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February 21, 2023

It’s Microsoft 365 License Renewal Time – See How Bundling Increases Security While Reducing Cost

Microsoft 365 license renewal season is upon us and provides the perfect opportunity to review your current licenses and determine how well they fit your business needs. You may want to consider bundling on extra services to increase your company’s cost-effectiveness, access to more security and enhanced features and ultimately save your technology employees time that can be put toward higher-level tasks. 

Microsoft 365 license holders may be using Basic or Standard plans and adding extra licenses for programs like Microsoft Defender that are already automatically included in the Premium or Enterprise plan. Upgrading to a premium license can bundle all the features you currently enjoy with your plan, plus additional features such as Microsoft Intune or Microsoft Purview Data Loss Prevention for email and files. Selecting the right plan can provide the Microsoft solutions you need without extra licensing fees.  

Increased Cost-Effectiveness in Bundling 

Before renewing a more costly license, it may be wise to look into the features your organization currently relies on and which programs aren’t used as heavily or at all. Performing this Microsoft license audit in-house or outsourcing to a managed service provider (MSP) can identify features that don’t serve your company and can be cut without affecting your day-to-day operations.  

By cross-referencing features to available bundled licenses, an MSP can help businesses reduce overhead technology costs if it’s discovered, for instance, that your company is paying for Basic or Standard plan along with a stand-alone Intune and Defender license. Rather than continue to pay for the plan and individual licenses, an MSP may suggest you pay for a Premium subscription instead. That way, you can continue to access features already available on your previous plan along with the specific programs you need and additional features you could utilize or test. 

Bundling in additional Microsoft Teams features can also help increase your company’s cost-effectiveness by eliminating the need for a dedicated landline telephone. Teams is much more than instant messaging software. It has the ability to take and make calls both domestically and internationally, depending on the supplemental licenses selected. If you’re looking for innovative ways to cut costs while preserving your business’s ability to function as usual, consider expanding your Teams license and adding additional features to enhance it.  

Bundle in Additional Service Enhancements 

Bundling Microsoft licenses is an excellent way to add needed features even when using a plan that doesn’t automatically include them. For example, Microsoft’s Basic and Standard business plans don’t include Azure Active Directory, but the Premium plan does.  

Azure, a cloud platform comprised of over 200 products and cloud services to build, allows businesses to run and manage applications across multiple clouds and physical locations. As businesses expand their remote working options, a hybrid cloud system can help integrate and manage your technology environment while allowing employees to continue to work from anywhere. 

Boost Security in More Ways than One 

Bundling licenses can increase your business’s access to key security features like Microsoft Defender for Business and Microsoft Defender for Endpoint Plan 1, to name just a few. As cybersecurity threats continue to be a major factor for businesses, taking proactive steps to protect your company from threat actors has never been more critical. Attacks are becoming more sophisticated, as the recent slate of Multi-factor Authentication (MFA) fatigue attacks shows, so businesses must be more vigilant than ever before. With company data spread across mobile devices, investing in next-generation device security can help your workplace enact a comprehensive security strategy.

Even with an IT employee or team, working with an MSP can help businesses identify other potential security vulnerabilities. One of the first things an MSP will do is look through your company’s user list and identify individuals who don’t belong on the roster. Perhaps a few employees who quit or were let go still have access to the system. MSPs will remove those ex-employees and clean up the user list, preventing a potential security breach. 

An MSP can also secure your environment with security programs like MFA and provide additional email security by adding a feature where any email sent from outside of your organization will be marked as malicious and dropped. Email remains a major vector for cybercriminals to target, so securing your email platforms can add another layer of protection. 

Save IT Employees Additional Time 

By bundling licenses together, technology or IT employees don’t need to track multiple license renewal dates throughout the year. Instead, the entire license can be renewed at one point in the year, giving staff more time to focus on high-level projects and tasks. Simplifying the license renewal process while increasing the useful features it provides is a major benefit of bundling.  

An experienced technology managed service provider can help you understand which Microsoft licensing plan fits your organization and which supplemental licenses can be bundled in to best serve your business. Anders Technology advisors work with companies to determine which technological solutions fit their individual needs. To discuss how can best assist you and learn more about the associated fees, contact Anders below. 

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