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Repurposing Inactive Licenses for Office 365


Repurposing Inactive Licenses for Office 365

This blog entry is a continuation of our monthly series on optimizing license management for Office 365. This topic specifically covers useful methods that customers can leverage to control their license subscriptions by monitoring and repurposing licenses from inactive accounts.

For organizations that want to be more proactive in managing their licenses, and maintain a tight-fisted model relating to over-subscriptions, then they need a more full-featured management solution like CoreView to help them.

Monitor and Reclaim Inactive Licenses

There are different reasons why accounts become inactive, but the most common is when interns, employees or consultants leave the company. If HR processes are not tightly linked to the corporate directory and Office 365, then those user accounts will remain intact, and so will the assigned licenses, even though the accounts are disabled. By accurately monitoring account activity and identifying inactive users, those registered Office 365 licenses can be reclaimed and repurposed to new employees as needed. At the end of the day this process will save $ for the organization.

After the migration to Office 365 is complete, most organizations are already oversubscribed for the number of Office 365 licenses they actually require. That is just the nature of a broad estimation process during the initial rollout and transition to Office 365. However, a few months after the migration there should be a regular monthly cleanup performed by administrators to repurpose or return unnecessary licenses. By accurately tracking unassigned licenses and repurposing inactive account licenses an organization can effectively reduce their associated license costs. An organization that engages this type of viable inventory management model for licenses will require minimal overhead of excess licenses since new ones can be acquired instantly from Microsoft as needed.

An example report from CoreView is shown below. It lists the four inactive licenses from the Accounting department that can be processed for repurposing. As you can see in the report, they have not accessed their Exchange e-mail account in greater than 60-days. All workloads can be easily queried within the CoreView interface to cross-reference activity.

Example Report Showing Inactive Exchange Users

Office 365 inactive users report

Scheduling Reports for Distribution

The CoreView interface makes it extremely easy to setup custom reports to run on a regular basis and get distributed to interested parties. For example, the report above can be setup to run weekly and send this list of inactive users to the Director of the accounting group. Coupling this type of monitoring and reporting along with chargeback billing by department is an effective way to control license costs.

Example Scheduling Interface for Custom Reports

CoreView custom report

Summary of Optimized License Management Scenarios

The free Admin Center portal, and Azure AD, were never designed for license management purposes. It would take an enormous development effort to create a full-featured license management system for Office 365 through the use of Powershell scripts and custom database tables, not to mention the countless hours to perform the administration activities each month. To help customers perform more proactive license management within their organization, the CoreView solution has all the built-in functions necessary, and they are completely flexible and configurable to meet your license management requirements. You can even configure automated reports for inactive accounts by business unit or department. Those reports can be sent weekly to the business units in charge of those users accounts to recycle the associated licenses.

Today CoreView is the only unified management solution for Office 365 that can help you perform proactive license management. And a bonus for multi-national organizations, the CoreView interface is easily configurable in multiple languages to accommodate different admin teams from around the world.

If you are interested in finding out more about our CoreView solution and how it can help you optimize license management for your Office 365 deployment, please visit our overview page online, or sign-up for a free demo at

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