Software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions have become the cornerstone of operational success. But, amidst the realm of countless critical applications, one name stands out: Microsoft 365.
You’re likely intimately familiar with this business staple. Universal usage crowns it a power-app. But more than a single application, 365 is a suite of apps. Like a tiny nesting doll, a single license can have many more tools on the inside that may or may not be used by the license holder. Think Word®, Outlook®, Excel®, Access®, Visio®, among others. Herein, I explain why SaaS management and cloud cost optimization for Microsoft 365 can be so elusive in a layered app or tiered app environment and how Tangoe does it better than anyone else in our industry.
When economic pressures hit, companies prioritize their cloud cost optimization programs starting with the highest SaaS expense – the largest bill, the most sizable contract coming due. Thus, 365 quickly takes center stage. Tangoe answers that need with a SaaS management platform enabling app waste reduction at the deepest layers, providing tiered licensing insights, visibility into sub-product utilization across every licensed user, and contractual negotiation recommendations based on economies of scale.
Microsoft 365: Sub-Products Obscure SaaS Management Insights
Microsoft 365 holds about 45% of the market share with free Google Apps® representing 48%. And when you appreciate how many of these layered apps are out there, you can see why SaaS management for Microsoft 365 is important to so many — yet terribly difficult to investigate. Understanding which sub-products are used and by whom quickly becomes an exploration to uncover utilization at every layer – a granular dissection that only the deepest visibility can grant.
This is the root problem Tangoe solved for its clients, helping them effectively manage their rising 365 license costs. Today, no one comes close to our advanced analytics for 365, which offer the clearest and most microscopic insight into licensed users and their sub-product usage habits over time. While competitors can tell you about your E3 and E5 license utilization at a high level, they can’t tell you about any usage of the layered tools within them. Simply put, they can see the doll but they can’t see all the nesting dolls on the inside.
Microsoft 365 SaaS Management: How Tangoe Does it Best
We guide clients in understanding:
- Exactly how many licenses the organization has and which types of licenses they own (E3 vs E5 for example)
- How many additional licenses were purchased above and beyond corporate contractual commitments
- Who has an E3 versus an E5 license, understanding their use across license tiers
- Who uses each nested sub-product – a unique Tangoe advantage!
As just one example, Tangoe can tell you which employees are using Outlook for email and how many OneDrive folders they have.
- How frequently they use each sub-product – a unique Tangoe advantage!
- Which departments these users are in
- How users and licenses correspond to financial transactions, spending, and what portion of their budget goes to Microsoft
- How users and licenses correspond to vendor contracts, and their terms, highlighting subscriptions set to auto-renew on corporate and even personal credit cards
- How cost allocations are distributing 365 costs across the company
And we put all this information in a centralized platform, leveraging that intelligence to help clients:
- Visualize their app usage at high-levels and at granular levels across the entire organization
- See how many licenses are assigned and are NOT assigned, helping to reduce unused resources
- Downsize licenses without impacting user functionality – a unique Tangoe advantage!
- Swap and redistribute licenses as necessary using automated playbooks
- Make smarter decisions about how many licenses are really needed at each E3 or E5 tier (based on real data) to cover business needs today and with tomorrow’s growth
- Make informed purchases knowing how many licenses verifiably need to be upgraded today and tomorrow
- Forecast needs and generate custom financial reports on 365 usage and spend for each stakeholder and department
This level of informed management is invaluable, and in our industry, this level of purchasing confidence only comes from Tangoe.
Cracking the Code: Microsoft 365 Cost Optimization
So how did we crack the code to 365, and why is this capability so hard to find in the technology expense management industry?
Integration is the secret, and Tangoe’s connections are the mark of many collaborations with Microsoft. Our cloud expense management platform is integrated at the deepest layer that Microsoft will allow. This culminates in a comprehensive data pool that reveals the detailed sub-product utilization under each license. We then apply advanced analytics to delve into the usage patterns, and that’s when the puzzle pieces begin to fall into place for our clients.
This is essentially how we dissect the 365 suite to its constituent parts, and quite frankly, it’s hard for companies to arrive at this milestone. Many of our competitors don’t have the internal resources and monomaniacal stamina to do what we have done.
Nonetheless the payout is there – for both clients and Tangoe. Recently, our phone has been ringing off the hook with clients interested in cost optimization for 365 and nothing else. It’s not always about Shadow IT, SaaS security, and revealing all the unknown and duplicate apps present in a corporate network. It’s more about that one big app (or even the critical few) that everyone knows can crack a large leak in the corporate budget.
And it’s not just about Microsoft 365. Depending on the department or business leader we’re talking to, some want to take a narrow view of other large-volume apps currently in use, simply because they own that tool and are responsible for it. That’s when we expand our conversation to the more than 550 other direct SaaS integrations Tangoe offers (more than double our competitors) as well as our support for more than 225,000 other business and custom applications. Tangoe’s wide cloud visibility is industry leading.
Of course, the appeal of 365 optimization is in the business outcomes.
Biggest Benefits of SaaS Management for Microsoft 365
Uncovering and analyzing the intricate layers of 365 usage opens the door to data-backed insights including:
- Actionable insights for optimized resource allocation
- Unveiled opportunities to save money
- Pinpointed ways to harness untapped licenses
- License redistribution to those who truly required the advanced features
- Procurement teams prepared for negotiations and renewal discussions with the facts of every license and their predicted future use for anticipated growth
When the devil is in the details, you can trust Tangoe to go find it, bringing back a simple summary of digestible insights. Tangoe has been known for pioneering endeavors in technology expense management since it started back in 2000. Today, we have emerged yet again as a guiding light in the complex work of SaaS management for Microsoft 365.
Learn more about SaaS cost optimization from Tangoe.