Feb 8 2019
AccuWeather Inc. is the world’s largest provider of weather forecasts and warnings, and a global digital media company. AccuWeather also delivers a wide range of highly-customized enterprise solutions to media, business, government, and institutions, as well as weather news, content, and video for more than 180,000 third-party websites, plus 245 of the fortune 500.
IT Pain Points
With a dedicated corporate IT group supporting both Office 365 and Azure, the AccuWeather IT management team understood the value of investing in a full-featured, unified management solution. After using the free Admin Center portal, the company quickly came to realize that the reporting and administration features offered by Microsoft were lacking the detailed capabilities to effectively manage their distributed businesses.
A major requirement was the ability to assign License Pools for each business division. Since many of the business units operate as siloed companies with their own budgets, they wanted to ensure that accurate cost accounting was set up within the Office 365 tenant to control license distribution accordingly. Office 365 provides only a “single bucket” admin approach for available licenses, which resulted in confusion when monthly accounting reports were applied. Consequently, the IT team knew they needed a more flexible management approach to optimize their license ownership and accounting.
The company also required specific reporting on a regular basis to monitor adoption trends and re-harvest licenses from inactive accounts. Without insight into usage by workload within each business unit, and up-to-date information on active versus inactive users, the IT groups recognized that it would be nearly impossible to proactively maintain an accurate subscription model for executive cost reviews.
A Comprehensive Solution
AccuWeather received a webinar invite from a trusted Microsoft partner about a SaaS based management solution for Office 365 called CoreView. They identified CoreView as the most comprehensive management and reporting solution to meet their business needs and help them optimize their license management for Office 365. Joshua Fritsch, the Vice President of Technology, cites CoreView as being the only integrated solution that could handle all their management and reporting needs for Office 365.
In May 2017, AccuWeather moved forward with the deployment of CoreView. The solution has been instrumental in the company’s newfound ability to manage its business units as separate entities— with accurate cost accounting.
CoreView’s built-in and customizable reports have been extremely valuable to The AccuWeather. The central IT group is now able to manage independent license pools assigned to each business unit. Since the solution was deployed, the IT group has found dozens of accounts that were licensed but inactive or inaccurately licensed. With this information, Fritsch and his team were able to reassign or revoke certain licenses, enabling them to improve budget forecasts. The team has now implemented a proactive license management methodology to ensure the company is rarely oversubscribed.
Key Features Utilized
CoreView has enabled AccuWeather to optimize its license management and partition Office 365 into a set of virtualtenants assigned for each line of business and each department in the company. These virtual-tenants have provided a completely segmented environment with the appropriate security boundaries to delegate admin rights, enable detailed activity reporting, and assign license pools that allow each business division to monitor and manage their license costs independently. Specific improvements to the management of Office 365 include the following:
CoreView has enabled AccuWeather to effectively segment its Office 365 tenant into separate groupings, or virtual-tenants based on their six separate business units. Each business unit has been assigned a set of administrators who were delegated specific tasks and capabilities to successfully manage each user community
CoreView gives AccuWeather an easy way to manage the license allocations for each business unit by using separate license pools. These license pools enable the IT team to assign binding license allotments to all business units, which allows them to efficiently monitor and manage their own license costs.
All Office 365 log file information is exposed within CoreView and stored for a full year, which has empowered the AccuWeather IT group to create custom reports to monitor usage adoption trends for different workloads. These insights provide valuable information about the collaboration and communication methods within the organization and enable it to organize targeted campaigns to reach their adoption goals.
AccuWeather is focused on increased monitoring of security compliance within Office 365. To assist AccuWeather’s IT group with real-time monitoring and alerts, the new CoreView security compliance dashboard will be implemented this fall. This will enable their IT administrators to configure specific watchdog probes that will quickly identify any compliance issues and alert them immediately.