Optimizing licensing costs can be a tough challenge to track. You may currently be wasting your IT budget on licenses that are not in use, without knowing it. In this guide we will show you how to quickly make an audit of user accounts in a user group in the Active Directory that is attached to licenses. When we did this audit it turned out that it resulted in a cost saving of about SEK80.000/$8000 a year on Office365 licenses!
How to do it:
1. Build a table about users
Start off by going into Table Explorer. This is where we build reports and documentation about basically anything IT related.
Hit ‘Create New Table’ and select “User accounts”.
If done correctly you will now see a list of all user accounts found by vScope, both domain and local. Next step is to add some information about them. In this case we’ll add the tags ‘Groups’ and ‘Time since last logon’:
2. Translate your licensing rules into filters
The next step is to add rules to only show user accounts relevant for our use case (user accounts with a license).There are a lot of test and SYS accounts in the list so we’ll make it more relevant with filters.
For instance, we have Office 365 E3 licenses connected to all users in the “Office 365 E3” user group. What we need to do is to filter this in vScope.
NOTICE: obviously you should use your rules here i.e. group names of users connected to any kind of license you want to find.
Let’s add a filter so that only users in the group “Office 365 E3” appears in the report…
The result will now show all user accounts in the group “Office 365 E3”.
3. Find unused licenses
We’ve noticed that a few of our user accounts are obsolete and not anything we’re paying a license for. So we’ll refine the result by only showing Active accounts:
Better… in this case we won’t exclude “Disabled” user accounts since our policy is to deactivate accounts if they are not supposed to have licenses. If your organization do differently, you can exclude disabled accounts as well by setting “Disabled = NOT true”.
To translate this table into cost savings we will filter and only show user accounts that have not been authenticated by the Active Directory in 180 days. You can of course set this to any day/date range you want, depending on your policies for deactivation, but 180 days works good for us since this will exclude eg. vacations or parental leave from the result.
Add 180 days-filter (expressed “180d-” in the ‘Range-’ filter panel)
Also, consider to scroll through this list and hide any accounts that still might be in use all though not being active for a long time.
Great! The report now says show:
- in a group which we know is connected to a licensing cost…
- but have not logged in for 180 days
In this case we found 34 user accounts. That’s about SEK200 a month per account (approx. $20/month) resulting in about SEK80.000 a year! (approx $8000/year).
Next step is to send this report to the colleague responsible for deactivating these accounts and ensure that we don’t need to pay for these licenses.
Let’s not stop there. You can with these steps continue to build reports about user accounts. Why not look for active domain admins or external users (consultants) still active in the AD?
Have any questions or need some help?
Our Customer Success team is always happy to assist! Just email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.