Why you must Review your Microsoft 365 Portfolio

The Microsoft 365 licensing landscape 

There is an ever-expanding choice of Microsoft 365 licences options available and while this provides businesses with a range of advantages, from functionality to security, the wider the choice the harder it can be to conclude what you need in your Microsoft 365 portfolio to meet your needs and to stay compliant with Microsoft terms and conditions.

Microsoft are sending Audit Requests

Please see this article regarding the increased policing of licence portfolios by Microsoft.

Navigating this ever-developing portfolio of Microsoft licensing requires experience, deep knowledge of the licence types and time.

Where Qi serves as CSP (Cloud Solution Provider) for its customers and where customers take support with Qi on Microsoft 365 licensing, we offer a free full annual review of the Microsoft portfolio.

This review is more in depth than the right sizing on licence numbers and types we invite our customers to consider a couple of months prior to contract renewal. It is a full matrix review.

The Qi Matrix Review – Getting the ideal Microsoft 365 Portfolio for your business.

These reviews take into careful account your staff as individuals, their employment status, whether they are Knowledge or Frontline Workers (see this article for more information)

Crucially, the Matrix Review considers the required security protocols for a business overall.

These protocols can be driven by supply chain, insurances costs, protecting and securing the device estate or merely the understanding that infrastructure security is the bedrock for keeping your business protected, online and processing. Protection and security are driven in part by your Microsoft licensing and the policies in place for them.


A business requires Cyber Essentials accreditation and now requires Frontline Workers to have access to emails, Teams, and SharePoint.

The business is going to use Team Shifts in place of their existing time recording system and had identified that staff will be more productive if there is better information sharing across the business, reducing the temptation to work in silos.

This business is also deploying a digital On-Boarding programme for staff, to make the process consistent and time efficient.

Some shopfloor staff & remote service engineers (Frontline Workers) will access their Microsoft licences via their own mobile telephone. (BYOD (Bring Your Own Device))

Selected shop floor production areas and service engineers are also going be equipped with Google Surface Pro for Business devices to fulfil bar code scanning and electronic visit report submission (respectively).

This company has initially decided to take a full portfolio of Microsoft 365 Premium on an annual contract, driven by the need to achieve Cyber Essentials. The intention was to upgrade some Business Basic licences already on subscription for a handful of Frontline Workers to Business Premium.

How the Qi Matrix review helped this Business

Following their Qi Matrix review, the outcome was to upgrade the existing Business Basic licences used by Frontline Workers to F3 licences and deploy additional F3 licences for the balance of Frontline Workers thus meeting all practical and security requirements.

The saving per permanent contract staff member was £138 a year. Across multiple licences – that is a saving indeed!

Moreover, as this business takes on additional temporary staff to meet seasonal and project requirements, the Matrix review determined that some F3 licences should be on a monthly contract. The cost premium paid for the monthly licences was still less than having unallocated annual licences sitting on their tenant, paid for but redundant for much of the year.

Review & right size your licences in good time prior to your annual renewal

If your CSP offers you a full annual review service – it is worth spending the time to work with them.

Make Qi your Microsoft 365 CSP.

If your current CSP does not offer this service – ask them why not and consider moving CSP at your next renewal to one that does!

Get the Microsoft 365 Portfolio right for your business.

Understanding the diverse requirements of your staff, their day-to-day duties and their access requirements to your systems and information streams, will pay dividends.

Considering what level of protection, you wish to invest in for your infrastructure, the cost versus the benefit and the cost of not considering security thoroughly enough, is invaluable.

Microsoft licensing changes in ‘the detail’ regularly thus working with a diligent, knowledgeable Microsoft partner will save you time and most importantly – money. It will also ensure you do not contravene Microsoft terms and conditions which now policed, could leave you facing an Audit Request from Microsoft.

Thought for the Day

Qi, as your CSP and Microsoft support partner, will work on your Matrix review at any point in your Microsoft contracting year. It does not need to be at the point of renewal (but it should be in plenty of time prior). Having a plan of your ideal Microsoft 365 portfolio will also ensure that any licences you add during your contract year are the right ones for your business, longer term.

Contact Qi Ltd to arrange your Matrix Review
Qi Microsoft Gold Partner
Qi Ltd Microsoft Gold Partner