Everything you need to know about optimizing your Microsoft 365 environment

Microsoft 365 is used by over a million companies worldwide, and this surge is expected to continue in the coming years, with 77% of professionals reporting higher productivity rates while working remotely and with a changing workforce.

How Microsoft 365 empowers businesses

Whether you’re exploring Microsoft 365 and Teams or other alternatives, having a unified communications platform is essential to increasing productivity and collaboration. With Microsoft 365 and Teams, more organizations can integrate file sharing via SharePoint and shared Excel and Word docs into live meetings and shared Microsoft Teams Groups—keeping your organization fully connected.

How to optimize Microsoft 365 licensing?

With the increase in working from home, the increasing number of businesses fully migrating to Microsoft 365, and the retirement of Microsoft legacy licensing programs (Open License), assessing your Microsoft 365 return on investment is a must. However you slice it, whether purchasing through a Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) like Plow Networks or through Microsoft directly, maximizing Microsoft 365 value is far from simple.

Most IT leaders don’t realize they overspend on Microsoft 365—over-provisioning license counts. In addition, most Microsoft 365 users aren’t harnessing all the productivity platform’s performance-rich capabilities and need education on these features for maximum value or should be moved to a more basic and affordable plan. Most small-to-medium business (SMB) technology leaders aren’t cognizant of available alternative Microsoft 365 plans, including cutting-edge technology and additional applications that can be provisioned at the same cost as their existing plan.

There are some proven best practices to optimize your Microsoft 365 licensing investment to ensure your organization isn’t overpaying.

Don’t try to understand Microsoft 365 licensing alone.

Self-educating on Microsoft licensing and the subtle differences between products and plans is one of the biggest time killers for IT pros harnessing Microsoft 365 to keep their workforce connected. And it isn’t tough to see why. Microsoft currently has over a dozen available Microsoft 365 plans, all with similar names and all priced differently to serve vastly different use cases.

Working with a Microsoft Gold-Certified Cloud Solution Provider can save hours and alleviate confusion. Why? CSPs are immersed in Microsoft’s ways and the constant updates and changes. With a good CSP partner, you have license experts ready for quick responses, so you can ask as many questions as you want about which Microsoft plans meet your unique business needs and goals.

Assess and optimize Microsoft 365 licensing before your renewal(s).

Working with a CSP partner to regularly assess and optimize your approach can help you build a better Microsoft 365 ROI. At Plow Networks, we engage with your technology leaders before your renewal for the primary purpose of Microsoft 365 license assessment and recommendations. These license evaluations are a smart approach to leveraging cost savings available.

Think ahead with Microsoft 365 and plan for the future.

Technology leaders can uncover potential for business transformation opportunities ahead by having active and ongoing dialogues with a Microsoft CSP partner. At Plow Networks, our deep bench of cloud engineers focuses on the compulsory security products for Microsoft 365, including MFA, Conditional Access, Self-service password reset, and Single Sign-On. Get out of reaction mode and into a cloud-first strategy with an active Microsoft 365 roadmap for your business and connected workforce—starting with an informative Microsoft 365 license discussion.

Stress-test your Microsoft CSP.

Your CSP partner and MSP (Managed Services Provider) are often the same. To fully optimize your Microsoft 365 investment, it’s imperative to ensure your Microsoft CSP teams are certified and readily available. Having an informed Microsoft CSP that’s accessible is critical for the technical savvy to deploy and support Microsoft 365 products and updates that your licensing unleashes, not just for the Microsoft 365 licensing expertise. Maximizing your CSP/MSP value is one of the best things you can do to promote greater business resilience.

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About Plow Networks

Plow Networks is a leading IT services provider, connecting businesses to technology since 2012. With deep expertise in network, cloud, and end user support services, we partner with clients to leverage technology in ways that simplify operations and fuel growth. Plow Networks is based in Brentwood, Tennessee.


Plow Networks
(615) 224-8735

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