Ace the Microsoft SaaS Economics Exam by Maximizing Office 365 ROI – While Lowering Total Cost of Ownership
For many enterprises, Office 365 (now called Microsoft 365) is their largest SaaS expense. With so much money at stake, you want to ensure every dollar counts. M365 IT efficiencies can save hard dollars taken as pure savings or devoted to other IT investments. Or as is often the case, money and time saved on M365 IT operations can be spent better securing M365, improving the user experience, or promoting new Microsoft services.
High-Level Value Prop
CoreView gives back immense amounts of time and improves administration through virtualizing your tenant and assigning granular permissions to all your operators for governed Role-Based Access Control (RBAC) and Least Privilege Access. Our workflow engine automates license management and cleans up provisioning, while security alerts and scheduled reports ensure compliance. We also retain years’ worth of log activity and audit data while managing your hybrid or cloud environment. With CoreView, you’re notified when security and risk issues occur, allowing your team to react and fix these immediately.
Return on Reporting Investment
M365 comes with a fair share of built-in reports, but not enough to satisfy everyone. Generating new M365 reports or customizing existing ones often involves creating PowerShell scripts, which can take significant IT time to build and can also take hours to run – slowing down IT processes. Finally, native M365 is not action enabled, which means you can’t initiate remediation actions directly from the report.
As a result, M365 shops often DON’T report on things they need to know or waste precious IT time finding what they DO need to know. CoreView analyzed a shop with 10,000 users and 7 Virtual Tenants. A Virtual Tenant is when IT uses CoreView to take a single tenant and segment it into separate “virtual” tenants that can be managed independently. These 10,000-user shop produced 3 reports each month for each tenant, adding up to 252 reports each year.
Report automation is a game-changer. Let’s assume each report takes 45 minutes to create, including data export, normalization, and data presentations. With automation, IT saves 16 hours a month or 189 hours a year. In a squeeze, that could support a cost-saving staff reorganization. More often, those 828 hours can be spent doing other, more productive tasks.
Another example? It takes a typical license manager 10-15 hours a month to produce licensing reports. CoreView does these complex reports in less than ten minutes.
“My group loves the powerful, customizable reporting features in CoreView. Before CoreView we would have to spend hours, each week creating and running custom PowerShell scripts to generate reports. Now we can create custom reports within seconds thanks to CoreView,” said the central IT manager for a large state government organization in the Eastern United States.
CoreView can automate hundreds of reports on every Microsoft 365 application workload, saving hundreds of hours by instantly analyzing millions of entities in seconds.
The ROI of Delegated Administration
The set of administrative roles provided by Microsoft for a Microsoft 365 deployment are designed around a centralized management model. Within the native M365 Admin Center, there is no way to set up regional management rights for administrators who ONLY want to monitor and manage their local business unit or geographical site users. For large enterprise organizations or companies that are split into multi-tenant Microsoft 365 environments, there are complex administration requirements to support their deployments. What if they want to delegate admin tasks to different countries, business units, or office locations? What if they want to enable help desk engineers to perform ONLY simple admin tasks on their regional users?
Luckily, CoreView saw this gap. With CoreView, you can segment your users any way you like—by location, business unit, department, and more. Once you have those user groups configured, you can delegate a specific set of admin permissions to administrators who will ONLY be able to view and manage that specific subset of users.
By delegating tasks formerly done by M365 Global Admins, your IT staff saves myriad person-hours that can be taken as pure savings or devoted to more strategic tasks and projects.
Let’s assume 30% of M365 tasks currently handled by central IT can be delegated to other operators, even M365 power users that work in local company departments. These tasks could include help desk requests, password resets, Teams configuration, or provisioning new employees. This simple change could save a 10,000-seat organization with five central IT admins 2,880 hours (about 4 months) a year in the time spent.
The Automation Payoff
Microsoft 365 doesn’t come with administrative workflows built in. Fortunately, CoreView includes a SaaS workflow solution so customizable IT admin process steps can be run automatically from the CoreView workflow engine – often in one click. These automations can reach towering levels of complexity, as many different steps are chained together and performed in the appropriate and exact sequence.
By automating common and often complex tasks, this work is performed far more quickly. And since it is usually one click, these tasks can be delegated even to non-IT staff – saving more time.
Unfortunately, far too many M365 admin chores are still done manually – in effect recreating the work every time it is done. A far better way is figuring out how to do a task perfectly, then automating it through a workflow so it is repeatable perfectly and safely. Then do the same for all your repeatable tasks. By automating admin tasks through workflow, which include updates to the on-premises Active Directory environment, IT administrators save hours of manual effort each week – time better spent for more productive and satisfying endeavors.
How much time? Let’s look at a 10,000-seat example, where 1,000 processes per month can be automated. Each of these goes from 20 minutes to just 2 minutes with automation. The result? Some 300 hours (about 2 weeks) a month are saved.
Provisioning is a great example. With CoreView automation, deprovisioning goes down to under 10 minutes. This saves a typical organization about 1,000 hours (about 1 and a half months) a year in manual IT admin activities, while at the same time improving quality of service and reducing human errors. Another customer with over 50,000 users saved 210 hours (about 1 and a half weeks) per month by automating the provisioning and deprovisioning of users.
A CoreView health care customer reduced their User Provisioning process from 3 days to a few minutes.
RBAC and Real Virtual Tenant ROI
There are great economic benefits to segmenting your tenant into Virtual Tenants, implementing RBAC, and using Delegated Administration – all of which empower local IT to manage users within their respective area (department, agency, business unit, etc.). On average, this saves 38% of M365 IT staff’s time.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology in its ‘Economic Analysis of Role-Based Access Control’ study found that a 10,000-person company saves some $24,000 in IT labor and another $300,000 a year from reduced worker downtime every year through RBAC.
Meanwhile, CoreView found that a company with 10,000 employees could save 950 hours (about 1 and a half months) of administration time per year, at a projected savings of $45,600 a year – just by properly using RBAC to set Office 365 admin permissions.
The Power of Single Pane of Glass Visibility
CoreView offers total visibility into your entire Microsoft 365 environment. This eliminates the need to access the dozen-plus different admin portals to manage your cloud. On average, this saves a single admin 48 hours per month – more than 25% of their time.
Chargeback Accounting and Billing
In seconds, CoreView generates reports to chargeback different departments, agencies, and business units based on their Microsoft 365 licenses and types. This saves 8 hours over having to manually build these reports and ensures total accuracy.
The Security Story
CoreView offers an array of security features packed with economic payoffs, including:
- Real-time activity monitoring and alerts: Monitor your entire Microsoft 365 environment to ensure its secure
- Be notified immediately when security issues arise to mitigate risk (breaches, malware, infected devices, external attacks, etc.)
- Save hours by understanding and resolving issues the same day, versus weeks later
- Improve security audits and forensic investigations: Microsoft stores activity logs for 90 days, CoreView stores them for a year or more
- On average, CoreView saves 67 hours (about 3 days) per month during audits by accessing human-readable log data
Compliance Monitoring features include:
- 200+ customizable reports to cover all aspects of Microsoft 365 usage and activity, so you’re better equipped to see if employees are following company policies and keeping files secure
One Customer’s Security and Compliance Story
CoreView ran the Office 365 Health Check on a large government agency and identified several areas of new and near-immediate payback.
The Health Check found:
- 168 users with access to >5 mailboxes
- 18,649 users (about the seating capacity of Madison Square Garden) don’t require MFA enabled
- 137 users with admin roles
- 28 users with global admin credentials
- 91,910 failed sign-in the last 30 days
- 7,750 cloud-only users do not currently require a strong password
- 583 users do not have litigation holds active
Imagine what it would you to pay a consultant, or how much time an admin would spend to find all that!
Efficient Alerts and Auditing for Office 365 for Breach Mitigation
According to Ponemon’s ‘Cost of a Data Breach Survey, the cost of losing a single file is $141. When did you ever lose a single file? And those files add up. The average cost to an enterprise of a breach is a staggering $3.62 million.
It is about 191 days (about 6 and a half months) on average to figure out that you have had a data breach.
Meanwhile, over 70% of M365 business users suffer at least one compromised account each month.
One enterprise we talked to said that they have improved their response time to block remote hacker attempts by over 500%. One customer based in the mid-western US said that they used to spend approximately 80 hours/month running their PowerShell scripts and sifting through the piles of data to search for anomalous sign-ins across their different geographic locations. Now they spend about 10 hours/month monitoring for suspicious sign-ins and can take immediate action when they find an issue.
Real-time Monitoring and Alerts for Security Compliance Issues
Another CoreView user spent 10 to 50 hours every month writing and running custom PowerShell scripts to decipher the millions of log entries and search for security problems. Now they leverage CoreView to provide automated alerts for security issues on an almost real-time basis.
An enterprise organization based in the northeastern US, reported that CoreView had saved their IT team over 1,000 hours last year when researching and analyzing security-related incidents.
On average, CoreView saves 67 hours per month during audits by accessing human-readable log data.
License Optimization Drives Productivity and Savings
M365 licenses are often a black hole, so IT spends money without a complete understanding of unused and underused licenses.
These savings can be put back into the IT budget or perhaps used to upgrade licenses to E5’s for more features and better protection.
This was the exact experience for one CoreView customer. “A government agency deployed CoreView to manage its Microsoft licensing at enterprise scale. It needed to decentralize license administration by managing a single license pool for tens of thousands of users on a multi-tenant level. With such a massive license pool, keeping track of usage and access is important for optimizing license purchases and maximizing user productivity. Since go-live, the agency was able to reduce costs from eliminating unused licenses, redeploy one full-time equivalent (FTE) position, and save an additional 40 hours per location per week from decentralizing enterprise license management back to individual subsidiary agencies,” said Nucleus Research in a recent report.
Adoption — Wasted M365 Apps and Services – Workload Usage Metrics and Data
Did you know that 50% of all Office 365 services go unused?
There is an answer. “Enterprises that implement software usage capabilities will achieve savings of 5% to 25% in the first year,” said Patricia Adams, Gartner Senior Analyst.
Enterprises maximize application usage and Microsoft 365 investment by consolidating workload usage data down to each user to see what applications they aren’t leveraging.
CoreView maximizes the investment already made in M365 by identifying what users are not taking advantage of through automated campaigns to drive adoption of various workloads and applications.
Organizations that use CoreView experience a 40% increase in application/service adoption.
Driving ROI for Your Entire SaaS Ecosystem
While most of CoreView’s solutions drive Office 365 ROI, Multi-SaaS achieves the same benefits across your full SaaS landscape. But how? By automating many time-consuming tasks and enabling you to do things that simply were not possible before. Armed with that knowledge and automation, you can cut costs, improve security and vendor compliance, and get a comprehensive understanding of your environment. Those benefits result in Multi-SaaS delivering a strong, positive ROI.
Hard ROI from Cost Savings
Multi-SaaS helps cut costs by identifying unused, underused, or under-negotiated licenses, as well as unwanted auto-renewals across the enterprise SaaS stack. Multi-SaaS usually pays for itself many times over.
Firm ROI from Stopping SaaS Security Breaches
Multi-SaaS helps prevent security breaches by:
- Showing applications with overly aggressive permissions access to corporate data, and enabling 1-click blacklisting
- Measuring vendor compliance with security and privacy regulations like GDPR, Privacy Shield, ISO, SOC, etc.
- Identifying data leakage from emails and shared files
- Alerting you to security breaches in the applications your employees use, incl. identifying the affected users, and the remediation steps
- Showing users who might have left the company but still have accounts that should be deleted
Soft ROI from Saving Time and Effort
Multi-SaaS helps save time by making it much easier to do things that used to take a lot of effort, such as:
- Discovering applications automatically
- Understanding how employees are using applications
- Keeping track of renewals via alerts and a centralized calendar
- Centralizing all the documents and correspondence (contracts, invoices, DPAs, notifications, etc.)
- Cataloging the compliance status of all your vendors, allowing you to instantly browse or filter for it, and report on it to other department
See how CoreView can help you with this
Learn more about securing and optimizing your M365 and other SaaS applications.