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The announcement regarding self-service purchase capabilities for Power Platform products??

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Frequent Contributor

Just found this in the message center: " Self-service purchase capabilities for Power Platform products will be available for commercial cloud customers starting 11/19. 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, which will allow users within your organization to purchase products directly, starting with the Power Platform family of products: Power BI, PowerApps, and Flow."

 

Does anyone have more info on this? Does this mean that end users willing to pay for a license will be able to connect company data to other sources and bypass their admins altogether? I'm finding this to be a bit insane - would love to hear other feedback. @adam deltinger   @Chris Webb adding you both to this as you always provide great insights. Thanks in advance!

51 Replies

@Kelly E I was taken by surprise myself, as there has been no communication on this as a post here, on blogs, or anywhere else!

 

Further down, the message centre post says (emphasis mine):

 

The self-service purchase capability arrives automatically and is not configurable, so there’s no action you need to take.

 

Being "not configurable" is bizarre. What if our company purchasing is centralised and no one gets to purchase anything without a formal process?

 

 

 

@Abhimanyu Singh : Hopefully not-configurable means only the function in the Admin service. Not the self-service pruchase function at all. 

 

This was a major shock to me and my team. This is asking for Shadow IT. Not to mention data sprawl and data protection issues. Can we get some more info from MS?
And..."starting with the Power Platform family of products". What else is to come?

Monitoring billing isn't enough if this is to be non-configurable. We need more tools as admins.

@Kelly E I was coming in to post this exact thing. I'm trying to keep an open mind, but it's extremely concerning. The Power team is going a bit too far in their scoping of services - I know this year is the year of upsell (read the slides from the Inspire conference) to try to get customers to upgrade to E5, or more fully embrace the PowerApps, but companies are cautious and need to know how this will affect their data security.

 

How will billing work? Already I have to keep checking if someone has created a DevOps Organization tied to our AD, and warn them that when the month is up, they will lose their work since we will not pay for anything outside our enterprise agreement - it won't be approved in billing. So now I've got another place to watch?

 

I'm all for removing silos of information, being able to easily integrate new tech - I love Office365/Azure/Power applications, but this seems like it will create silos in some companies - especially the ones with strict enforcement policies. Not all 'strict' companies are GCC/Edu tenants.

 

'Lots of customer demand' - convince me of the scenarios.

I agree with the others that this is a shock. I also am a huge proponent of new functionality of MS365, but one of my biggest headaches today is the sprawl of individual users and managers buying their own software!

 

We have an internal policy for centralized contracts and license purchases, however some users still go out and buy things on their own.  A recent audit of Adobe found 35 users paying full retail price for subscriptions using their company credit card, while we buy it under our enterprise contract at a significant discount. For our org, all of these random credit card purchases ultimately get billed to my IT budgets, yet I have no control over them and cannot cancel them until the existing annual subscription expires.  This announcement now seems like Microsoft is going to be the next cloud I have to continually chase, especially since we are currently giving PowerBI to select power user groups. 

 

At the very least, an opt-in or opt-out toggle for the tenant would allow us to maintain our policy standards!

 

Not giving tenant admins control over this is wrong Microsoft!

This will definitely create chaos. It's not about limiting the users to be productive but we need to have this under control. At least an admin setting to enable or disable this feature.

Really bad communication of this change as there are so many unanswered questions - what happens if the user leaves, what happens for orgs that mandate central PO control, what about software asset management?

Thank you for sharing this as I had missed the announcement in the Admin center. This is indeed a terrible idea. 

@Kelly E  Microsoft Azure Active Directory admins within the customer organisation will have visibility into self-service purchases through the Microsoft 365 admin centre. Later, if the procurement department for the organisation wants to consolidate the subscription into its central agreement, the admin can assign the users replacement licenses procured through the central agreement (EA, MPSA, Microsoft Customer Agreement via CSP, MOSA, etc.) and ask the end user to cancel their original subscription.

Admins can’t turn off this capability. It's recommend customers use internal company guidelines and documentation to ensure employees know what is and is not acceptable for use within their organisations.

I'm not sure that this is the best way forward personally from MS, but I can see what they are trying to do, cut down on the admin for users who are trying products out. I'd expect that this would be rolled out to more product sets in the future so maybe we need to look at policy to prevent unwanted spend rather than rely on the technical prevention. 

I hope that helps.

@Kelly E My view on the matter: https://www.petri.com/office-365-users-have-credit-cards-ready

 

It's a bad idea. Perhaps it would be acceptable if Microsoft includes a switch to disable the feature for a tenant, but rolling something out without giving tenants any control over how their users interact with a third-party (Microsoft in this case) is simply unacceptable.

This is unflippin believable. I am usually on board with virtually anything Microsoft has been doing as of late. But I agree with many others on this forum that this will create chaos and more Shadow IT of which i need neither of. Please Microsoft, add a toggle to allow or disallow this at a tenant level. Admins should NEVER be forced into a setting that could allow users to purchase things on their own.

@ agree with everyone else.  I can't believe they're rolling this out without the ability for admins to disable it.  We centrally control licenses and assign then to people who need them, not want them.  We don't want people to sign up and buy their own.  They'll attempt to expense them to the company (we won't pay), and it may give them access to features we've specifically decided they shouldn't have.  This is a terrible "feature".

@Kelly E 

This is an underhanded money grab by Microsoft to allow uneducated users to bypass corporate spending controls and go the Shadow IT route. Microsoft knows this will happen and is taking advantage of those employees who don't know better. Reconciling this nightmare after the fact and enforcing through policy not controls is idiotic and potentially a deal breaker. As with the other here you should head over and vote for the addition of a binary control to turn on or off this "feature". 

This is an unacceptable practice
(And potentially a dangerous precedent)

Whilst some organisations may well see this as a positive move and indeed they have the right to welcome it

It should in every case be for the individual tenant to have the option to allow or disallow purchase decisions being made at the user level

The simple way to deal fairly with the interests of all stakeholders here is to provide an opt-in (or opt-out) button
At the tenant level

If Microsoft do wish to persist with this
Then at the very least they should include
In bold print a clear warning to individuals
At the point of purchase That they may be contravening company policy in making a purchase leading to Potential personal financial loss and/or disciplinary action (perhaps including dismissal)

Maybe they could include a configurable text box for the tenant to have the option to personalise the statement to convey the company’s policy?


Everyone seems in agreement that an opt out feature would help.
I think that Microsoft are actually helping us out here. I look at multiple tenants for organisations every day. Most employees that want to try a service spin up a new tenant on a card and the organisation see nothing. Here you can see it as the admin and if you want to pull that into your volume licensing in the future. It could be useful.

 


@paulbytes wrote:
Everyone seems in agreement that an opt out feature would help.
I think that Microsoft are actually helping us out here. I look at multiple tenants for organisations every day. Most employees that want to try a service spin up a new tenant on a card and the organisation see nothing. Here you can see it as the admin and if you want to pull that into your volume licensing in the future. It could be useful.

@paulbytes Don't be fooled by Microsoft. They are only helping themselves out and hide it behind a facade of good will. It's not configurable because its potential to generate money with this is higher if businesses cannot deactivate this.

@Kelly EIt's an outrageous plan. I raised a ticket from the tenant to say so. I hope they at least take note.

I have posted a feedback in message center and received this bs reply:
Thank you for your feedback. We have put together a document capturing frequently asked questions from the community, which is available at https://aka.ms/selfservicefaq. We have read through your comment and will continue to evolve the document based on the questions and feedback we receive.
Yeah, I just entered the dislike in the O365 message center and voted for the option to disable this feature. This is what I wrote in the message center down vote:

You can't let anyone purchase software for the business just because they THINK they need it. That is ridiculous! Like new hires know what they need? OR that they should not be playing with reports in BI if their job is to go to the field and do data collection... We also have very specific purchase procedures to ensure we bill things properly to our clients- allowing the Wild West without the ability to turn off the feature is irresponsible. And this isn't just about a blatant money grab attempt, but we try to keep employees focused on their duties so they can advance- and this creates non-billable distractions. It would be like if you allow your MS Office developers to install XBox and xbox games- as much as they want- onto any of their own company computers - as much as they see fit. You would think that is an awful idea, just like this one.

I hope after reading all the comments from admins around the world that you understand things like this makes us second guess the trust we have placed with Microsoft and O365.

It would be nice if the FAQ was coherent or informative. It fails on both counts.  

@Kelly E It's very concerning that Microsoft is not providing a way to disable this feature should agency/company policies mandate centralized management of all licensing and purchases/expenditures in general.

 

To add to this mess, I read the Self-Service Purchase FAQ and found these lovely nuggets (red-highlight mine):

 

What happens to a self-service purchase if a user leaves the organization?

Valid users will continue to have full use of the self-service purchase for the duration of the subscription. The subscription remains active until the purchaser directly cancels it or an admin requests that the subscription be cancelled through customer support. Admins may also choose to assign a centrally purchased license to users of the cancelled subscription.

 

Are customers’ IT departments or partners expected to support products bought through self-service purchase?

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.

 

So now Microsoft is not only going to encourage rogue purchases but officially sanctioning shadow IT? And dealing with customer support to manually cancel subscriptions?  

 

Of all the half-baked ideas...

 

 

 

 

 

@Kelly E  I am in agreement with you. This announcement came as a complete shock. Coupled with not having the ability to disable this feature does not sit well with me or my organization. 

 

While I understand that Microsoft is wanting to push the Power Platform but some organizations are not ready for that level of technicality and they will need to slide into using it. Power BI is enough and dealing with sprawl is awful. We have to have time to put governance in place before we release anything to the organization.

 

I did put in a dislike on the Message Center announcement and explained my choice. I also voted on the User Voice to add in the disable feature. I hope there is a ton of backlash on this announcement because they have a lot to explain during Ignite next week about this decision.

 


@GLISIT wrote:

What happens to a self-service purchase if a user leaves the organization?

Valid users will continue to have full use of the self-service purchase for the duration of the subscription. The subscription remains active until the purchaser directly cancels it or an admin requests that the subscription be cancelled through customer support. Admins may also choose to assign a centrally purchased license to users of the cancelled subscription.

 


No thanks, I rather keep paying the subscriptions fees than go through customer support again. :face_with_tears_of_joy:

@Daniel Niccoli In this regard, it is sad but true that dealing with Microsoft support is more of a waste of time (and therefore money) than paying for the subscription until it expires. Of course, there's always the option to cancel the credit card, LOL.

 

 

 

I agree with the sentiment of the others.  Our jaws dropped.  Its a bad idea on so many levels, driving shadow IT and creating challenges for customer IT support teams, as well as generating hidden costs and risks to future deployments/changes.  

@Kristin_L_365I don't know if anyone saw it but Microsoft just announced that our end users can license Microsoft Teams to function with the enterprise on their own and do not have to wait to be upgraded.

 

MC194285: Updated Feature: Microsoft Teams self-service access for users in partially synced tenants.

 

This is a disturbing trend by Microsoft.

If you do not want un-synced users to create accounts in your Azure AD tenant, you can turn this feature off by setting AllowEmailVerifiedUsers to False in your tenant.

@Shaun Jennings  Fantastic, let all the horrific announcements come out at once, just in time for Halloween... Ugh.

@paulbytes 


@paulbytes wrote:
If you do not want un-synced users to create accounts in your Azure AD tenant, you can turn this feature off by setting AllowEmailVerifiedUsers to False in your tenant.

So, they will let us turn off this feature but let the Power Pack go unfettered....

@Shaun Jennings I’m not saying that its the right thing to do from MS but at least it can be managed. Unfair really for us to say that this is the start of something more than the Power platform issue.

@paulbytes you sound like you work for Microsoft. Stop. If you are an admin and/or run any kind of IT enterprise, you would agree with everyone else on here. The fact that you, not necessarily disagree, but keep doing the whole "glass half full/empower the users" approach suggests you either encourage Shadow IT in your environment or just like having an environment run by imbeciles. This is hands down an absolutely terrible idea and the idiots responsible don't have a clue on how to run an IT enterprise. The people responsible for this idea have issues with admins and want to empower everyone else in their stead because they always hated having to "put in a ticket". Hopefully this never makes it to the finish line. #worstideaever

To be fair to Microsoft:

 

1. Their business is selling software.

2. Their view of the situation is colored by 1). It;'s also highly influenced by their view of the world from Redmond, WA, and how software is managed internally within Microsoft.

3. Few of the people who are loudest advocates for "user empowerment" away from the "cold, dead hand of IT" who wish to "impose control" have ever been responsible for large-scale IT environments.

4. Those of us who have run such environments know how easy it is for users to screw things up; they want to do the right thing but don't often make good decisions. This is why we have so many complicated Excel worksheets driving business processes.

Yeah, and who will users turn to after all the mess their create with Power/Flow starts to tumble or money run out from that credit card :) IT.. "hey, it showed me the Buy button, so i pressed it and did this and that and now all my data is somewhere and nothing works, fix this!".

@Tony Redmond 

 

You are correct, Microsoft is in this business to make money, and they are good at it. (I had an Identity PFE tell me that once) But, what is upsetting to me is that Microsoft made this announcement, out of the blue, and there is no way for admins to say no, we do not wish for this feature to be enabled.

 

Microsoft does listen to its customers and they are doing their best to answer and solve all issues and requests. Kudos to them, but, normally, Microsoft has always had a way for Admins to stop the new features from coming and this time there is no option.

 

I think that you are right in your assessment, Microsoft's view on this is a bit skewed and might need to revisit this topic. I think they will eventually see the error of their ways (or at least the people who requested this feature) and things will be reversed or at least give us the ability to disable this feature.

@ahayes no. Not Microsoft. If I don’t agree I must be MS?
I enjoy environments where users are trusted and not held back by legacy IT systems or worse, IT admins that are stuck in a comfortable environment not wanting to progress with new technologies.
Yes IT need to control these but if your user wants to use power BI at the moment he will sign up to a new tenant, one that you know nothing about and import your data. With the changes yes he spins up a new instance but under your tenant with you having visibility and the option to pull into your volume agreement. I see that as the best option allowing for better control of that environment.
Just my humble opinion though and yes having the ability to turn it off I think would be a good idea as allowing admins the choice is always the best way.
So admins who try to oblige to enterprise procedures are "baddies" and those who leak corporate data to uncontrolled/unsecure side tenant are "progressive" ones :) If they do this, they should be fired, they probably brake lots of compliance rules that not even IT enforce in the first place (like GDPR and so on). They will be a reason of million dollars fines. And they won't be satisfied with Power BI and at some point import your data to some other who knows what 3d party system. And what if you are not in charge of the finances and will have to explain to higher execs how come you can't control these not planned expenses. Which will probably grow exponentially once the users see that they can do whatever they want. Unless companies create policies to charge such unsanctioned subscriptions from their salaries. But as some have mentioned already, such policies and accommodating takes time and this change is too sudden. Heck, their promise private channels in Teams for years and yet they release this a few weeks after the announcement. Bad priorities..
I have 62 tenant accounts under management (all separate business entities)
For each I have to justify and manage functional access, enterprise policy and expenditure
Without the ability to control how users access these elements I will not be able to migrate future business to Microsoft (and at renewal will need to move the existing away )

As I have commented earlier, for those businesses seeing this development as advantageous and desirable , they should certainly have this option available
However , this is a “deal breaker” for my existing and potential new clients
I have neither the time nor inclination to spend hours unnecessarily (and unpaid)
With powershell scripts to enforce and monitor compliance, where a simple option
To allow or disallow “features” is not made available
Microsoft this is not the way to develop your business
Solution

At Microsoft, we’ve been listening to all of the feedback regarding the rollout of our self-service purchase capabilities for Power Platform products.  To those of you who provided your input, thank you!  Based on your feedback, we’ve adjusted our approach to better address the needs of both IT admins and end users within organizations.  We’re making the following changes to our plan:

 

  • On November 19th, we will provide IT admins a way to turn off self-service purchasing on a per product basis via PowerShell.  
  • To provide more time to prepare for this change, we are updating the launch for self-service purchase capabilities for Power Platform products to start with Power BI on January 14th for all commercial cloud customers. 

You can find more details about self-service purchase at the Self-service purchase FAQ.  Thank you again for taking the time to provide your feedback. We look forward to a continued partnership to help empower all organizations to achieve more.

@Matthew Kotler While it's nice when Microsoft takes user feedback seriously and withdraws from a position that embarrassed the company, it would be so much better if some folks in Redmond asked people in the field before making assumptions that Office 365 tenants would like this sort of thing.

They listened - https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-365/commerce/subscriptions/self-service-purchase-faq

 

  • On November 19th, we will provide IT admins a way to turn off self-service purchasing on a per product basis via PowerShell. More details will be forthcoming.
  • To provide more time to prepare for this change, we are updating the launch for self-service purchase capabilities for Power Platform products to start with Power BI on January 14th for all commercial cloud customers.

@Kelly E  we're annoyed when Microsoft announced this feature. Now, We're glad to know that Microsoft updated policy to control self service. Thank you Microsoft.

Hi @Kelly E, With an environment strategy in place, couldn't the risk of data loss/misuse be significantly mitigated? (refer PowerApps Blog about creating an environment strategy) When you have the underlying structures and governance in place, if a maker can only design and make in an environment they have been granted access to through an AAD security group, would this self-service of licenses continue to be a big issue?

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