What is Microsoft 365 and SaaS License Lifecycle Management?
Microsoft 365 licensing is too often a game of guesswork. IT guesses how many licenses they have, how are they being used, and wonders if they are the right licenses to do the job?
These are the issues proper license lifecycle management aims to solve. Core to license lifecycle management is understanding the complete state of your M365 licenses and their usage. Proper license lifecycle management means that all users are equipped with the right level of functionality, and new licenses are brought in when they are needed – and at the right size and level.
This is the essence of a data-driven M365 license lifecycle management approach, and being on top of it will help you truly maximize your SaaS investment and gain optimum ROI.
The User View
Users who get license lifecycle management, and adopt the right solution, reap immediate rewards. “We could see we were not allocating licenses correctly, not provisioning accounts correctly, and then we found ourselves asking ‘what are all these other accounts doing here?’ It was hard to get to that data from within the native O365 Admin Center. It was much easier to get to that data view in CoreView,” said Tobin M. Cataldo, Executive Director, Jefferson County Library Cooperative, Inc., Birmingham, Alabama.
That deep license visibility drives long term license allocation and optimization. “We can hand our offices, effectively, a spreadsheet that shows their current consumption, and ask them to put a yes or no as to whether we need to decrease or increase licenses. CoreView is a very handy tool showing offices what they have today, what they can drop, or what they are committing to for the next 12 months,” argued Stephen Chris, COO for Baker Tilly Canada Cooperative.
The Gartner View
One key aspect of an SMP is “License Management for monitoring usage and optimizing subscriptions,” explained Gartner, which invented to category.
Gartner detailed SMPs and license management further. “In many organizations, some SaaS applications (Outlook, for example) become essential tools, open on desktops and laptops throughout the business day. Meanwhile, a wealth of other programs within the SaaS solution (think SharePoint or OneDrive) may remain underused because staff aren’t aware of them or don’t see the relevance to their jobs. Even within an essential program like Outlook, employees may use a fraction of the features that can make their lives easier and themselves more productive,” Gartner wrote. For more information, read the report: The SaaS Management Platform (SMP): A ‘Single Pane of Glass’ to Make SaaS Management More Secure, Streamlined & Cost-Effective
Microsoft 365 is a key SMP target. “Organizations only get a fraction of the productivity gains they’re paying for with an Office 365 investment. An SMP can help organizations:
- Accurately track actual usage of SaaS applications and features
- Efficiently and cost-effectively administer user adoption campaigns
- Monitor campaign effectiveness
- Analyze metrics and run reports
An SMP’s user adoption capabilities support other areas, like licensing and training. By tracking specific tasks and behaviors, organizations can gain a clearer picture of the types of licenses they need for departments, business units and job roles. Organizations can also identify which employees and business units require training—and on what features and tasks,” Gartner concluded.
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