Microsoft 365 renewal time is upon us: here are your options

Microsoft 365 is a suite of cloud-based productivity tools from Microsoft. It includes familiar applications like Word, Excel, and PowerPoint and powerful collaboration tools like Teams and SharePoint. But to use these tools, you need something called a license.

If you’re buying licenses directly from Microsoft or through a CSP and your renewal is coming up, there are a few options to consider before locking in for another year.

We’ll share our top tips on how to maximize your Microsoft 365 subscription so you can save money.

Keeping paying Microsoft directly

Some businesses buy their licenses online directly from Microsoft with a credit card. However, it’s not recommended, even for small organizations, as it can result in many headaches when keeping the collaterals.

Stick with your current CSP

Microsoft CSP works similarly to volume licensing agreements. The difference is how the licenses are sold. You may procure them as regular licenses from Microsoft CSP partners. However, these licenses are often sold together with additional “value-added” services by IT companies, outsourcers, and service providers, who are also Microsoft CSP partners.

Explore other CSPs

Don’t settle for any cloud service provider – do your research, compare your options, and choose the one that fits your requirements and budget. If you’re going to vet new Cloud Solution Providers, we recommend doing so at least 60 to 90 days before your renewal date. Choosing the right cloud service provider requires careful consideration of your organization’s specific needs and priorities.

Prepare for your Microsoft Annual True-Up – A couple cost-saving tips

Understand the usage

The first step in finding out whether you are incurring unnecessary costs is to know what you have in the corporate ecosystem and how we are using it. To do this, you need to relate data on three fundamental elements:

users: who needs access to Microsoft 365 services (i.e. who is active)

assignments: licenses and subscriptions assigned to the various users

uses: applications that each user uses to do their job.

What insights can you glean from this?

  • whether there are users using a subscription level that is higher than their real need
  • whether there are inactive licenses
  • if there are duplicate licenses

Re-allocate the unused

Once this information has been obtained, we recommend setting up automations to reconvert/reassign overused, unused or duplicate licenses.

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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.


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