Microsoft 365 Licensing Questions: My Stance

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I felt compelled to write this post due to the high volume of licensing questions I receive from the community, particularly in the Security & Compliance offerings across Microsoft 365.

The questions come to me thru numerous channels: Twitter posts, Twitter DMs, LinkedIn messages, email messages, questions on my blog, questions during presentations, and even text messages.

I believe I receive these questions for several key reasons:

  1. During my recent Retention presentation at Microsoft Ignite 2019, I shared a slide describing the licensing for applying Retention labels to content across Microsoft 365. I had purposefully built the slide and had its content approved by Microsoft prior to sharing.
  2. Organizations are invested in (and often concerned about) understanding their licensing obligations to know what they have access to within the Microsoft 365 product stack and what they are allowed to do within their current licensing/add-on model. I certainly understand both the need for understanding and the concern.

Although I appreciate the trust I presume you must have in me to ask the question in the first place, my advice should in no way be considered official or an accurate representation of Microsoft’s stance. Due to this, my recommendation is to skip me altogether for detailed licensing questions and go directly to Microsoft. 🙂

My primary concerns with giving licensing advice are as follows:

  1. I am not an employee of Microsoft nor part of their licensing team and therefore the licensing information I’m working off of is typically the same public information available to you.
  2. Microsoft products, features, and options are wide and vast and therefore the licensing to go along with it is also wide and vast. I am not keeping up-to-date on the latest licensing options, particularly as they change over time. Instead, my focus has and continues to be on the technical implementation of the product and its feature set across Microsoft 365.
  3. I should not be considered an “official resource” for you/your organization to make a Microsoft licensing/budgeting decision on based on my response to a licensing question.

My recommendation for licensing questions has always been, and continues to be, to work with your Microsoft Account Executive/Commercial Executive for the latest up-to-date and accurate information for your own organization. That is the best and most reliable licensing resource available to you.

Please refer to these 2 links from Microsoft for the latest licensing information:

Thank you. 🙂


Credit: Photo by Lum3n from Pexels

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