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rcmaehl

Admins Angry at Attempted Anarchy - Microsoft planning to give Office 365 users ability to bypass their admins and buy their own addons

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Source:

Petri
Microsoft

Redmond

The Register

 

Summary:
Microsoft is planning to give users the ability to purchase their own Office 365 licenses without any administrative oversight. Office 365 admins are obviously outraged.

 

Quotes/Excerpts:

Quote

Microsoft has defended a policy decision for its "Power platform" – part of Office 365 – to let end users bypass Office 365 admins and make their own licence purchases. The change (which is now scheduled for 19 November) lets users within an Office 365 organisation purchase their own licences for PowerBI, PowerApps and Flow. Microsoft sees this as empowering business users. "As a result of digital transformation, traditional roles are changing," the company said. The intent of the self-service purchase option is to enable users to develop their own solutions to unlock productivity and drive business impact, while respecting organizations’ data governance and compliance." Coincidentally this will also enable the company to pitch these solutions directly to end users, bypassing IT admins who may be more cautious, perhaps less willing to accommodate the extra cost, or concerned about enthusiast users developing solutions that are not as robust or reliable as professional efforts. The new self-service capability will not be available to government, nonprofit or education tenancies, Microsoft said, and there are no current plans to extend it to other Office 365 services. Payment must be by credit card and cannot be invoiced later. Why are admins not able to disable this self-service feature? That is the key question, and Microsoft claimed only that "we're being responsive to our customers who have requested this capability", adding that "organizations can rely on their own internal policies, procedures and communications to ensure that those individuals making self-service purchases are complying with company policies". Microsoft said that "IT departments and partners aren't expected to provide support for products bought through self-service purchase. Microsoft will provide standard support for self-service purchasers." In practice, though, users may well channel queries to their internal IT support and this is something Microsoft cannot control. A Uservoice feedback request to add the ability to block self-service purchases has already attracted over 2,500 votes. Microsoft could defuse this pushback by leaving the self-service capability in place, but implementing this request to give admins a way to prevent it. Currently the company is in effect stating that it knows better than IT admins what is best for their users. That this move is unpopular with those admins is unsurprising.

 

My Thoughts:

Haha, yes, give the users the ability to buy their own software. No user has ever violated company policy or requested software they didn't actually need. I personally don't see any possible why this could go wrong. Sarcasm aside, it is a bad idea to give any plain old Office 365 user access to buy whatever enterprise licenses they want. I surely hope Microsoft changes their mind and allows Businesses to actually manage their own employees and software instead of allowing this anarchy.


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why would a company have a policy against an employee owning office 365? its not like they are using the company's money they are using their own right

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Posted · Original PosterOP
10 minutes ago, VegetableStu said:

but why? o_o unless said enterprise is stingy on not buying Office for their employees?

 

awesome alliteration alltheby

 

6 minutes ago, spartaman64 said:

why would a company have a policy against an employee owning office 365? its not like they are using the company's money they are using their own right

 

It's currently the ability to buy generally unneeded software of the Power Platform including PowerBI, PowerApps and Flow. Although this could easily be migrated to other add-on software such as Visio or Publisher.

 

Does every user need this software? No.

Will some users buy it anyway and then try to make other users use it or ask IT for help with unsupported products? Yes.


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10 minutes ago, VegetableStu said:

but why? o_o unless said enterprise is stingy on not buying Office for their employees?

 

awesome alliteration alltheby

5 minutes ago, spartaman64 said:

why would a company have a policy against an employee owning office 365? its not like they are using the company's money they are using their own right

It's not employees buying O365 for personal use or whatever, it's employees buying Office licenses for tools, without approval, to add to their company provided suite. It's called shadow IT and it's a pain in the ass when users circumvent official policy.

 

 


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3 minutes ago, rcmaehl said:

 

 

It's currently the ability to buy generally unneeded software of the Power Platform including PowerBI, PowerApps and Flow. Although this could easily be migrated to other add-on software such as Visio or Publisher. Does every user need this software? No. Will some users buy it anyway and then try to make other users use it or ask IT for help with unsupported products? Yes.

i still dont see the problem. nobody needs any software. you dont need microsoft word you can use google docs or just write it on paper but having word might be more convenient and people might decide that its more convenient for them to have power platform software. people generally dont want to throw away their money.  and the IT can just refuse to help with unsupported software problem solved.

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8 minutes ago, 2FA said:

It's not employees buying O365 for personal use or whatever, it's employees buying Office licenses for tools, without approval, to add to their company provided suite. It's called shadow IT and it's a pain in the ass when users circumvent official policy.

 

 

Then you should listen to your users when they tell you what they want to help them do their jobs better. I imagine these software isn't cheap so a person wouldn't shell out their own money to buy it unless it really helps them

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11 minutes ago, spartaman64 said:

Then you should listen to your users when they tell you what they want to help them do their jobs better

How am I supposed to listen to their needs if they don't make the need known and just go ahead and buy the license themselves? No offense, but you're incredibly naive as to what it takes to properly run and secure a corporate network. Your line of thinking is how services that are mission critical exist for years without IT knowing and then causing a huge issue down the road.


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1 hour ago, 2FA said:

How am I supposed to listen to their needs if they don't make the need known and just go ahead and buy the license themselves? No offense, but you're incredibly naive as to what it takes to properly run and secure a corporate network. Your line of thinking is how services that are mission critical exist for years without IT knowing and then causing a huge issue down the road.

Many companies don't make it aware to their employees that they have a channel in place (and many companies simply don't have anything, which is another problem in my book) to listen to their employee and have an IT team that works FOR them (and the company best interest, of course). Or make it incredibly hard with the requirement of having a full on business case to justify any purchase or installing a software that they acquire themselves (yes, I understand that it makes sense if an employee is asking this very expensive software out of nowhere and wants the company to pay for it... and you may want director and/or manager approval, but for the rest... it is silly, especially if the employee wants to pay for it, and it is all legit software from a trusted company, that is my point)

 

If IT works FOR and not AGAINST its employee and are open to find solution if something is not possible, then this kind of worry is not even on the radar (I am not saying that users should be admin, but we should not close all doors). When I worked in IT ages ago, we had such system in place. We even switch anti-virus solution due to few (yes, only few) complaints about it. When the renewal arrived we didn't renew and switch to one that still fit our needs but also employees.

 

Example situation of what offered: An employee wants to a software for managing windows (say, Display Fusion), we validate it quickly (make sure the software is valid, license is valid (not pirated) doesn't fall against company policies and so on, and it gets installed on their system. If it doesn't get approved (say it is a crap or questionable software), we see what they want, and find an adequate software solution that meets their needs. We don't say no and bring no solution. In a typical 'all good' situation, and they are willing to pay for it, it gets installed fairly quickly, (same day even), no need approval from their manager and director as they are no point.

 

What did we get? Well we got a lot of recognition from employees, and I can't count the number of food related items we were given each month by employees due to our quick service and us working with them. Of course that is the culture at play of the work place. If you work in IT, and experienced multiple jobs, I think you can agree that it is not common thing. That is the difference.

 

Regardless, in this case, the software in question is from Microsoft, it is trusted software, and so, if the employee wants to install it (and willing to pay for it), then what harm does it bring? If you don't want to support it, then why? How is that any different from another support call? Why put stick on people wheels? If anything, it gives you work, and more work is always better than not enough work. It is, in a way, a good problem to have.

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Stick it to the admins >:^)


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33 minutes ago, GoodBytes said:

snip

I'm not sure if you realize this but you still argued my point in your example. You were still made aware of the request. One thing I have to ask though, what happens to the license? I can tell you right now we keep track of all of the software licensing, partly in case of audits, but also because we can reuse the license once that employee leaves. I never stated it had to be some serious process, only that it should go through IT.

 

49 minutes ago, GoodBytes said:

If you work in IT, I doubt you have this. That is the difference.

Seriously? Because I have the opinion that IT should be the one purchasing and managing licenses you're going to say that? You're making huge assumptions based off a few brief posts. I expected better from a mod than to basically call me a shitty IT worker. Thanks for that.


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17 minutes ago, 2FA said:

I'm not sure if you realize this but you still argued my point in your example. You were still made aware of the request. One thing I have to ask though, what happens to the license? I can tell you right now we keep track of all of the software licensing, partly in case of audits, but also because we can reuse the license once that employee leaves. I never stated it had to be some serious process, only that it should go through IT.

You should not reuse the license of the employee if they bought it. Of course you have a copy of the licences and proof of purchase.. as IT you need to install it in any case. But in this story case, it will be part of Microsoft Office 365 account of the user using their company account. 

 

Quote

Seriously? Because I have the opinion that IT should be the one purchasing and managing licenses you're going to say that? You're making huge assumptions based off a few brief posts. I expected better from a mod than to basically call me a shitty IT worker. Thanks for that.

Where did I call you anything? I am comparing work environment / work culture. Doesn't mean you don't have what I experienced in my past job that it is shitty?

 

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2 minutes ago, GoodBytes said:

You should not reuse the license of the employee if they bought it. No audit scare needed. It is up to the employee to have proof of purchase. But in this story case, it will be part of Microsoft Office 365 account of the user using their company account.

If IT buys the license, then we can reuse and not waste money on having employees buying the license because chances are they will use a company credit card.

 

2 minutes ago, GoodBytes said:

Where did I call you anything?

TIL quotes are not enough.


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2 minutes ago, 2FA said:

If IT buys the license, then we can reuse and not waste money on having employees buying the license because chances are they will use a company credit card.

That is using company funds without approval... that is not employee purchase, that is an unauthorized company purchase. This should not happen, and will fall under company policy on action to take for such situation.

 

2 minutes ago, 2FA said:

TIL quotes are not enough.

I think you just miss understood what I meant... I'll reword what I said

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Posted · Original PosterOP
4 minutes ago, GoodBytes said:

That is using company funds without approval... that is not employee purchase, that is an unauthorized company purchase. This should not happen, and will fall under company policy on action to take for such situation.

Microsoft should be providing the option to be able to prevent this from happening in the first place by disabling the self-service portal company wide, for specific users, or for everyone but specific users. They aren't.


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This is very confusing to me, Admins are angry? employees can buy licenses with their own money? i am simply lost. who's admin? 


 

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Posted · Original PosterOP
Just now, Rohith_Kumar_Sp said:

This is very confusing to me, Admins are angry? employees can buy licenses with their own money? i am simply lost. who's admin? 

Whomever would manage Office 365 licenses and procurement in your company.


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1 hour ago, rcmaehl said:

Microsoft should be providing the option to be able to prevent this from happening in the first place by disabling the self-service portal company wide, for specific users, or for everyone but specific users. They aren't.

you can disable people from being able to install any software by having the computer ask you for the admin user and password before installing anything so even if they buy a license they cant install it. thats what the company i work at does that and only the president, vice president, operations manager, and me knows the admin login

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5 hours ago, GoodBytes said:

That is using company funds without approval... that is not employee purchase, that is an unauthorized company purchase. This should not happen, and will fall under company policy on action to take for such situation.

 

I think you just miss understood what I meant... I'll reword what I said

A more likely scenario would be an employee saying that they need the software, and IT is preventing them from installing; so the manager approves the purchase to bypass the IT department (just like when seeing rogue items plugged into the network...because they "needed" it).  There are plenty of situations where an employee may purchase an item, without the IT teams knowledge...and sometimes it is because it is "easier" that way (but easy doesn't mean proper).

 

Overall, preventing installs shouldn't come down to company policy, it should be able to be properly managed by the IT department.  Yes, there as cases of IT departments not being great, but at the same time many many users just go ahead without contacting IT first (until things go wrong and they decide to get IT to set everything straight).  There were times I've seen solutions being purchased, when there was already an inhouse product which solved the problem and integrated into the system...the reason for the purchase was because managers who thinks they know better, or similar concepts (or they just don't like the inhouse tool, but don't realize it fits into the bigger picture of management).


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This is the only rational response to this idea:

 


Ketchup is better than mustard.

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isn't this actually good for individual users who wants an independent/personal option?


Details separate people.

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As someone who needs weird programs sometimes I'm fine with this


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9 hours ago, spartaman64 said:

why would a company have a policy against an employee owning office 365? its not like they are using the company's money they are using their own right

Bypassing any administrator is kind of showing weakness and allowing more room for cyber attacks. You don't just want any user with a license doing whatever they want, yes they paid but they may not always be using it for the greater good


 @Macklee7   

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1 hour ago, Macklee7 said:

Bypassing any administrator is kind of showing weakness and allowing more room for cyber attacks. You don't just want any user with a license doing whatever they want, yes they paid but they may not always be using it for the greater good

if you are too worried about cyberattacks to use microsoft's software then the computer would have no software

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1 minute ago, spartaman64 said:

if you are too worried about cyberattacks to use microsoft's software then the computer would have no software

Wouldn't that be "bending" the rules if we were to download whatever we want in a work enviornment? 


 @Macklee7   

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