Paid for Microsoft 365 E5 Licenses and Not Using Them?

Microsoft 365 E5 Licenses

Last Updated on June 20, 2023 Sarah Gayda

Lack of SharePoint user adoption could be costing you money and negatively impacting productivity

Your organization is likely one of the over one million companies worldwide who have Microsoft 365. Microsoft 365 is the most widely used cloud service by user count, according to Gartner, and cloud adoption continues to grow. Given the business advantages of using Microsoft 365, the investment was a wise one.

However, you’re likely not leveraging your investment to the fullest. After spending thousands (if not hundreds of thousands) of dollars on Microsoft E5 licenses, we’re willing to bet that many licenses you paid for are unused or underutilized.

According to CoreView research, in the enthusiasm for moving business to the cloud, enterprises make three common mistakes with their Microsoft 365 licenses:

  • Err on the side of caution and purchase too many licenses;
  • Pay for inactive licenses instead of assigning them to new users that join the organization; and
  • Purchase licenses that contain apps that don’t align with current employee usage.

The research notes that of Microsoft 365 E5 licenses, 23% are inactive and 27% are unassigned. Sometimes referred to as “shelfware” (famously coined by Gartner), research supports these findings and estimates that 25% of all software licenses go unused (or sit on the shelf).

Purchased v Utilized Microsoft 365 E5 Licenses The costs of unused or under-utilized Microsoft 365 E5 licenses and what to do about it

As much as 38% of enterprise software is going to waste, and the average large enterprise is wasting approximately $7.4 million every year on under- and unused software, according to a recent report

Report: Unused enterprise software is costing businesses a fortune
Percentage of enterprise software going to waste. Source: TechRepublic

But don’t despair. By better managing your Microsoft 365 E5 licensing, you can find huge cost savings and make significant productivity gains. In fact, “CoreView found that the average business could reduce their total Microsoft 365 costs by 14% if they discovered and better managed inactive licenses by eliminating or reassigning them.”

You may be asking, “How exactly do I do this?” so you can better utilize your existing SharePoint Online and Microsoft 365 licenses and ensure waste is a thing of the past. 

The short answer is to increase SharePoint adoption at your organization. Easier said than done. However, SharePoint Maven offers great tips for doing this. He aptly states, “SharePoint User Adoption is like marriage – You need to invest time and energy to make it work.”

Source: SharePoint Maven

For our customers, we recommend another three straightforward methods for getting your users to adopt SharePoint Online.

3 ways to drive SharePoint adoption at your organization

While we certainly can’t force your team to utilize their licenses, our Microsoft 365 apps for business help drive adoption of Microsoft 365 by providing solutions that workers actually want to use. Designed for users, our cloud-based add-ons for email management and content management improve the functionality of SharePoint. They make it easy for you to save and add metadata to SharePoint files right from Outlook, Teams, Word, Excel, and Microsoft 365/Microsoft Office 365.

In addition to saving your organization large amounts of money, while also enhancing productivity and enabling better governance and compliance, Colligo Microsoft 365 apps for the enterprise drive user adoption.  

1. Make capture and tagging fun 

Knowledge workers despise saving and tagging emails, and SharePoint goes unutilized as a result (many in your organization might even ask – “what is SharePoint?”). The good news is, our Email Manager solution takes the friction out of filing, allowing for seamless and quick filing and tagging of emails and content, right from Microsoft Outlook. Increased compliance, added metadata for better search, and unlocked time savings are more of the added benefits of making email capture usable.  

Save Email to SharePoint from Outlook 365 I Colligo
Colligo Email Manager for Microsoft 365 screenshot

2. Use SharePoint without knowing you’re using SharePoint 

SharePoint is a super powerful and scalable platform – a perfect home for all of your organization’s content. The problem is, nobody ‘likes’ to actually use SharePoint. Well, Colligo’s Content Manager is the perfect interface to solve this issue. Use Colligo Content Manager as a user-friendly front-end to SharePoint for all of your content management needs, wherever you want to work (right from Microsoft Teams, the web browser, or even Outlook if you so desire). Imagine if you could easily and quickly search across hundreds (if not thousands) of SharePoint Sites in just a few keystrokes… welcome to the Colligo advantage! 

Colligo Content Manager for Microsoft 365
Colligo Content Manager for Microsoft 365 screenshot

3. Access SharePoint offline or online  

Not only will your team be able to access SharePoint from anywhere, they will be able to use it from anywhere as well. Colligo’s Briefcase solution allows for access to all of your critical files, records, and anything else that may be saved to SharePoint, right from your mobile device, including iOS. Any changes made offline sync back to SharePoint when re-entering connectivity, thanks to our proprietary synchronization engine. Our customers that use Colligo Briefcase often can’t work without it, relying on the solution to help them better leverage and utilize their SharePoint and other Colligo licenses.  

So there you have it – low adoption and utilization rates of Microsoft 365 E5 licenses, which include SharePoint Online, can be a thing of the past with Colligo. For both your records management team and your C-suite, who spent a significant sum on licenses, this is welcome news.

Reach out for more information on Colligo products or m365 pricing. Or, start a free trial today.

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