The feedback from many of you indicates that your users are acquiring software that is often outside of the “officially supported” IT infrastructure you are maintaining – and it’s causing you headaches! In response, Microsoft is building a solution to give you a managed way for your users to discover and try new apps and features that quickly and easily meet their needs within the controlled and secure environment you provide.
Currently, Microsoft 365 users can use Microsoft Planner as a lightweight project management tool that enables better team productivity. However, as projects become more demanding with more moving parts, the next logical step up from Planner is to use Project for the web, which can handle this work. Project for the web delivers the top-requested capabilities from Planner users such as Timeline (Gantt chart), subtasks, advanced scheduling, and dependencies. Based on what you have told us, you desire a more seamless way to work between these two apps, and our goal is to enable ways to easily discover the value of Project and keep that flow of work going within the existing Microsoft 365 environment that you maintain.
To begin this enablement, you will see new features and capabilities roll out both for end users and IT admins in the coming months. Note that this is not available for Education and Government.
What end users can do
As your users’ project management needs grow beyond their existing tool, they can sign up for a free trial so they can test out Project for themselves and experience the value and productivity of this premium tool.
Your users will be able to use Project as if they were a paid subscriber. During or after the trial, they can send a request for a Project license to you as the administrator. Or they can choose the self-service purchase option if your organization allows it
Additionally, when Planner users sign up for a trial, they can try out Project on a copy of their actual Planner plan data. The original Planner plan and the continued collaboration around it remain unaffected.
What IT admins can do
To give you visibility and settings to manage your environment, you can leverage the following capabilities:
- Admin controls for user access: You will have full control over user access to the self-service purchase process in discovering new product value.
- On a per product basis, the admin control provides the following options for users:
- Full access to trials. Can acquire a paid license either via self-service purchase or the submission of a license request to the administrator.
- Start an in-app trial and submit a request for a paid Project license.
- Cannot start a trial but can submit a request for a paid Project license.
- This article covers how to configure this admin control: Manage self-service purchases (Admins) | Microsoft Learn
- Visibility into trial licenses within your tenant: You can see all of your users’ trial subscriptions in two ways:
- In the Microsoft admin center on the Billing > Your Products view, you can see a list of subscriptions and then filter on “self-service” to see subscriptions owned by your users.
- On the Billing > Licenses page, you can see assigned licenses and also filter to self-service. You will see all the license requests your users have submitted by navigating to the “Requests” tab on the same page.
- You can reconfigure the request flow within the Microsoft admin center by adding a URL to redirect users to an internal site for license acquisitions.
- License request notifications: As the administrator, you will be proactively notified about license requests, including the details on who is requesting licenses and for which products. You can assign either the requested paid license or an alternative paid license.
Your feedback continues to fuel these innovations in making it easier for you to manage your environment while providing the right kind of tools for your users. Looking forward, here’s what you can expect:
- Improved product trial experiences for admins and software success roles: You will receive more information on new Microsoft 365 products that is tailored for you as the administrator and software adoption success roles. Our effort encompasses new usage and trial reporting on user experiences and product trial user data handling. Additionally, we plan to provide new rollout and management experiences for piloting Microsoft 365 products within your organization, including recommendations to try relevant products.
- Admin trial usage dashboard: Today, the existing dashboard gives you visibility into the usage of Project within your organization. Paid and trial usage will be broken out in the dashboard so you can see aggregated views of usage and trends and drill down into user-level details as needed. Upcoming trial expirations will also be visible in the dashboard.
- Request new license flow: As the administrator, you may not be directly involved with purchasing decisions. If users request licenses for products not available, our goal is to provide you with an easier way to share the license request information through email with others in your organization.