Microsoft introduces self-service purchases in Office 365


Teodor Nechita
by Teodor Nechita
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office 365 self-service license

As you may already know, the vast majority of Microsoft products fall into two categories:

  • Apps and services designed for business users
  • Apps and services designed for IT administrators and developers.

The difference in approach between the two as far as the pricing is concerned was how the purchases went through.

Users will be able to purchase their own Office 365 licenses

Users will be able to buy their own licenses for personal use, and no longer need permission from their administrator.

This piece of news was first announced on a mobile app for Office 365 administrators:

Today, individuals within your organization are unable to purchase subscriptions or assign licenses for themselves or their departments without contacting you, their admin. Based on customer demand, we’ll soon be enabling self-service purchase and license management capabilities.

This doesn’t mean that now users can get personal licenses that they can bill on the company’s account.

Instead, they will receive their own miniature admin centers, basically becoming their own admins.

Microsoft continued their announcement, adding that:

Users that have purchased any of the products directly will now have access to a scoped version of the Microsoft 365 admin center that is limited to their purchases. Self-service purchasers are responsible for managing their own billing information, subscriptions and license assignment

Reactions were split

While end-users are happy they get some extra freedom in their choices, system administrators do not share the same enthusiasm.

Some system administrators commented that:

a decision with no real consideration of the wider implications. Almost as if Microsoft is endorsing Shadow IT. Hope they reverse this quickly.

They expressed their concerns towards controlling costs, but also compliance, controlling data sprawl, maintaining coherent systems, etc.

What are your opinions on Microsoft‘s radical decision? Should end-users be less reliant on system administrators as far as license purchases go?

State your opinion in the comments section below.

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