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New at Snow: Actionable Intelligence to Control Your Microsoft 365 Spend

New at Snow: Actionable Intelligence to Control Your Microsoft 365 Spend

By Jennifer Kuvlesky | May 03, 2021

We’re excited to announce the release of Snow's new dashboard, designed to help users manage Microsoft 365 licenses across multiple tenants and access detailed insights to reduce costs. Knowing how complex it is to figure out actual license needs, these new dashboards are made to help users gain visibility and control over their Microsoft 365 spend.

New Microsoft 365 dashboard

The challenge with decentralized data

When talking to customers about our capabilities in managing SaaS application costs, we commonly hear, “we already have visibility into our Microsoft license usage.” While technically true, it takes enormous effort to massage this data into something meaningful to negotiate a more favorable renewal contract with Microsoft. If the effort is too time consuming to perform, chances are, the work won’t get done. Without an automated solution, you may be overpaying for your Microsoft 365 licenses by a lot.

Why it’s hard

Microsoft has different subscription plans with vastly different costs. These plans give users access to different applications via different means (browser vs. installed). To figure out if you are paying for more than you need, you need to have visibility and understand detailed usage and licensing. This can be a challenge if you’re trying to pull this reporting from Microsoft natively. To figure this out, you need to export data from several reports in the Microsoft 365 admin center - licenses assigned, active users (who are assigned licenses) and application usage details for some apps. For other apps, you’ll need to grab usage data separately. For example, for Power BI, you will need to gather those usage details from the Power BI service.

After you collect all the data from these various sources, you’ll need to join this data together and run calculations on whether users assigned certain licenses are using all the apps they need. To do this, you will need to document in your spreadsheet what applications align to each license type (E1, E3, E5, F3, etc.). If your organization has multiple tenants, multiply this effort by that number.

It can be a time consuming effort that leaves you wishing you could just pay the bill and move on.

Three insights to help you fund innovation with cost optimization

Organizations today can’t just pay large bills without scrutinizing spend. Businesses must innovate, and to fund that innovation, optimizing spend by reducing costs can help identify and reinvest budget. For Microsoft 365, Snow’s actionable intelligence gives you detailed insight to reduce costs. Here are three insights you’ll be able detect at a glance with Snow’s new Microsoft 365 dashboard.

1. Identify users on plans that give them much more than they need: In this example, we see 150 users that can be downgraded from an E3 license to an E1 license, saving $3,000 per month or $36,000 per year. By clicking into the report, we can see the individuals on this plan – actionable intelligence we can use to move these users to the right plan to either repurpose these licenses or save costs.Snow Usage insights

2. Identify unallocated and unused licenses: In this example, you can see there is one tier of license that is not used at all. With the press of a button, you can identify the users with allocated and unused licenses to take action.

Snow subscription utilization

3. Find users that might be double licensed on both perpetual and cloud subscriptions: With the migration from one licensing model to another, sometimes users end up with two licenses. Plus, see the potential risk of unlicensed legacy installations that may not be covered through the license model within the agreement.

Optimize costs with actionable intelligence

Understanding how and why employees use specific technologies and a clear understanding of the resources an organization has across its ecosystem is essential. At Snow, we call that technology intelligence. To guide your organization through uncertain times, IT teams need end-to-end visibility across their IT ecosystem to optimize spend, maximize value and minimize risk.

We believe that IT leaders who are empowered with end-to-end visibility of their technology consumption and resulting spend are better prepared to make strategic decisions and build a stronger, more resilient business.

Learn more about how you can avoid wasted spend and optimize Microsoft 365 costs in our guide, Bypass Microsoft 365 Pitfalls to Save Costs.

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