When it comes to SaaS offerings like Microsoft Office 365, the focus for SAM managers is no longer the legal aspect of software compliance; because, assuming users don’t loan out their credentials, consumption is compliant out-of-the-box. So what function does the compliance calculation in Snow License Manager serve in a SaaS world? The answer is internal auditing and tracking. Organizations still need to prove that consumption of an application within their estate is covered by a subscription. In this post, I aim to explain how the concepts of coverage and compliance are calculated for SaaS applications.
Since Microsoft Office 365 functionality was introduced in Snow License Manager, a lack of automated intelligence in the system resulted in bizarre coverage and compliance figures for applications included in a subscription. In Snow License Manager 8.3, we have added new functionality that automatically correlates applications installed or used on a machine with its Office 365 subscription, enabling coverage and compliance to be calculated correctly – providing SAM managers with a way to easily filter out users who are properly covered and focus on the edge cases instead.
Figure 1 shows an enterprise’s consumption of Microsoft Office 365 ProPlus, which is offered as a standalone subscription with OneDrive, and as part of an E1 or E3 subscription.
The numbers in Figure 1 indicate that 167 users in the organization are consuming Microsoft Office 365 ProPlus. As this is a subscription-based application, no licenses have been purchased, and so the number of licenses shows as zero. With a requirement of one subscription per named user, the license requirement is 167. The coverage figure shows that the organization has purchased 135 subscriptions that include ProPlus – such as the ProPlus subscription, and E1 and E3 subscriptions. Compliance shows at -32, indicating that 32 users are either not linked or are consuming ProPlus using another organization’s credentials – a scenario which may arise when sub-contractors and consultants are connected to the enterprise network.
Figure 1: Compliance calculation and purchases for Office 365 ProPlus using subscription coverage
So, what’s the point? Well, in the previous version of Snow License Manager – coverage figures were zero and compliance would show as -167, because the intelligence wasn’t in place. In this version, we have added the intelligence that enables SLM to determine if the installed version of ProPlus on a computer is covered by just by the primary user’s subscription. So, how does SLM calculate the figures for coverage and compliance?
For each installation of ProPlus, SLM first determines the named user, which can be the primary user (and/or all users) of the computer where the application is installed. It then correlates the user with the information retrieved from the Microsoft Office Portal. If the user has been assigned with a subscription that includes ProPlus, coverage is incremented. Note that users with more than one subscription covering ProPlus will only count as one in the coverage calculation, and users need to be linked to enable the correlation. For more information about linking users, see my previous post: what is user linking for Office-365 and how to manually link users in SLM.
When coverage has been calculated, compliance is calculated as the license requirement minus coverage.
This new functionality provides the correct information regarding the coverage and compliance of Office 365 applications, enabling SAM managers to track how applications are being covered for internal governance and auditing of software. The concept of coverage is applicable to all Office 365 subscriptions and applications, including browser-based cloud applications like Office Online and its components – PowerBI and Dynamics 365.