Office 365 Licensing: only pay for what you need

With 170 subscriptions available with Office 365, how can you be sure your organisation has taken out the right mix? Get this right and the potential for providing employees with the best tools for the job, at the most efficient cost, tells its own story.

Interview : Stuart Rothwell,  Collaboration Services, Claranet

Stuart, where would you suggest someone starts when considering the move to Office 365?

It’s very easy to get bogged down with the options and features available, and how you might use them or what they could do for you.  My advice would be to, first and foremost, understand your business needs and what you want to achieve or improve through the move to Office 365. Most people start with the migration of email, but you need to think what other tools you’re going to need, at least in the early stages.

With more than 170 different subscriptions available for purchase on Office 365, it’s an area most people need some help with.

That’s why it’s important to consider what type of users you have in your business. For example, do head office teams have different needs to frontline workers, and what do they need to achieve? With Office 365, you have the ability to either adopt a single subscription or mix a number of different options to meet business needs.

Getting this right can make a big commercial difference as well. In fact, there is the potential for businesses to save thousands of pounds a year, just by tweaking the licence choices.

How can a customer get the most out of Office 365? 

The initial migration of email is normally the easy stage. Once email is in the Cloud, this can begin to be integrated with other value-add services. That’s when you can really drive changes for your business through collaboration tools like Skype for Business or Teams, and document sharing via Sharepoint, then post that onto tools like Yammer or Dynamics. Again, it’s really down to what you want to achieve for your business.

Also, from a commercial point of view, certain licenses give you the ability to replace existing costs of Office 365 licenses. Office suite, Exchange license or SharePoint licenses that you might be buying separately can be brought in to one cost with a single Office 365 license.

What are the most common issues you come across? 

Businesses already on Office 365
Sounds like an odd one, but it is not uncommon that someone in an organisation has already started to try Office 365, without notifying IT. This can cause real issues for migrations as company domain may already be taken and assigned to a trial account. 
 
Technical set up 
Businesses often do not realise that Remote Desktop Services and Roaming Profiles need to be identified prior to choosing an Office 365 subscription. Some of the cheaper subscriptions do not support this. Just one example of the small details that need checking to ensure things go well and you don’t get caught out. 
 
What surprises people the most when moving to Office 365?

The range of options available - for end users and also IT admins
It is also surprising when people realise that they don't have to settle for one license. When I explain they can mix and match what they are buying, this helps our customers to see the potential for cost saving and the ability to provide their employees with the best tools for the job. 


Key takeaways:

  • There are more than 170 different subscriptions available for purchase on Office 365.
  • With Office 365, you have the ability to either adopt a single subscription or mix a number of different options to meet business needs.
  • It’s important to consider what type of users you have in your business when choosing licence types.
  • Decisions around setting up and managing Office 365 can have repercussions in the future and should be carefully evaluated.

 

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