Microsoft 365 licensing with shared accounts

Microsoft 365 is a subscription-based service that provides users with access to productivity services and apps, including Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and many more, as well as extra features like online storage and collaboration tools. Microsoft 365 offers various licensing models that allow businesses to choose the right level of access for their needs.

In some businesses, shared accounts could be necessary in a multitude of circumstances: for example, one PC may be shared between several part-time admin employees who only need Microsoft’s basic services, like Outlook and Word.

But is sharing an account between two or more users an ideal solution? Let’s explore how to best approach having multiple users on one Microsoft 365 account, and the subscriptions available for this option.

What is a Microsoft 365 license?

A Microsoft 365 subscription-based platform provides a variety of services, including the Office 365 productivity suite, OneDrive, SharePoint, Teams, and more.

Microsoft 365 offers customers the flexibility to choose the right subscription plan for their needs. There are a variety of plans available, from Microsoft 365 Apps for Business, to the more advanced Microsoft 365 F3 that offers a broader range of features. Customers can also purchase add-on services, such as additional storage, to meet their specific needs. With the right plan, customers can ensure they are getting the most value out of their subscription.

Microsoft 365 can be installed on up to five devices with the following subscriptions:

  • Microsoft 365 Apps for Business and Enterprise
  • Microsoft 365 Business Standard and Premium
  • Microsoft 365 A3 and A5
  • Microsoft 365 E3 and E5
  • Office 365 A1 Plus, A3, A5
  • Office 365 E3 and E5

What is a Microsoft 365 account?

With the subscription chosen and purchased, assigned users are then supplied a username and password for signing into Outlook, Office 365, OneDrive, Skype, and Windows. As part of the subscription plan, every user is able to access Microsoft 365 from their various devices.

Companies may elect to allot a single account to multiple users in order to diminish the amount of licenses necessary. This shared account is essentially the same email address and password used by multiple people to sign into apps and services. For example, this approach could be applied to receptionists or maintenance personnel, who all utilise the same email address and credentials to sign in.

Pros of sharing accounts:

Cost-effective: Sharing a Microsoft 365 license is a convenient way for companies to save money on license purchases, as well as streamline the process for managing multiple users. By sharing a single subscription, you can ensure all users have access to the same programs.

Accessibility: By sharing a single subscription, all users will have access to the latest app and service updates, ensuring that they can take advantage of the newest features and security updates, as well as find the files they need to work.

Cons of sharing accounts:

Security: One of the most significant drawbacks of sharing accounts is that it can compromise security and increase the risk of data breaches or data leaks. With multiple users accessing the same account, it’s difficult to keep track of who is doing what, and who has access to which files. This means that users may be able to see and access information that they should not. It is also difficult to ensure proper security protocols are followed for each user, such as multi-factor authentication.

Compliance: Microsoft’s licensing agreement states each user who utilises its online services must have their own individual subscription license. The only exceptions are resource mailboxes, shared mailboxes, and room mailboxes. It’s also difficult to ensure that all users are complying with the same legal requirements. This can result in compliance violations that could lead to serious financial penalties.

Troubleshooting: When an issue arises, it can be difficult to determine which user is accountable, which will lead to further problems while trying to resolve the issue.

Should your users share Microsoft 365 accounts?

Organisations may be able to save money by using a single license for multiple users with a shared account; however, this is not recommended for the reasons listed above.

Sharing a single Microsoft 365 account between multiple users has its conveniences, but it also has significant drawbacks. It will compromise security, make it difficult to comply with data protection and privacy laws, and make it harder to troubleshoot and resolve any issues that arise. It can also reduce the efficiency of the account by leading to duplicate efforts and wasted time. For these reasons, it’s important to consider the potential disadvantages of sharing a single Microsoft 365 account before doing so.

The Microsoft experts at Essential Tech can help you find the right Microsoft 365 license subscription that suits your business needs, at the best price available. They’ll deploy the solution across your infrastructure, train your users, and can manage the full environment for optimal performance, support, and security. Talk to them today and ensure you’re getting the best Microsoft 365 services possible.

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