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Many companies can save a fortune on Dynamics 365 licences. But you need to know exactly where you are heading.

Most organisations work purposefully to eliminate unnecessary costs, and this can be a simple exercise. For example, you can quickly see if the number of meeting rooms corresponds to your needs, or if there are more company cars than managers. But it is harder to gain an overview of certain other costs.

For example, many companies pay for expensive software licences they don’t use. Or they have licences that are far more comprehensive and thus more expensive than they need to be

“For example, many companies pay for expensive software licences they don’t use. Or they have licences that are far more comprehensive and thus more expensive than they need to be,” says Salam Al-Obeidi, Senior Business Consultant at Columbus.

For example, he describes how one Danish company turned out to have a surplus of fifteen of the most expensive Dynamics 365 licenses: the equivalent of an unnecessary annual extra cost of more than DKK 140,000.

“That’s quite a bit of money, and a cost you can eliminate without anyone having to be fired or run faster. Saving this money can only be positive for an organisation,” says Salam Al-Obaidi. However, it is not carelessness or indifference that leads otherwise well-run companies to overspend on licenses.

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It takes special expertise to detect the licence fortune

Because it is difficult to find out whether, as a Dynamics 365 Finance & Operations user, you are properly licensed. This includes paying too much or maybe even paying for something you no longer use. Therefore, most companies can really only assume that the licence composition they pay for at Microsoft also corresponds roughly to their needs.

“But that can be both an erroneous and costly assumption,” states Salam Al-Obaidi.

In the aforementioned company, in addition to the unused licences, he and his colleagues also discovered that a large number of users in the company were assigned roles and rights in Dynamics 365 that they did not use.

“Like many others, the company was paying for each of the users in question to have access to more – and in some cases even many more! – rights and functionalities than they needed for their jobs,” explains Salam Al-Obaidi.

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Continuous analysis can save groups millions

Large companies often have 50-100 Dynamics 365 users, while groups have many more. At the same time, the annual price range between the most basic and the most comprehensive single-user licence fluctuates in round figures between around DKK 2,400 and 9,600. In the worst case scenario, lack of control of licences can easily cost a company several million DKK a year.

we look at whether your company has user licences they no longer use. You’d be surprised how many we find tucked away here and there

On top of that, Microsoft’s licence terms change from time to time, and customers have to keep an eye on whether it could be beneficial to merge licence agreements from several departments or whether there are discount agreements they are not making use of.

“That’s why we have developed a service – Licence Optimisation Reporting – which continuously analyses and reports on a company’s Dynamics 365 licences. For example, we look at whether your company has user licences they no longer use. You’d be surprised how many we find tucked away here and there,” says Salam Al-Obaidi.

Automated review provides secure knowledge

Columbus consultants also have tools that automate the review of user roles, comparing setup with factors that trigger specific types of licences.

“We model the user roles so that the employees retain the necessary functionality and can do their jobs, but without triggering a more expensive licensing step,” says Salam Al-Obaidi.

Likewise, consultants keep an eye on the company’s overall licensing structure across legal and organisational units. We also continuously review where there may be grounds for optimising the licences or for making use of promotions and discount schemes.

“Ultimately, it’s about paying only for the licences the company actually needs, and you being in control of an otherwise somewhat opaque field in the company’s cost structure, and documenting it in black and white to the rest of the management team,” says Salam Al-Obaidi.

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