In Part One and Two of this series on Office 365 License Management led by MVPs Sigi Jagott, Paul Robichaux, and license expert Ben Marshall, they discussed why the need for effective license management and big trends. In this part, they delve deeper into creating a Microsoft license strategy.
Sigi: So, Ben, you developed seven steps for an effective Office 365 license strategy. Can you provide us with more details about your seven steps and what makes them useful to everybody if they are followed?
Absolutely. So, you’ve heard us touch upon it here a little to begin with. The first key is really understanding the functionality that you have and that you own. A lot of times we talk about, you have to understand what the technology is that you own, but I try to whittle it back that you have to understand what the functionality you own is.
Because so many times I see clients, especially when we have these E3/E5 conversations, who are purchasing products that they had just signed a contract with another publisher to provide a subset of that functionality.
Frequently, I come across a client who has, for example, Altera to manage their endpoints, and if they buy any type of core account suite at all, any type of those Microsoft 365 subscriptions, what they’re essentially doing is buying a second technology that provides the same functionality. So, Microsoft’s System Center Configuration Manager and Altiris (now owned by Symantec) compete. If I had just purchased Altiris, that’s a problem.
Sigi: That’s a problem definitely! If you buy two different products that you cannot use at all because they’re competitive, anyway. They provide the same feature, so you have to decide on one.
Ben: Exactly right, so you have to understand what you own in terms of functionality. And then you have to understand what you paid for because sometimes it makes sense to throw one away if it wasn’t too expensive.
Those are tough conversations because they’re not just technology and what it does for you, they’re also investments, they’re also skill sets and staff.
If I have an Altiris expert on staff, why am I going to buy System Center? Now, we can argue that System Center is much more adapted to mobile management, it is much more secure and has a lot more use cases that it provides the end-user. But, if the company is not ready to invest in something else, then we don’t need to buy that.
The second thing is understanding that functional need. So, we know what we own, but getting to the functional need? I keep telling them, “Stop using Exchange. I don’t want to talk about Exchange. I want to talk about email”. All the functional differences and features/attributes that actually impact your licensing strategy are huge.
In the final part of this series, the MVPs and experts will collaborate on challenges experienced with Office 365 License Management. Stay tuned for more information.