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Saving Money on Your Microsoft Licenses

Rightsizing your Microsoft Licenses (VIDEO)

Save Money on Your Microsoft Licenses – Rightsize Them!

Over one million accounts moved to the cloud. Behind that hill of accounts is a mountain of licenses; as a Microsoft Cloud Service Provider (CSP), we manage and maintain the licensing of our CSP customers, and discovering over spending and overlapping licenses is the first thing we do with new clients, then repeat regularly during our quarterly briefings.

Why Rightsize?

  • Prevent wasteful spending. You might be paying for more things than you actually use.
  • Potentially get more for the same price. You may have bought licenses in the past and as time passed, those products were rolled into other packages.

What is Rightsizing?

Rightsizing is the process of looking at all of your licenses to make sure that your spend reflects what you are actually using.

  • Audit – What do you have, and who is using it
  • Assess – Do you still need it? Has it become redundant?
  • Adjust – What can we remove licenses for?

Who Can Perform Rightsizing?

  • IT Admin
  • License Admin
  • Cloud Service Provider

What to Look for When Auditing and Assessing Your Licenses

Large license re-sellers essentially just take orders, and do not provide the additional services and oversight that you get from a Cloud Service Provider. During the example, Maggie shows what the licensing looked like for one of our CSP customers who had been buying their licenses from a Value Added Re-seller (VAR). Over time, they had licensed Azure Advanced Threat Protection and Skype for Business, but later had gone on to upgrade to Office 365 E3 and E5 (Which includes both), creating redundant licensing. By reducing redundant licenses, the company saved over $5000 per month.

Planning Your Rightsizing Activities

Business Drivers

Business events area great time to look at your licenses, as they will require adjusting licenses anyways.

  • Budgeting – When IT budgets come due, it is important to look at your software spend, so take the time to identify savings.
  • User onboarding – New hires need new software. Or do they? Do you have unused licences you can reassign?
  • Organization structure changes – The mergers and acquisitions process is never easy, but don’t skip looking at your new license landscape.

Quarterly

Having a regular cadence to audit and assess your licensing is important. If no business cases have occurred recently, try to take some time at regular intervals to perform rightsizing.

  • Utilization – Has your business accelerated or
  • Product Changes – Microsoft is frequently changing and adding features. Have standalone products been replaced by features in other projects (Planner and Teams)
  • Deep Invoice Review – Doing a quarterly drill down on your invoices is a great way to identify licensing issues.

On Microsoft Announcements

  • Bundles – Have individual licenses been included in bundles you are already paying for? Can you save money by eliminating add-ons and moving to E3 or E5?
  • Pricing – Did you know Microsoft publishes a new price list every month, are you paying the proper current price for your software?
  • Offers – There are many opportunities to trial software, do you have trial software that has moved to a paid tier that you aren’t using?

Summary

It can be difficult to know the finer nuances of what is included in which license bundles, and how to maximize your software budget. But the rewards are tangible and can go a long way towards extending your IT budget.

Bonus: Powershell Script to show Prepaid Licenses and Consumption

Euclides Miguel over at Microsoft wrote this handy little Power Shell script that shows you how many of your licenses are in use.
Import-Module -Name "AzureAD"
Connect-AzureAD | Out-Null
  • Finally save the following code as a PowerShell script:
Get-AzureADSubscribedSku | Where-Object {$_.CapabilityStatus -eq “Enabled”} | ForEach-Object {
New-Object -TypeName “PSObject” -Property @{
SkuPartNumber = $_.SkuPartNumber
ConsumedUnits = $_.ConsumedUnits
PrepaidUnits = $_.PrepaidUnits.Enabled
Consumption = ($_.ConsumedUnits / $_.PrepaidUnits.Enabled).ToString(“P”)
}
} | Format-Table -Property SkuPartNumber, PrepaidUnits, ConsumedUnits, Consumption

About Agile IT Tech Talks

Agile IT Tech Talks are weekly sessions where we bring in subject matter experts for short, highly focused educational segments, followed by up to an hour of open Q&A where Agile IT clients can discuss their own environments with our engineers and a group of peers. While we release the demos and sessions on our blog, the Q&A benefit is only available to Agile IT Managed Service and Cloud Service Customers. Agile IT is a four time cloud partner of the year and offers fully managed security as a service. To find out more, schedule a free call with a cloud service advisor.

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