In most organisations, Office is widely deployed with almost all desktops having a full Office suite installation. This constitutes a significant investment as Office is the most expensive Microsoft desktop product. Something that is becoming more prevalent industry wide, particularly with the ability to meter products more effectively, is analysis on the actual use of Office – do users utilise the full functionality of Office, justifying the investment?
If users mostly view and make basic changes to Word and Excel documents, coupled with email access, then having a full Office suite installation is the equivalent of taking a tank on the school run; only a fraction of the potential of Office is required.
This leads to the question:
Is there a more cost-efficient way to give users the Microsoft Office functionality they need?
Historically, organisations have procured Office under a Volume License agreement for all devices and deployed Office as part of a standard image, as all users would require an element of Office. However, with the move towards cloud services, Office 365 can provide multiple levels of productivity products through Office Online. Office Online provides users with web based Office applications which, in the majority of roles, would provide sufficient functionality to conduct daily tasks. Taking advantage of the new Microsoft cloud offerings could yield significant cost savings for organisations.
The key to unlocking this potential area of cost avoidance is user profiling.
User profiling with Office 365
User profiling within an organisation ascertains what users require to be effective in their role. For example, a member of the finance department will require a full local install of Office due to their heavy use of the product (particularly Excel), where a sales assistant within a retail organisation may only view Office documents, access the corporate SharePoint and read emails. Therefore, they could use Office Online.
Moving from an on-premises “one size fits all” Office solution to Office 365 drives efficiency for customers, and in addition to this, Cloud Services inherently give more flexibility due to being inherently subscription products as well as opening new licensing programs such as CSP (Cloud Solution Provider).
Office 365 CSP Agreements
CSP agreements allow monthly consumption based Online Services which means you only pay for the licenses that you use. In traditional Volume License agreements once a license has been purchased or a subscription committed to, this could not be changed for a minimum of 12 months. In CSP, if you drop by 100 users in a month, the next month’s bill is reduced. There is also no minimum commitment in CSP so a full estate commitment of 500 users is not mandatory as with Enterprise Agreements. This generates more realistic scenarios of Office 365 POCs (Proof of Concept); where only a handful of users are utilising Online Services, there is no need to commit to subscriptions that are not being used. This then allows for a gentler uptake of services and avoids spending on Online Services that are not utilised.
The ability to only buy services as they are used permits customers who may have existing perpetual licenses to transition to the cloud while “sweating” their existing assets, maximising their investment in licensing.
Office 365 Add-Ons
Existing Enterprise Agreement customers are not left out either. Office 365 Add-ons can be added to existing contracts as a top up to on-premises licensing. Quantities can only be decreased annually but increases can be added monthly and there is no enterprise wide commitment.
License Dashboard’s Software Optimisation Service provides expert advice in moving to the cloud and will identify the most cost-efficient way of implementing a move to Office 365, mapping your organisation’s strategy (be it Office 365 or not) to the Microsoft procurement options available.
The Software Optimisation Service helps you define your licensing strategy for the next 3-6 years for all Microsoft Products. This helps create a business case for any possible investment while also giving advice on ways to potentially reconfigure your existing Microsoft estate to drive efficiencies, and the optimisation of deployments, as well as procurement.