Power bi

How Much Does Power BI Service Cost?


Published on 06 Apr.

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    As soon as you start considering Power BI as your organization’s business intelligence solution, you are very much likely to be guided to the Microsoft’s Power BI Licensing Page, one way or the other, where you can instantly see two options i.e. Power BI Pro and Power BI Premiums. But, let us tell you that these details are over simplified, and definitely does not tell you that you can actually rent the capacity out for hours you require.

    But, if you will dig deeper into it, and spend hours of research like us, you will come to know that, in actual, there is a wide range of options that are available, which starts from an absolutely Free version to a Premium version that may cost you up to £60k or US $83k per month, which is obviously a massive sum of money. Hence, it is very important that you really understand that what Power BI licenses and service options are offered by the Microsoft, and what features come along which version, so that you don’t end up spending surplus and also that your ROI can be optimized.

    Licensing MS Power BI For Your Business Enterprise

    What options and features will be available to your Power BI license, and what ‘levels of access’ will be provided to your users are specifically dependent on the type of per-user license that you choose for your enterprise. In order to get Power BI license, there are mainly two ways that user may opt and they are;

    • Using work or school accounts and self-service sign-up capabilities to get their Free Power BI Pro or Power BI Premium Per User license for them.
    • Or, Admin can acquire Power BI license subscription and then can assign users licenses.

    Microsoft Power BI License Types & Their Capabilities

    Due to the rapid pace of updates and changes made by Microsoft, it is challenging to keep up with the types or licensing options offered for Power BI. As of January 2021, there are mainly 5 types of Power BI license offered, i.e.;

    • Power BI.
    • Power BI Pro.
    • Power BI Embedded.
    • Power BI Premium.
    • Power BI Report Server.

    Power BI – Basic/Free Version

    This is the free version of Power BI, which is great for getting started and for personal use, since it does not require purchasing of any license. It is ideal to find out if Power BI is the right business intelligence solution for your enterprise or not. Once, you decide over Power BI’s functionality, you can either continues using the same free version, until you are not in need to share your reports or data with anyone or publish them to the server. Because, for that you need to switch to Power BI Basic paid license version that is available for just £90 or US $ 125 per user per year approximately.

    Power BI Pro

    Essentially, Power BI Pro is very much similar to Power BI Free, but bolted on with ‘Sharing’ options. So, it is an ideal choice when you want to share your reports and data, but for this you must subscribe; and you can get this at very affordable value i.e. £ 7.50 or US $ 10.40/user/month.

    If you are a billing admin or global admin in Microsoft 365, you can also get free trial for your company. And, in this trial you will get 25 user licenses that can be used within one month. In order to sign-up, follow step-by-step instructions by seeing the Power BI subscription for your enterprise. And, if you already have Office 365 Enterprise E5 license (which costs £31/user/month) you’re you Power BI Pro will also be included within the suite and you need to pay no extra cost.

    Power BI Embedded

    If you want to try out Premium features before actually subscribing to the license, you can simply create a new capacity of Power BI Embedded (A SKU) in your Azure Portal and assign it a Workspace. In this way, you can get the access to all the premium features of Power BI. And, when you are done trying and testing, all you need to do is to simply pause Power BI Embedded capacity, so that it does not incur you any extra cost. Although, you will still be paying when testing, but that will be a tiny fraction of money as compared to the cost of subscribing to the Power BI Premium license.

    For instance, an 8-hour trial will cost you around £24 or US $33, as compared to using it every day for 1 hour which will cost you around £ 60 or US $83 for a month (30 hours for a month). This shows that the price will double in every step when you are setting up capacity. Another way to try out the functionalities of Power BI Embedded, is to ask take help from playground Microsoft and let it set it up for you.

    Power BI Premium

    Power BI Premium is a tenant -level Microsoft 365 subscription available in two SKU families:

    P4 and up are designed for very large enterprise implementations with many users and in most circumstances you probably don’t need it.

    The Power BI Premium is Microsoft 365’s tenant-level subscription which is mainly available for two Sky families i.e.

    • PSKUs (P1-P5) – This is available for monthly as well as annual subscription with monthly billing too. This includes license installation of Power BI Report on your on-premise server.
    • EMSKUs (EM1-EM3) – This is only available in annual subscription with monthly billing option, and only available through volume licensing plan and cannot be purchased directly.
    • The cost of these plans vary from organization to organization.

     Power BI Report Server Only licensing

    There are two variants of this available;

    • Power BI Premium P SKU P1-P5.
    • SQL Server Enterprise with Software Assurance Agreement.

    Business organizations can now use

    Integration of SQL Server Reporting Services and Power BI enable business organizations to use Enterprise SQL Server with Software Assurance for publishing Power BI reports throughout the organization. These functionality differences are worth considering between on-premise and SaaS versions during decision making process.

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