December 8, 2021
4
min read

Dig Deeper to Identify and Remediate Microsoft 365 License Challenges

Over the last 18-months, companies dealt with tremendous upheaval and uncertainty. Individuals were moved from the office to their homes. In a growing number of cases, they have been now returning to the office. Tracking the rapid shifts in a dynamic user population requires a laser focus, manpower, and time, items that businesses typically lack. Consequently, a disconnect develops between their license usage and license configuration; a strong license management system closes that gap.

Enterprises today depend on information in order to complete their work, and Microsoft 365 has become a workplace cornerstone. One in five corporate employees currently uses Microsoft 365 to do their work, according to Gartner. The solution is the most widely used cloud service and in use by more than 50% of cloud customers, according to Bitglass. Yet in many cases, the software is managed in a slipshod fashion, resulting in inactive users, unnecessary feature sets, and security challenges.

Management Missteps

Given that so many employees work with the product, then its licensing represents a significant portion of many enterprises’ technology budgets. However, managing those licenses has been a task that often falls between organizational cracks, in some cases, the responsibility of the technology team; in other, the finance group; and in certain cases of no department.

Another problem is how organizations deploy software. Microsoft solutions are available in a variety of configurations: some with a large number of applications and others with a handful. The more applications, the higher the licensing costs.

Facing management challenges, businesses opt for a simple approach: buying the most expensive versions (E5), providing them to everyone, and assigning one person to manage the licenses. This technique creates a uniform, known environment but also inefficiencies.

Configuration Clutter  

Management complexity increases with size. A single M365 administrator may be able to handle the work required with a few hundred users. However, as the user base gets larger and employees more distributed, administration becomes more challenging and requires additional personnel.

In addition, the company deploys a set configuration for every user without knowing what they really need. Consequently, they create application clutter and add items, like storage unnecessarily.

Higher licensing fees is another shortcoming with this approach. Sometimes, businesses do not have a good handle on how many licenses they need, err on the side of caution, and buy too many. Many employees do not need all of the full M365 functionality to complete their day-to-day tasks. The company would be better-served provisioning E3 or even E1 licenses, which cost less.

A large corporation’s dynamic nature (employees constantly coming and going) creates another problem. Some licenses remain on the books after a person has left the company, and the business acquires new licenses as employees are onboarded. Instead, they could assign inactive licenses to new hires, so there are no additional costs to the organization. However, in some cases, their offboarding processes do not include license removal. Therefore, the organization builds up a horde of “zombie licenses” that raise expenses but not value.

More Visibility Needed

Fixing the problem is not simple. Managing an enterprises’ M365 license pool requires significant visibility. Unfortunately, that clarity is lacking in many enterprises. Why? Licensing information is stored in a variety of applications that do not consistently collect or share information. Consequently, administrators shuffle among a Windows administration solution, Excel, and PowerShell scripts. They must build links among the systems and update those links as the solutions are upgraded.

The end result is that many corporations can improve their license management. Tightening up their processes streamlines workflow, reduces their expenses, and increases efficiency. To take this step, companies need a layer that sits between the various stand-alone applications and provides an administrator with an easy-to-use interface into all of licensing data. The system imports every scrap of siloed data from M365 tenants organizes it, and keeps it up to date.

The CoreSuite Advantage

CoreSuite is such a solution. It consolidates all the company M365 information and gives IT teams the power to manage the licenses with more efficiency, more control, and more security. With it, techies gain an understanding of license pools, which of their employees have access to critical data, and what apps are operating within their tenant.

  • It offers flexibility. Administrators segment tenants by any criteria: department, location, group membership, business unit, etc...
  • It provides security. Users only see objects within their Virtual Tenant. As the environment changes, your Virtual Tenants are always up to date.

Companies have stored information in a number of places that created problems for individuals managing Microsoft licenses. They lacked visibility into license, which meant the business often spent more on software than necessary. With CoreView, they gain visibility, so they dig deeper and remediate any such problems. See how in the video below:

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