Optimising your Microsoft Services
Driving Value and Security Enhancements
Workstyle changes over recent years have supercharged the demand for cloud services, and whilst ‘hybrid’ working practices enhance flexibility, they create additional challenges.
Enabling the workforce with the right applications is critical, but the dangers of both over-provisioning, and under-utilising services, can be costly.
Microsoft and its ‘Office’ productivity suite is both liked and trusted by organisations across the globe, and advancements in their collaboration suite, Azure cloud services, security, and artificial intelligence (AI) underpin Microsoft’s position as a leading solutions provider.
Complexities around licensing though are still a headache for IT and Finance leaders who are always asking; ‘are we making the most of our Microsoft investment? Are we paying for things we don’t need, and is there a smarter and more flexible way to manage our licensing?’.
The Devil’s in the Detail.
Anyone who’s dealt with Microsoft licensing in the past will know that there are mind-boggling options on offer, and selecting the right packages from a bewildering variety of agreements, license types and add-ons is both complicated and time consuming. Many companies fall into the trap of allowing trail licensing options to become ‘business as usual’ arrangements, leading to over payments for unrequired services.
Whilst Microsoft has tried to simplify its licensing options in a tabular form, the devil is always in the detail, and to find the real value, a regular and ‘forensic’ understanding is required.
Many tariff plans are not publicised or promoted, and knowing how to find and apply all the options is the key to competitive licensing investment.
By way of example, the option of using different plans across Business and Enterprise tariffs in the same organisation is not always understood, leaving many to assume that they have to take a ‘one size fits all’ approach for their workforce.
Tailoring plans to suit individuals and job types will lower monthly costs, but the blunt measurement of using employee numbers to determine if you are a Business or an Enterprise account is a mistake. Combining business plans with additional ‘add-on’ licenses for specific functionality can dramatically reduce costs without the loss of services.
Maximising Licensing Investment
With increasing demands for agility, security, and access to systems at any time, from any device – many organisations are paying for services that are not required, and before investing in additional services - organisations should thoroughly check what they’re already paying for. Furthermore, Microsoft are about to tighten and restrict licensing flexibility, making it more difficult to manage fluctuations in user numbers. As with all things, it’s a ‘horses for courses’ scenario and there’s absolutely no need to pay for services that are not required.
There’s also an assumption that Microsoft Office 365 is inherently secure ‘out of the box’ - it isn’t, and although there are some built-in security features, the system needs to be correctly set up for maximum enterprise protection.
Refining your Microsoft licensing landscape ensures you only pay for the services you need, and results from completed projects typically save clients around 50% of annual Microsoft spend. A consultation with one of our Microsoft specialists will identify security imperatives and ways to lower operating costs.
With increased employee demand for flexible working combined with planned changes to the way licensing works, we’d encourage you to talk to us about optimising your Microsoft services.
For further information and to speak to one of our experts, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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