How Not To License Your Office 365

I’ve been seeing this show up more and more as I’m doing tech assessments and so I thought it would be worth discussing.

There’s a right way and a wrong way to license your Microsoft Office 365 subscriptions.

First let’s start with a quick rundown of the common subscriptions that small businesses use.

Microsoft Business Premium

This includes an Email account, a Microsoft Office license for up to 5 devices and a host of other services from Microsoft.

Microsoft Business Essentials

This includes an Email account as well as access to OneDrive, Skype, SharePoint and Teams.

It all comes down to licensing Microsoft Office.

You know, Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc. 

That software installed on your PC or Mac.

When you purchase a subscription to Microsoft Office Business Premium the person not the company has the ability to install Office on 5 devices they use.

And this is where people get confused.

They think that 5 devices means that they can use the same subscription on 5 company owned computers.

But Microsoft clearly states the following.

"The person will be able to download Microsoft Office on up to 5 Macs or PCs, 5 tablets, and 5 smartphones."

I don’t like being the bearer of bad news.

But it comes with the territory.

It’s unfortunate that IT consultants are giving business owners the wrong information.

That they are misrepresenting Microsoft policies.

And as a result this puts businesses out of software compliance.

What’s worse is that this leaves businesses exposed in the event of an audit.

And audits do happen on regular basis.

Believe me.

I’m the person answering to Microsoft on behalf of clients when an audit happens.

Get Your Licensing Right

I met with a client last week who has 15 computers licenses with 3 subscriptions.

They weren’t to happy with their IT guy after they found out that they were out of compliance and had to update licenses on their subscription.

If you start right you end right.

Need help getting your licensing figured out?

I do that.