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The recently announced bundled licensing program called “Microsoft365” seems to be every bit as confusing as other Microsoft licensing options, according to several CIOs who participated in a recent NOREX WebForum.

Microsoft recently announced a license option called Microsoft365 which is a bundling of Windows 10, Office365 and the Enterprise Mobility+Security suite. Several participants are evaluating the offering but it seems to be as complicated as most Microsoft licensing options and nobody has yet to enroll. There was also good discussion on the traditional Enterprise License Agreement (ELA) and Software Assurance (SA) programs.

Several participants recommended using third-party resellers for two important reasons:

·         To help understand licensing options

·         To help with Microsoft compliance audits

Office 365
The move to Microsoft’s online subscription service continues to grow rapidly. With a few exceptions the participants indicated the performance of the various online services is as good as anything experienced on-prem.  Much of the discussion involved the merging of the popular conferencing tool Skype for Business with the Teams collaboration tool…a move which the participants seemed to like very much. Two tools were recommended for backing up of OneDrive and the entire Office suite…Backupify and Spanning Backup.

Windows 10
Members are gradually adopting Microsoft’s most recent and supposedly last OS. One member shared that their Windows 10 machines were not infected by the recent “WannaCry” virus while machines with prior versions were hit…something that tends to backup Microsoft’s claim that WN 10 offers improved security features.

Key takeaways and comments
This forum was very informative and gave me a few things to take back to our group as a whole.

Licensing with Microsoft is still as complicated as ever.

MS Licensing is an issue for many people.

MS requires a knowledgeable partner in order to navigate their licensing models successfully.

My EA's are coming up soon so this was very helpful.

The licensing and imaging issues we have run into are a common experience.

My team has lots to learn as we migrate to a O365 shop. 

Limit Office Updates to every 6 months vs. every month.
Products for backing up entire office suite. (Backupify and EMC Spanning Backup)
Only 25% on Windows 10 still.

Interesting info on the Microsoft Audit.

We have to seriously consider using TEAMS

Members may download the CIO – Microsoft Issues notes any time. For more information, please contact NOREX.