Microsoft is announcing several updates and improvements coming to Office 365 this fall specifically targeted to meet the needs of small and midsize business customers (SMBs). This wave of updates will begin in August.
1. New ‘Office 365 Business’ plans: a new set of plans with features and price points tailored for SMBs. These plans will be available for purchase for new customers on October 1st, 2014.
2. Commitment to existing customers: These plans will replace the existing plans for SMBs over time (Small Business, Small Business Premium and Midsize Business). Existing customers will be able to use their current plan for at least 12 months, after which they will be able to move to any Office 365 plan (Business or Enterprise). Customers will continue to receive updates and value from their subscription until they move.
3. Greater choice than ever: SMB customers will be able to combine any Office 365 Business & Enterprise plan to meet the exact needs of specific users, cost effectively, while also having access to additional solutions like Project, Visio, Dynamics CRM Online and more.
4. Simplified getting started experience: Microsoft are delivering a simplified trial signup page and improved getting started experience, both for administrators and end users.
5. Easy and consistent admin controls: Microsoft are streamlining and refining navigation in the Office 365 admin center with a modern look and feel. Most commonly used tasks and settings will be more discoverable and simpler to use, with increased use of toggles, quick actions and live tiles. This experience will remain the same across all Office 365 plans, allowing customers to move between plans with a consistent, familiar experience.
Why is Microsoft making these changes?
The new Office 365 plans will provide customers with the following benefits:
1. New Choice: The Office 365 Business plan makes it simple to get just the familiar, full Office apps at a great price – always up to date and available on all your devices including your PC, Mac, iPad and smartphone. The included 1TB of cloud storage makes it easy to access and edit your important files from anywhere.
2. New Value: Business Premium includes Midsize Business’ services. Business Essentials matches Small Business on price and with improved features and additional services like Yammer and Active Directory support. The higher seat limit of 300 means even more businesses can take advantage of the great value these plans provide.
3. New Flexibility: As you grow and your technology needs change, you can move your company (or just specific users) to an Enterprise plan, a different Business plan, or even add solutions like Project, Visio, Dynamics CRM Online and more.
What is available in the new ‘Office 365 Business’ plans?
The Office 365 Business plans include features and price points tailored to meet the needs of small and midsize business customers (SMBs). They are designed to meet the needs of businesses ranging from 1 to approximately 250 employees, and will be available for purchase on October 1, 2014.
Office 365 Business – the core Office applications businesses use every day, offered as a cloud service so they are always up to date. Includes Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote and Publisher. Comes with Office Online (online versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote) as well as 1TB of OneDrive for Business cloud storage to access, edit and share your documents across your Windows PC, Mac, iPad, Windows tablet and smartphone.
Office 365 Business Essentials – the core cloud services for running your business – business class email and calendaring, Office Online, online meetings, IM, video conferencing, cloud storage and file sharing and much more.
Office 365 Business Premium – get everything from both the Office 365 Business and Business Essentials plans.
Customers are able to combine any of these plans together to meet the needs of their business, and can purchase up to 300 seats of each individual plan. All Office 365 plans come with a financially-backed 99.9% uptime service level agreement and 24/7 technical support by a global network of experts, for critical, service impacting events.
What does this mean for customers on existing Small Business & Midsize Business plans?
The new Office 365 Business plans will eventually replace the following existing plans for SMBs – Small Business, Small Business Premium and Midsize Business. It is Microsoft’s policy to give a 12 months’ notice for any changes to a customer’s core subscription. Customers will have No Required Action to take regarding their Office 365 plan subscription until their first renewal starting October 1, 2015.
Customers will continue to receive all the benefits of Office 365, including any feature and security updates (e.g. admin center updates, new suite navigation) and any new services (e.g. adding Yammer to Midsize Business, increase in OneDrive for Business storage) that are relevant to their subscription. Customers will also be able to add seats, add new subscriptions, and renew their existing subscription.
Starting October 1, 2015, customers will no longer be able to renew to their existing Office 365 plan. Customers will be able to renew to either a similar Business plan or a more advanced Enterprise plan.
What is included in Office 365 Business?
The core Office applications businesses use every day, offered as a cloud service so they are always up to date. Includes Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote and Publisher desktop applications. Comes with Office Online (online versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote) for collaborating on documents as well as 1TB of OneDrive for Business cloud storage to access, edit and sync your documents across your Windows PC, Mac, iPad, Windows tablet and smartphone.
This plan is great for customers who want the latest version of the Office desktop applications and a way to access and work on their documents on any device.
What is included in Office 365 Business Essentials?
The core cloud services for running your business:
• Business-class email and calendaring – 50GB mailboxes, custom domains and built in spam and malware protection
• Office Online – online versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote for collaborating on documents
• Online meetings – screen sharing, audio, video and IM for up to 250 participants
• OneDrive for Business – 1TB cloud storage and file sharing
• Yammer – private social networking
• …and more.
This plan is great for customers who have Office today and want to supplement it with simple-to-use but enterprise-grade cloud services that light up their Office experience.
What is included in Office 365 Business Premium?
Get everything from both the Office 365 Business and Business Essentials plans.
This plan is great for customers who want the latest version of the Office desktop applications and a way to access and work on their documents on any device, as well as simple-to-use but enterprise-grade cloud services that light up Office.
If you are currently running Office 365 or are looking to take advantage of these opportunities please contact CJ Systems on 01823 478515 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.