Time to appraise your Microsoft 365 portfolio…

February 15, 2022

The commercial licence cost of Microsoft 365 subscribers increased significantly from 1st March 2022.  This represents the first substantive price rise in ten years, and it is important to consider what effect the change may have on your business.

Read on to find out what is changing, what you need to consider and how to get the most out of your Microsoft investment.

What is changing with Microsoft 365 licensing?

Microsoft says that the updated pricing “reflects the increased value we have delivered to customers over the past 10 years”. Given that the Microsoft 365 Suite now encompasses multiple products and features (and the cloud investments required to run them), it is little surprise that the new subscription fees are significantly higher.

From March 1st, enterprise-class businesses will pay:

  • Microsoft 365 E3: $36 (up $4)
  • Office 365 E5: $38 (up $3)
  • Office 365 E3: $23 (up $3)
  • Office 365 E1: $10 (up $2 – a 25% increase)
  • Microsoft 365 Business Basic: $6 (up $1 – a 20% increase)
  • Microsoft 365 Business Premium: $22 (up $2 – a 10% increase)

There are no changes to pricing for education products currently.

Price increases range between 10% and 25% depending on the tier. It is also important to note that there may be further “adjustments” in certain regions that may further increase the overall licence cost.

Microsoft 365 users in the UK can contact Q Associates for details of the local pricing.

Obviously, the new price increases will affect your budget – and it is important that you plan accordingly.

Time to appraise your Microsoft 365 portfolio

The change in Microsoft 365 pricing provides an excellent opportunity to review your current licensing strategy – and the performance of your cloud environment. It would be beneficial for any business using these tools to carry out a health check to ensure that your budget is being spent in the most productive way.

So, what do you need to consider?

  1. What do you have?
    Your first step is to understand which Microsoft products you use and how they are licensed. It is possible that you are paying for licences from different pricing tiers, for instance.
  2. What could be better?
    Next, you need to understand whether you have the optimal licence types for your users to ensure you are not over (or under) spending. This is particularly important for unused, excess licences.
  3. How are you using the Microsoft 365 platform you’re paying for?
    Once you have established your product usage and needs, you’ll need to ensure you have a strong Microsoft 365 cloud strategy. With multiple apps included in your subscription, it helps to know how your stakeholders are making use of the available tools. This will also provide insights into the opportunities provided by some of the under-used apps.

You will also want to check that you’re using the products in the correct way. Another important consideration is maximising your investment into Microsoft 365 by using it for some of your other third-party tooling such as mail hygiene, MFA, collaboration, telephony, and device management.

Assessing your capabilities in this way goes beyond simply containing Microsoft 365 licensing spend – it is a chance to build out a roadmap for improvement that allows you to maximise your investments.

How to optimise your Microsoft 365 licensing 

Its important organisations are licensed in the most effective way within their budget. To ensure your M365 is optimised, Q Associates is providing an extensive audit and health check.

This health check is delivered over the course of two-three days by our team of fully qualified experts. It includes a comprehensive report of all licensing within your M365 environment and a high-level summary of the products you are currently using.

With a Q Associates Microsoft 365 Health Check and Audit, you will receive:

  • A comprehensive report of all licensing within your M365 environment
  • A high-level summary of which products you are currently using
  • A high-level summary of any benefits you would gain by using more (or less) of the M365 stack
  • A report which details any licensing amendments you can take to reduce costs

“Adopting Cloud Services opens up a vast number of benefits, however if designed or implemented incorrectly it can also have the negative result of security vulnerabilities, unnecessary costs, organic infrastructure.

As the workforce has become much more agile and the way we work has drastically changed over the past 2 years, it’s important to ensure these services are kept secure, whilst maximising clients M365 investments.

Whether you need a simple licensing Health Check, a Security Audit or a strategical Design/Roadmap, our qualified team will draw from their deep professional experience to provide an Expert Service that’s tailored to suit your needs and budget. This is underpinned with the confidence that you’ll be working with a Microsoft Gold Partner and a leading independent UK Enterprise IT Solutions and Services Provider.”

Gareth Timperley, Director, Cloud & Network Services

Looking for more Microsoft Services?

The Microsoft 365 Health Check is just one of the Microsoft Expert Services on offer. Q Associates is a Microsoft Gold Partner across multiple competencies, including data centre, data analytics, collaboration and content, Windows and devices, and communications.

Our Microsoft Gold Partner status empowers us to help you expand the potential of your licence by providing actionable insights into your M365 estate. Our team of knowledgeable experts work with companies across a broad range of industries, helping them to understand their operating environment and learn how to maximise their return on investment in pursuit of their strategic goals.

For businesses moving to M365, we offer our Q Associates M365 migration services, which provide a full range of end-to-end solutions, from assessment and planning to designing and executing a migration to M365. This service also helps organisations to migrate mailboxes and service settings from one tenant to another tenant in a business-merger scenario.

You can take advantage of enhanced security and operational efficiencies with a Microsoft 365 security audit, which will help add strategic value as you review data loss prevention, consolidate security tools, get multiplatform coverage, or make work from anywhere more secure.

To further ensure your data is protected, the Q Associates Microsoft 365 Backup Review assesses your current applications and usage, then identifies data protection priorities and requirements. We then compare prices and analyse the whole-life cost of ownership of a broad range of backup solutions to uncover which is best for your needs.

These services are always on hand as you consider your Microsoft 365 needs. If you would like more information, or to arrange your Microsoft 365 Health Check, please get in touch.



Get In Touch

Contact Q Associates today if you have any questions or would like to discuss your IT requirements in more detail.

Tel: 01635 248181
Email: Info@qassociates.co.uk

Donna Robinson

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