Why are Microsoft 365 user profiles important?
Don’t choose a one-size-fits-all solution!
Creating the right M365/O365 user profiles (“right-sizing”) for the employees in your organization and assigning the right licenses to these users is crucial to your negotiation position.
Getting your user profiles right can help you reduce costs and streamline the management of your licenses. It is about diversifying and customizing your license types to create a licensing portfolio tailored to your users’ actual requirements and use cases. Pro-tip: Never go for a one-size-fits-all solution!
Why does M365 user profiling matter?
Because it will save you money and make your license management more efficient. Properly profiling the users in your organization can result in lower costs of more than 15%, sometimes even 50%.
Microsoft, Microsoft partners and Licensing Solution Providers (LSPs) are focused on selling you as many Microsoft products and services as they can. Microsoft will also try to steer you to sign onto full suites (M365 E3 or M365 E5), promising that this will allow them to grant you higher discounts.
However, signing up to an entire suite means you’re buying items you don’t need and that you don’t use. Ultimately, paying for products and services you don’t need, even with a high discount, will still cost you more money than only buying what you need. Especially in a saturated cloud market!
This is where user profiling comes in…
Clients often feel that they know exactly what their current and future usage and needs are, however, when we then dive into their licensing phase by phase, we find that they are either over or underlicensed. They are paying for licenses they don’t need, whilst also not having procured other licenses they need to stay compliant.
We saw cases where an organization was paying for three different subscriptions for one user, or a company was paying for a full suite of licenses for employees who never or rarely use computers in their line of work.
Properly profiling the users within your organization will show you the gaps in your licensing portfolio, and it will show you opportunities for optimization – and thus save you money.
What do we mean with M365 user profiling?
User profiling typically involves identifying and grouping employees based on their job functions, departments, or any other relevant criteria related to their IT needs.
By creating user profiles, organizations can better understand the software applications, services, and permissions required by each group of users. This allows for a more targeted approach to license procurement and resource allocation. It means you can procure licenses based on the specific functionality and access required by each type of employee in your organization.
Profiling requires you to analyze and categorize employees within your organization based on their roles, responsibilities, and specific requirements related to software functionality and access. You need to understand the diverse IT needs of different user types or job roles.
Different profiles for different roles
For example, in a healthcare organization, user profiling will need to look at the different needs of distinct groups of employees such as doctors, nurses, administrative staff, and support personnel. Each profile would define the specific Microsoft 365 applications and features needed for that role. Similarly, in a retail organization, different profiles may be created for office employees, warehouse staff and store employees taking their unique IT requirements into consideration.
Customizing user profiles
We advise creating a minimum of two and up to (max) four different M365/O365 user profiles and procuring licenses needed for each user type. This customization will enable you to optimize your costs and meet your specific needs. This ensures that each user has access to the appropriate tools and services while minimizing unnecessary costs associated with over-licensing or under-licensing.
An example of M365/O365 profiling
- User profile 1: e.g., White collar employees: 2.000x Microsoft 365 E3 + E5 Security & Compliance Add-On
- User profile 2: e.g., Blue collar employees: 1.200x Microsoft 365 F3 + F5 Security Add On
- User profile 3: e.g., Factory devices: 200x (Win OS) + M365 Apps for Enterprise per Device + Win E5 Upgrade + Teams Device license
The suggestions above are just some of the possible options as there are many profiles to choose from. To better understand and digest this, you need to understand what suites are available and what is included in each suite of suites, individual suite and/or their sub-suites. Has this given you a headache yet?
Efficient procurement of licenses
Overall, user profiling helps organizations to understand the diverse needs of their employees and to customize their Microsoft 365 licensing approach accordingly. It allows for efficient procurement, improved user satisfaction, and better alignment of software resources with specific job functions or roles. The vast number of different licensing vehicles that Microsoft offers, allows you to get creative so use these options to your advantage.
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again. In the current negotiation climate, optimization is key; optimization is the new negotiation!
Analyzing and creating the right M365 user profiles for your organization is a great way to optimize your license estate, however it is only one of many options. Want to know what else you can do?
Reach out to us with any comments or questions regarding Microsoft 365 or any other Microsoft licensing produts or services. You can visit our website for more information on our M365/O365 Optimization service or contact our licensing experts at firstname.lastname@example.org.