Why You MUST Talk to CoreView Before You Negotiate

Enterprise Agreement (EA) renegotiation can be a tense time. There is a lot of money at stake, Microsoft likely grasps the ins and outs of licensing far better than you do, and neither side truly knows how many licenses are used, and whether these licenses are the right size. 

Free Office 365 Help Check is Your Negotiating Secret Weapon

We are going to share a little secret. With the right information, you can save 30% on Office 365 license costs! In fact, there is a free way to strike the best deal possible. That’s right. The CoreView Office 365 Health Check scans and analyzes your entire Office 365 environment, finds every license, then determines four things:

  • What percentage of licenses are actually used
  • What amount of licenses are unused — perhaps because the employee left or simply stopped using the software
  • How many licenses are unassigned, and thus free to be returned or reallocated
  • Amongst used licenses, what are the workloads and do the licenses match the actual or desired usage

The CoreView Office 365 Health Check  is a comprehensive Office 365 deep scan, analysis and assessment of your entire Microsoft SaaS environment. This assessment provides a complete overview of Office 365 license costs, and overall usage activities for workloads inside your environment.

One large enterprise, okay very large, identified $14 million in potential annual savings through our Health Check. That enterprise used CoreView’s deep license analytics to renegotiate its EA deal – much to company executives delight!

Significant cost savings come from identifying unassigned or inactive licenses and reducing these costs through carefully curated license management, license redeployment, re-harvesting, and the re-assignment of inactive licenses.

This license analysis is a critical basis of any EA negotiation. “Heading to negotiations with the right information is a key factor in the success of any negotiation. Having current licenses, hardware, and software information gathered in advance, and having it organized in an accessible way is a critical step,” said Emerset Consulting Group in its article Top 10 Mistakes to Avoid When Negotiating with Microsoft. “When you show up to the negotiation table, having this information meticulously organized in advance helps you know where you want to go with future technology and licensing, and puts you in the leadership role vis a vis Microsoft . If the Microsoft representatives sense that you did not prepare properly, they may challenge you on your claims and demands, putting you at a disadvantage and possibly costing you valuable negotiation leverage.

CoreAdmin Offers Deep and Lasting Dive into License Management

While the Office 365 Health Check gets you started in understanding the status of all your licenses. CoreAdmin goes deeper, and is a long-term the solution that continually dives deep into license cost savings and optimization opportunities by providing references to each inactive or unassigned license. Once you have negotiated a good (or even great) EA renewal deal, you can track ongoing use to make sure you are always getting the best bang for your buck.

With CoreAdmin, you can monitor your license landscape to identify inactive licenses within a defined period, know exactly which users have been assigned these inactive licenses, then reclaim them and reallocate the licenses to new users. You can also delegate this process by department, country or any other group of users.

Inactive licenses can have several causes, chief among them a poor provisioning or de-provisioning process. If you do not get a grip on these issues, the problem will get bigger day after day. Unassigned licenses are another issue, and represent a waste of IT budget, much needed resources that could be used for strategic projects.

The answer is to adopt license management as a practice to regularly gather all the usage metrics data needed to identify inactive and unassigned licenses.

When an enterprise has global administrators managing sometimes many thousands of licenses, much can fall through the cracks. One solution is to designate local, group or departmental administrators to keep an eye on licenses. This role-based access control (RBAC) approach implementing local operators, combined process and workflow automation, and close and careful license management, produces deep savings and total license optimization.

Upgrade or Downgrade Licenses

License optimization is not just about getting rid of unneeded licenses, or downgrading to only pay for the license levels you need. In many cases, a license, say an E3 or E5 is not fully used – but should be. Here you can train those users to fully utilize paid for applications, and thus dramatically boost productivity. By the same token, you may identify low-level licenses, especially E1s that should be upgraded so the users can more fully contribute to the financial health of your organization.

More Expert Analysis

Experts agree that a detailed analysis of licensing needs should be part of the EA renewal negotiation process. “To minimize TCO and maximize usage rights, companies need to take preparatory steps in the months leading up to every purchase or renewal,” explains NIP in its bulletin How to Knock Your Office 365 Purchase or Renewal Out of the Park. “When purchasing or renewing, there are a variety of important choices to be made that have a major impact on cost. In some cases, customers know about them – and are confused. In other cases, customers are not even aware of their options. As companies migrate to O365, there are steps they can take to protect themselves from cost surprises and optimize TCO – during both initial migration and in the months leading up to an EA renewal. Striking the right balance of cost and flexibility requires full understanding of the options, license scenario cost modeling and license scenario cost/benefit analysis.”

Rick Gibbons, a licensing analyst for the ITAM Review, agrees that Office 365 licensing is not always understood by those that pay those bills. “The cloud has made it more difficult to be under-licensed, but the issue people are looking at is over-licensing.” Gibbons told Computer Weekly in their piece Top Tips to Avoid a Costly Office 365 Subscription Bill.

Sometimes even the lowest level licenses are a perfect fit. “E1 doesn’t install locally, while E3 does,” he said. “People feel they need E3 and buy for 7,000 people, but probably only 40% of the workforce needs it. Some staff just need Exchange, and don’t require SharePoint.” Tracking ongoing usage is critical. “The onus is on the organization to understand the roles of employees in the business and the tools they need to do their jobs,” said Gibbons.

Learn How CoreView Saves Money, Protects Your Environment, and More

Want to learn how CoreView prevents overspending on licenses, underusing applications, or mismanaging security and configurations? Our free CoreView Office 365 Health Check  diagnoses all your Office 365 problems. Sign up for an Office 365 Health Check and we will build a detailed 20-page report to cure your Office 365 ills.

Not ready for a full custom report? You can still take a look at a Health Check sample report.

Want to see firsthand how CoreView saves you 30% on licensing, solves Office 365 problems and tightens security, just request a demo.