From Overlooked to Optimized: Transforming Your Licensing Strategy

In the rapidly evolving landscape of business technology, managing your software licenses efficiently is not just about staying legal—it’s about staying ahead. Just like finding forgotten cash in the couch cushions, conducting an annual review of your Microsoft licensing spend can uncover surprising cost savings that significantly impact your bottom line. Here's why making this review a priority could be like hitting a minor jackpot every year.

Identify Unused Licenses

It’s all too common for organizations to keep paying for licenses that no one is using anymore. It’s like putting money in a jar and then forgetting where you left it—out of sight, out of mind. An annual review helps you reclaim these 'lost' funds by identifying and discontinuing payments for unused software, ensuring that you're only investing in resources that provide real value.

Consolidate Redundant Technologies

Often, different departments within a company buy similar tools from various vendors, leading to redundant software that overlaps in functionality. This not only complicates management but also inflates costs unnecessarily. By conducting a thorough review, you can consolidate these tools, choosing the most effective solutions and cutting out the rest. We’ve seen organizations that are paying for Teams, Zoom, and Webex at the same time. There’s real savings here by consolidating to a single vendor.

Optimize Licensing Agreements

Many organizations purchase licenses individually because they believe it offers more flexibility. However, this approach often leads to higher costs compared to bundled licenses. During your annual review, analyze whether switching to a bundled SKU could save money.

Investigate Subscription Licensing for Flexibility

For businesses with fluctuating needs, such as those experiencing seasonal changes, monthly subscription licensing can be a game-changer. These models allow for scaling up or down based on actual usage, providing flexibility to adjust as your business conditions change. This way, you're not stuck paying for higher quantities of licensing during your off-peak seasons. 

An organization is reviewing and discussing key takeaways that can be identified in their Licensing Assessment report conducted by Synergy Technical.

Explore Hybrid Licensing Models

In today’s dynamic business environment, there's no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to software licensing. Many organizations operate under the misconception that they must choose between Enterprise Agreements (EAs) and Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) agreements, but there's a more flexible approach available. Hybrid licensing models allow businesses to blend the structured benefits of an EA with the adaptability of CSP agreements.

For instance, customers with existing EAs can supplement their needs by purchasing additional licenses through a CSP. This is particularly useful for accommodating growth spurts or temporary projects without having to overhaul their entire licensing structure. Similarly, businesses with annual CSP agreements can benefit from the flexibility of adding monthly CSP agreements to address seasonal variations or short-term demands.

This hybrid approach ensures that licensing arrangements can be tailored to fit the exact needs of a business, much like mixing and matching pieces from different puzzles to create a perfect picture. It's about finding the right combination that works for your unique situation, demonstrating that there doesn’t have to be a cookie-cutter solution to software licensing.

Tailor Licensing with User Profiles

A smart way to optimize your software licensing is by creating detailed user profiles and aligning your licensing needs accordingly. This method involves segmenting your workforce based on their software usage patterns and needs, then tailoring the licensing to fit these specific profiles.  Many organizations take a “one size fits all” model in assigning licensing.  We’ve seen quite a few scenarios where users were over licensed simply because the management of licensing was easier.

By using tools like Active Directory, you can automate this process to a significant degree. For instance, you can assign licenses based on Active Directory groups, ensuring that each group receives access to the software they need without the overhead of unnecessary licenses. This approach not only streamlines the management of software assets but also enhances compliance and reduces waste. 

An employee using IT software provided by their organization to get work done.

Stay Aligned with Business Needs

Your business isn’t static, and neither are your software needs. What was essential last year might now be surplus to requirements—or perhaps new needs have emerged that aren’t yet covered. Regular reviews ensure that your licensing strategy aligns closely with your current business operations and goals, ensuring every dollar spent works as hard as possible for your company.

Leverage Negotiating Power

Knowledge about what you really use and need not only helps streamline your strategy but also strengthens your position in negotiations. When it’s time to renew contracts, having detailed insights from your reviews can be a strong bargaining chip.

Understand What You Need — Both for Today and Tomorrow

To ensure an effective review, start by inventorying all licenses, assess actual software usage across all departments, and align your future business requirements with your current contract terms. This might seem like a lot of effort, but the potential savings are significant. 

Regularly reviewing your Microsoft licensing strategy is an essential practice for any business looking to optimize its software investments. It’s about making every dollar count, ensuring compliance, and aligning your technological capabilities with your business objectives.

Not Sure How to Get Started?

Don’t wait for a budget review or contract renewal to think about your software licenses. At Synergy Technical, we're here to help you make the most of your software investments. Reach out, and we’ll help you with your licensing assessment.