on licensable applications within Office 365.
- Create a single spreadsheet with the data from the HR transition report and the report of licensed O365 users, and use a VLOOKUP to identify any licensed leavers. Share this list with the InfoSec team to ensure removing the licenses won’t impact any services or linked accounts.
- Remove the identified licenses using one of the following methods: manually in the O365 portal, an in-house developed script, or a third-party tool.
- Document and automate this process, including spot checks to ensure it is working properly. This process should be run monthly and should be included in the employee offboarding process.
FAQ on O365 License Optimization
How we can help
Our Office 365 License Optimization service is designed to help organizations get the most value out of their Office 365 subscriptions. Our team of experts will analyze your organization’s current usage and identify any areas where licenses are being underutilized or not needed at all. We will then recommend a customized plan to optimize your licenses and ensure that you are only paying for the services that you actually need.
Our service includes a thorough review of your organization’s current Office 365 setup, including the types of licenses you have and how they are being used. We will identify any areas where licenses can be consolidated or eliminated, and provide recommendations for optimizing your subscription.
We will also provide guidance on how to effectively manage and allocate your licenses to ensure that they are being used to their full potential. This can include training for your team on how to use Office 365 effectively, as well as ongoing support to help you get the most out of your subscription.
By optimizing your Office 365 licenses, you can reduce your costs and ensure that you are getting the most value for your money. Contact us today to learn more about how our License Optimization service can help your organization.
- About the Author
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Fredrik Filipsson possesses 20 years of experience in Oracle license management. Having worked at Oracle for 9 years, he gained an additional 11 years of expertise in Oracle license consulting projects. Fredrik has provided assistance to over 150 organizations worldwide, ranging in size and tackling various Oracle licensing challenges, including Licensing Assessments, Oracle audits, Oracle ULAs, and more.