Group-Based License Management for O365

Wednesday 29th March 2017

Microsoft have announced a public preview of a much-anticipated new capability in Azure AD: group-based license management! With this new feature you can define a “license template” and assign it to a security group in Azure AD. Azure AD will automatically assign and remove licenses as users join and leave the group.

This preview also includes the highly-requested ability to selectively disable service components in product licenses, making it possible to stage the deployment of large service suites such as Office 365 Enterprise E5.

Keep reading to get an overview of this new capability, or dive straight into some detailed documentation.

Here are a few key facts about group-based license management:

  • Licenses can be assigned using any “security group” in Azure AD, whether synced from on-premises or created directly in Azure AD.
  • All Microsoft Online Services that require user-level licensing are supported.
  • The administrator can disable one or more service components when assigning a license to a group. This allows staged deployments of rich products like Office 365 Enterprise E5 at scale.
  • The feature is only available in the Azure portal.
  • Licenses are typically added or removed within minutes of a user joining or leaving a group.
There are more details here, or, if you’re ready to dig in, just jump straight into the new license management experience in the Azure portal. That’s right, no more going back to the classic portal to license your EMS or Azure AD users! If you’re not using Azure AD Basic or above, sign up for a trial here.

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