Is Your Organization Getting the Most Use Out of Your Microsoft Contract?

Stephanie Bondhus

A common story we hear as consultants is that our clients aren’t ready to bring modern technology to their Microsoft contracts because they hardly have the time to deploy what is included in their current licensing. But that doesn’t stop Microsoft account teams from pushing increased capabilities (and cost) onto renewing contracts.

With Connection’s Microsoft Landscape Optimization (MLO) assessments, we can help you understand holistically what you already own, and then help to create deployment plans for your organization that get the most value from your licensing entitlements. In addition, we will analyze your spending on Microsoft over the duration of your contract—including identifying any changes made by you and/or Microsoft since your contract was signed. We do not shy away from digging deep into the licensing changes to ensure you understand your rights forward and backwards.

If you have trouble understanding or explaining your Microsoft licensing and entitlements, we can help. Our MLO Premium engagements give you a full and comprehensive view of your contracts, terms, rights, technology, overall spend, your usage in Microsoft 365, your usage and billing in Azure, and your use of Azure Hybrid Use Benefits—and all that might even help give you the confidence you need to walk into negotiations for your Microsoft contract renewal.

You can expect the following workshops in a Premium MLO assessment:

  • User Profiling: Identify and create profiles of each user group and their unique licensing needs.
  • Cloudstack Discovery: Learn about all the key features underneath the Microsoft 365 family umbrella—which ones you are currently using and which ones you are planning to deploy—and uncover the competing solutions that could be replaced with Microsoft technology at a cost savings.
  • Server and Cloud: Ensure your server environment is properly licensed under current rules, identify any opportunities to save on licensing in Azure with Hybrid Use Benefit, and review plans for eliminating any excess license coverage that is no longer needed.
  • Executive Summary: Compile all relevant details, pricing, and information into a single document that is easily understandable for internal presentations to executives and key decision-makers within your organization.

Recently, a teammate and I were able to help a client save $200,000 by introducing the Microsoft 365 Frontline plans for qualifying users and transitioning SQL Enterprise licensing to SQL Standard licensing covering individual virtual machines. During the MLO process, we uncovered that a large group of employees were using shared devices, thereby qualifying them for the much more affordable Frontline licensing. We also discovered they were still utilizing the unlimited virtualization rights of SQL Enterprise, but because of a recent reorganization and reduction, this was no longer the best financial option for them. After pricing out different scenarios using real time deployment data, we were able to transition them to SQL Standard licensing, saving them annual licensing fees.

Do you know exactly how you are utilizing your Microsoft contract? Is Microsoft 365 E5 the right license for all your users? We can help you answer all your questions with data and proof to get you exactly what you need and pay for only that. Reach out to your Connection Account Team or watch our vlog for more information.

Stephanie Bondhus is a Strategic Software Consultant at Connection with a background in Microsoft Licensing and Contract Management. In her spare time, she enjoys watching and playing sports, stand-up comedy, gardening, teaching people how to roller skate, and board games with friends.