1 Feb 2023



Used Software

How companies use standard software according to their needs and reduce costs

MS Office is by far the most widely used application software in offices a. According to a survey from 2020, the market share in Germany was around 85 percent and is likely to be similarly high in other European countries. Due to the large number of areas of use and application fields, IT or SAM managers in large and medium-sized companies or administrations quickly manage large licence volumes in the four- or five-figure range. The associated costs for the latest Office licences tie up a large part of the IT budget, especially as these can lead to follow-up costs on the hardware side due to Windows and server releases. In order to counteract the increasing cost pressure, more and more companies are now shying away from switching to the cloud-based licence version Office 365 and instead buy Office licences completely or partially used. In this blog post, you can find out why the proven on-premises solution with used Office licences is enjoying growing popularity again.

Buy Office used as an on-premises solution or new in the cloud?

Until the beginning of the 2010s, on-premise software was the common licensing model for server-based programmes. Companies usually bought  MS Office licences they needed as volume licences and used them on-site on their own or externally rented servers in existing data centres. Due to the dynamic development of the digital working world in conjunction with significantly greater mobility and flexibility in everyday working life, the cloud-based licensing model "Software as a Service" (SaaS for short) has been gaining in importance for several years. As an offer forcefully placed on the market by large providers such as Microsoft, Office 365 is provided as a service that can be called up at any time and is thus available via the provider's servers. The entire operating responsibility, server capacities, transmission, maintenance and services remain with the provider.

Used Office licences for businesses - advantages of an on-premises solution

  • Purchase and operation of the software on site on own servers (data centres) and not on those of the provider

  • Extensive vendor independence   

  • Independent extensions and adaptations to the existing software landscape of a company or individual work areas

  • High application stability and lower internal training costs due to established and well-known versions of MS Office 

  • Full data sovereignty through implementation of own standards, for example in terms of server ownership and location

  • Possibility of remonetisation through the sale of used Office licences that are no longer needed.

PREO tip:
Buying standard software such as MS Office second-hand is worthwhile for a variety of reasons. Above all, however, our customers are always convinced by the realisable price advantages of up to 70 percent compared to the respective new product. By the way: The already high savings potential will be significantly increased by the price increases of 10 to 15 percent for Microsoft cloud products from April 2023.

Office 365 for Business - Cloud Licensing Advantages

  • Software as a service with transfer of complete operating and maintenance responsibility to the provider

  • Usage-based or time period-based contracts 

  • Access to the current licence version of Office 365 with all new applications at any time

  • Convenient implementation of E1, E3 or E5 plans  

  • Hardly any additional financial requirements, as all risks are outsourced to the provider and covered by the rental price

PREO tip:
If neither one nor the other seems optimal, there is the possibility of a combination, for example by integrating used software in a hybrid cloud solution. If you would like to buy Office used and combine it with an existing or planned cloud solution, the PREO licensing experts will be happy to advise you at any time. Call us or send us your non-binding enquiry.

Buying MS Office second-hand - needs analysis opens up potential savings

You should only decide whether used MS Office licences as an on-premise solution or a cloud-based licensing model is the best possible option for your company after an exact need analysis, including your medium-term company goals. In addition to the current situation, the focus should also be on the planned development in the next three to five years. Our experience of more than 15 years in the European trade with second-hand software shows that answers to the following questions, among others, are particularly important and helpful in a decision-making process: 

  • In which fields of work are which applications specifically needed? 
    Is it necessary to use the latest and thus most expensive Office version in all areas?

  • In which and how many areas is it more efficient to use cheaper predecessor versions, such as MS Office 2019 or MS Office 2016, and what is the licensing procedure after the official end of support for each version?

  • What are the consequences of a changeover in terms of compatibility with the respective Windows and server releases? 

  • How do internal resources and organisational structures have to be adapted, and to what extent, depending on the licence model, and what follow-up costs arise in each case when MS Office is used as an on-premise or cloud solution?   

In short: Only with an analysis of the existing software assets and the current demand in individual work areas as well as the planning for the next three to five years does the possible efficiency potential open up for the respective company when switching to used MS Office licences or integrating them into a hybrid licensing model.

Instead of the cloud model Office 365, it is better to buy MS Office used

Cloud solutions such as Microsoft's Office 365 offer some conveniences, but often entail a steady spiral of costs. Swedex also made this experience and left the cloud model of Microsoft after three years.

In this customer case, you can find out why the medium-sized company opted instead for used on-premises software from PREO and was thus able to save licence costs of around 100,000 euros over a period of three years. However, not only the immense cost advantages were convincing, but also the audited and audit-proof transfer of the licences as well as the fast and uncomplicated installation of the used MS Office licences and Microsoft server licences.

Swedex is a manufacturer and direct marketer of individually designed, high-quality presentation and promotional items for business customers in

Germany, the Netherlands, Austria and Switzerland. With more than 35 years of experience, Swedex is considered the market leader in the field of 'document presentation'.

Buy MS Office used - the advantages at a glance

Are you planning to buy standard software, such as MS Office second-hand, but have not yet completed your considerations? Take advantage of the benefits of used Office licences for your company with PREO and see for yourself:

  • Personal advice on all questions regarding the purchase of used MS Office licences, compatibility with Windows and server releases as well as integration in classic network structures or hybrid cloud models.

  • Legally and audit-proof licence acquisition with maximum transparency of all processing steps. It is not only MS Office products that are subject to high penalties in the event of licence violations.

  • High savings of licence costs compared to the respective new licence of up to 70 percent and in individual cases even more.

  • PREO capacity for licence management in large IT infrastructure projects with thousands of workstations and various locations.

  • Experience of more than 15 years in the European trade with used software licences and the innovative power of a pioneer in a still young, dynamic market environment.

If these advantages have not yet convinced you, take a look at our reference projects for numerous well-known companies.

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