6 Advantages to licensing to Microsoft 365 with your IT provider

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When a new employee joins your business, do you know what they need to get their email up and running?

If you're using Microsoft 365, purchasing licensing can be tricky the first time you sign up. However, even experienced buyers may be frustrated when setting up licensing for multiple employees. So, what can you do to avoid stress and smoothly onboard new employees?

Your IT provider can remove the guesswork and manage your Microsoft 365 licensing for with no additional costs for the licenses. It will not only handle purchasing new licensing but manage existing licenses and offer advice on the licensing subscription that is best for you.

For over 25 years, WEBIT Services has helped hundreds of clients onboard new employees, purchase Microsoft 365 licensing, and more.

Of course, being an IT provider, we have a bias towards how a quality provider can help its clients. You can purchase Microsoft 365 licensing and set up employee emails on your own if you wish-no provider necessary.

However, we wanted to write this article to show how your IT provider can help streamline this process for those who are interested.

In the end, you know your business and its needs best.

By the end of this article, you will know how a provider assists in purchasing and setting up Microsoft 365 licenses, how a provider helps terminate a license, and how to determine whether or not you'd benefit from a provider's assistance in this matter.

What is Microsoft 365 licensing?

Microsoft 365 licensing is a subscription that allows you to access various Microsoft applications like Outlook, Teams, Word, Excel, Sharepoint, and more. The higher tier the license, the more applications you can access.

Microsoft offers a variety of subscription packages both for personal and professional use. When you purchase a Microsoft 365 license, you buy Microsoft applications for a single user.

These license subscriptions are purchased annually, though you can choose a monthly subscription at a premium.

6 Benefits to licensing Microsoft 365 with your IT provider

Here are six ways your IT provider removes stress from this process for their clients.

1. Your IT provider tracks all Microsoft 365 licenses in use

Your IT provider will track and coordinate your Microsoft 365 licenses, so you don’t have to. It will see how many licenses you have in use, how many you need, and how many you have available.

Here’s where it gets tricky.

Unless you’re willing to pay an extra fee, Microsoft 365 licenses are an annual subscription.

While this isn’t a problem during their employment, things can get complicated if the employee leaves before the subscription concludes.

So what do you do with that leftover subscription time? Microsoft puts it into a pool for you to use later. While reusing the balance of the license is beneficial for a quick rehire, tracking how many licenses you have available in the pool can get confusing.

And that’s where your provider comes in: it will navigate the license pool for new hires, make recommendations for different licensing levels (if needed), and leverage the license pool at every opportunity possible. This keeps you from buying brand new licensing subscriptions and saves you money.

2. Your IT provider can match you with the best Microsoft 365 licenses for your needs

Microsoft 365 licenses have various subscription levels. The more you’re willing to pay per user, the more applications you can access. However, your employees may not all need the same type of subscription.

For instance, the head of accounting may need access to all Microsoft tools and security, but the summer intern may only need access to email.

Do you want to pay the same amount for the intern as the head of accounting? Likely, no.

Your IT provider will get to know your organization, its needs, and your goals to help you purchase the correct licensing for each employee.

Your provider will ensure that each employee receives the tools they need to do their job well without you overpaying for unnecessary applications.

3. Your IT provider can help properly set up Microsoft  365 licenses and emails for new employees

When a new employee joins your organization, your IT provider will ensure they have the Microsoft 365 licensing they need and set up their email according to company standards in time for their first day.

Every company has a standard style for employee email addresses.

For instance, “Bob Smith” has worked at three companies with different email address styles.

At the first company, he was bob.smith@company.com. Then he was bsmith@myjob.com, and, finally, he was bobsmith@career.com. For every job, Bob and his coworkers had email addresses with identical formats.

When an employee joins your company, your IT provider will ensure that their email address adheres to company standards. This way, no employee is an outlier, and you don’t have to worry about purchasing a Microsoft license tied to an incorrect email address.

And, of course, all their file and security access, licensing, and email must be set up before they sit at their desk for the first time. If it is not, then this delays the new employee’s productivity.

Your IT provider can streamline this process behind the scenes, so the stress never enters your office door.

4. Your IT provider can cancel Microsoft 365 emails and licenses when an employee leaves

Unfortunately, employees don’t stay with companies forever. When this happens, steps must be taken to remove that person's access to your network.

Your IT provider is responsible for the IT side of this process, including changes to their Outlook email account.

Once an email address is deleted, all messages and attachments inside the account also vanish. In addition, any new mail sent to that address will be lost in cyberspace as its destination no longer exists.

This may be fine for an individual email (bob.smith@company.com, for example), but what do you do for a team or group email?

Do you want to delete sales@company.com after one salesperson leaves? Or do you remove that person’s access to the account while keeping the email address active?

A quality IT provider will ask clarifying questions to determine the next best steps after an employee leaves. Then they will take the best next steps for removing access, including email and Microsoft 365 licensing.

It can delete the email account or remove employee access to the email address, so it continues to receive and send messages without that employee’s involvement.

As previously mentioned, if you still have time left in the licensing subscription, your provider will also track this.

5. Your IT provider can help you navigate Microsoft policy changes and updates.

When Microsoft introduces policy or product changes, your provider helps translate the changes, how they affect your business, and how to best approach these changes.

No business is static. Companies are always looking for ways to grow and improve, and Microsoft is no exception.

However, it can be difficult to understand or track changes when Microsoft changes its policies, licensing, or products if you don’t have an intimidate understanding of its products, processes, and technology.

Your IT provider can translate these changes for you and relate how they are relevant to your organization. It will also make recommendations on the next best steps concerning these changes.

There will be no guesswork or being caught off guard. You’ll always be “in the know” regarding Microsoft and can promptly make effective Microsoft-related choices for your business.

6. Your IT provider removes the guesswork for no additional charge.

The best part is that your IT provider will remove all the stress and guesswork for, typically, no additional costs.

There is no service fee for using your provider to purchase Microsoft 365 licensing as it is usually built into your managed IT services agreement. There is also no additional charge from Microsoft.

3 Reasons you would not use your IT provider to purchase Microsoft 365 licenses

Of course, you can choose to purchase licensing on your own. For example, small companies without an IT provider or internal IT department often buy their own Microsoft 365 licensing.

1. You do not have an IT provider or internal IT department

If you do not already have an IT provider or internal IT department, you likely will not hire one just to manage your Microsoft 365 licensing.

Suppose you hire an IT provider or internal IT department to manage technology and develop an IT strategy for your company. In that case, you can easily have them manage your licensing for you usually for no extra charge.

If you are an organization with no need for managed IT services, you either do not need Microsoft 365 licensing or may consider it more fiscally responsible signing up for Microsoft 365 on your own.

2. You do not trust your provider

You may also purchase your licenses independently if you do not trust your IT provider.

If you’ve entered an unfortunate or ill-matched IT partnership, you may not trust your provider to purchase the best licensing for your company.

If you’ve found yourself in this situation, it may be time to look for a new provider. IT partnerships are built on trust and communication. A good IT provider can help you save money and removes the frustration of interpreting Microsoft policies and licensing.

3. You want to do it on your own

Sometimes, clients feel more comfortable tracking, managing, and purchasing their Microsoft 365 licenses on their own.

If you enjoy managing Microsoft 365 licensing or feel better doing it on your own, then asking your IT provider to do so might be a match for you.

How to tell if purchasing Microsoft 365 licensing through your IT provider is right for you

If you already have an IT provider, you have an excellent resource for setting up and interpreting Microsoft 365 licensing. For no additional charge, your provider can help you set up Microsoft 365 licenses for all of your employees.

You may prefer letting your provider handle Microsoft 365 licenses if you:

  • Don’t know the number of active or inactive licenses you have.
  • Feel unsure what kind of licenses you’d like to purchase.
  • Are uncomfortable setting up or removing multiple email addresses, accounts, and permissions.
  • Don’t have time to worry about setting up or removing multiple email addresses, accounts, and permissions.
  • Are confused by Microsoft policy changes and would like help understanding them.

WEBIT Services has served the Chicago area for over 25 years. In that time, it has helped hundreds of clients utilize Microsoft 365 licensing and applications.

If you are looking for a new IT provider, schedule a free 30-minute consultation to see if WEBIT can help.

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