Microsoft cloud – choose wisely and save money

A lot of organizations, both commercial and non-profit, are ‘all in’ or ready for cloud productivity. Microsoft offers cloud productivity services like Microsoft 365 and Office 365. You can choose the one-size-fits all model, but that is expensive. Here is how you can save your money.

Read time: 3 minutes

Microsoft 365 E5
When you ask Microsoft, Microsoft 365 E5 is the solution. It is their hero-product containing Office 365 E5, Windows Enterprise E5 and Enterprise Mobility + Security E5. The price is roughly US$ 38 per user per month. It is the ‘full options’ model, so you cannot forget a service. The real question is, do you need all those features?

To start saving money on the Microsoft cloud it is a good idea to start investing the technology needs of your organizations employees and contractors. A person working in the IT department much likely needs a lot of features. Employees working on the factory floor, sharing a desktop computer only to read a bill of materials, have less technology needs. A secretary most likely uses the Office Apps, but a person in marketing uses the Adobe Creative Cloud suite all day and could do with e-mail handling through a web browser. All are examples.
This investigation of technology needs, is not to be done per individual, but per group with similar needs. These are called Persona’s. A Persona represents this group of people and makes it easier to understand.

Which technology
Once the Persona’s with their technology needs are ready, you can research on available features in the Microsoft online productivity services. Office 365 E1 offers the Office Apps, but only through a web browser (fits the needs of the marketing employee above). You needs Office 365 E3 or Microsoft 365 Business Standard (depending on size and other needs) for local installation of the Office Apps (think secretary). In a matrix you can outline the technology needs per Persona versus the available online services (and if you like help, the Quexcel business consultants have done this many times before).

How to purchase
Once you know how many of what services you need, the big question is: “How are you going to purchase the licenses?” Some licensing programs require standardization on a single product (like Open Value Subscription for Small and Midsized Organizations), which brings you back to the ‘one size fits all’. Above all, it has a limited product offering. But did you know that the Enterprise Agreement (for large organizations) offers an ‘Online Services Only’ option, where you can mix (some) online services to fit your needs? The only requirement is that you maintain at least 500 seats of those online services (every year). Back to SMCs, there is the option to partner with a Cloud Solution Provider (like Quexcel) where you can pick (almost) any online service in any number to create a tailor made solution. There is month-to-month flexibility as well. At first sight is seems a more expensive solution, but compared with the one-size-fits-all Microsoft 365 E5 product, it really is a big money saver.

Learn more
When you want to learn more about saving money on the Microsoft Cloud, talk to one of our consultants.

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