Microsoft licenses, actual usage, and savings potential 

Many organizations want to see if there is money to be made by optimizing and utilizing Microsoft licenses better. In the previous blogpost, we wrote about how Microsoft’s licensing regime works in the cloud

Bsure’s recommended strategy for optimizing Microsoft cloud licenses: 

  1. Make sure you do not have too many licenses in stock 
  2. Always check if you have allocated licenses to users who do not use them before acquiring additional licenses. 
  3. Verify that you do not have licenses assigned to users with overlapping capabilities 
  4. Identify user accounts that are disabled or inactive and remove or reduce the license level on these. 
  5. Check whether licenses assigned to individual users are used 

1. In-stock licenses

In Licenses – Microsoft Entra admin center you can easily see how many licenses you have purchased of the various products and how many available licenses you have. To find information about subscriptions associated with the various products, you can use Subscriptions – Microsoft 365 admin center where you see the different subscriptions you have, how many licenses have been purchased and binding periods and more. 

In Bsure Insights, we have collected and simplified this information: 

2. Acquisition of new licenses

Check if you have licenses that can be reallocated before buying new ones. 

3. Overlapping licenses

Make sure that end users are not assigned licenses that have overlapping functionality. The most common overlapping licenses are typically Microsoft 365 E5 in combination with Entra ID Plan2 and or Power BI Pro/Premium per user licenses. 

In Bsure Insights, we’ve created a report that captures the most common allocation errors and shows which users you should adjust licenses:

4. Disabled or inactive accounts

Users – The Microsoft Entra admin center allows you to filter the manager of the user accounts in your environment. The challenge is that you cannot filter on whether a user is inactive (i.e. not logged in for the last period) or whether the user is licensed or not.  

To adjust or remove licenses from inactive or disable users, you must then create some scripts and spreadsheets to get an overview. This is a complicated and time-consuming exercise that must be repeated every time you want a fresh list. Bsure Insights provides insights into disabled and inactive accounts on a daily basis. 

5. Check if an assigned license is being used

Once you have purchased a license, this is assigned to a user account to offer the end user the functionality the license provides. Experience shows that usage patterns often change over time, which means that many assigned licenses are not in use. Here there is a potential to reduce the number of purchased licenses and thus reduce costs.  

Microsoft has a nice documentation of these reports.

Usage – The Microsoft 365 admin center shows usage of a selection of products. 

You can export a detailed list to Excel of users who have used the applications, where you typically get username, name, last used, whether the user has a Visio license and whether you have used the desktop application or the web application. In this way, you can optimize licenses associated with these products quick and easy. 

Bsure Insights has functionality to capture the usage of applications for which Microsoft has not created reports, such as Power BI, Dynamics CRM, and third-party applications. 

In Bsure Insights, there is a separate report page for applications.

In Bsure Insights, you can also enter price, number of licenses purchased and the opportunity for cost allocation in the Applications – Cost report 

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