Move Over Office 365

Move Over Office 365

Make Way for Microsoft 365

Move Over Office 365 – Microsoft 365 is the Answer to the Modern Workplace

On March 31st, 2020, Microsoft announced they would move away from standalone Office 365 licensing and start to align the licensing plans for SMB customers with up to 300 users solely to their complete solution, Microsoft 365. On April 21st, they began automatically rolling out these changes across every user with an existing Office 365 deployment.

If you use Office 365 applications on a regular basis, you may have already noticed that upon startup, the old Office 365 logo shifted to the logo of Microsoft 365. However, you may not understand exactly how these new offerings will change the way you work. Let’s take a closer look at what these changes mean for you.

Why Shift to Microsoft 365?

For Microsoft customers, there are several benefits to making this transition. First, the add-ons and programs within a Microsoft 365 deployment will help home and business users work more effectively within a single suite of products. This way, they won’t need to rely on an ensemble of fragmented applications from different providers.

Additionally, the previous SKU system used an unclear tier-system for Microsoft products. For example, the mid-price offering for small-to-medium businesses was called “Office 365 Business Premium,” but the premium tier for small-to-medium businesses was called “Microsoft 365 Business.” This didn’t just create a confusing sales pitch, it muddied how customers understood Microsoft’s offerings.

To help create this alignment in Microsoft’s SKU system, licensing for SMB customers (meaning companies with up to 300 users) will be subject to new naming conventions whereas licensing plans for Small Medium Corporate or Enterprise accounts stay untouched. According to Microsoft, the following name changes will take place. ?

  • Office 365 Business Essentials will become Microsoft 365 Business Basic.
  • Office 365 Business Premium will become Microsoft 365 Business Standard.
  • Microsoft 365 Business will become Microsoft 365 Business Premium.
  • Office 365 Business and Office 365 ProPlus will become Microsoft 365 Apps.

New Offerings with Microsoft 365

Don’t worry – with your upgrade to Microsoft 365, you won’t lose any of the Office features or applications that you’ve grown to love, nor will you be forced to pay more for an upgraded service. Instead, you will simply enjoy a range of new apps and capabilities. Here are a few new add-ons and capabilities that Microsoft 365 users will be able to enjoy.

  • Microsoft Editor – This AI-driven tool provides basic writing tips to help users compose text that is easy to read, including alignment with grammar rules, concise language, and inclusive phrasing. This add-on is compatible with Word, Outlook, and web browsers.
  • Presenter Coach – If your presentation skills are a bit rusty, Presenter Coach can help. This add-on will remind the speaker if they’re engaging in a few common presentation gaffes – such as not facing the audience, speaking in a monotone pitch, or just saying “um” too often.
  • Money in Excel – This add-on gives users the ability to track basic finances within Excel. It can link to approved bank accounts and provide a breakdown on spending while notifying them of unusual payments.

In addition to this, users that upgraded from Office 365 will now enjoy a few programs and applications that they may not have had access to in their initial plans.

  • Microsoft TeamsMicrosoft Teams is one of the most popular collaboration tools on the market. Your upgrade to Microsoft 365 will help you host rich meetings and events online, helping you stay close to your colleagues even if you are physically distant.
  • Microsoft Stream – Stream provides organizations with a platform for video sharing and streaming. The application also allows users to leverage technologies like video transcription or face detection.
  • Microsoft Forms – Forms allows users to create surveys, quizzes, and polls, and integrates with existing applications like Microsoft Excel.
  • Microsoft PlannerPlanner is a project management application that helps teams create, assign, and organize work in a visual manner. It can be used on its own or integrated with Microsoft Teams.
  • Microsoft Enterprise Mobility + Security – This intelligent security solution helps to safeguard data across your entire organization, whether it’s on your PC, phone, or tablet.

Final Thoughts

With an upgrade to Microsoft 365, your organization will experience a whole new suite of services and capabilities that improve user productivity while enabling a higher degree of collaboration. This change is quite timely as the coronavirus outbreak has highlighted the business value behind remote collaboration.

However, keep in mind that while these new applications provide a range of benefits, they may create a few challenges. For instance, organizations may find that these new services have created unintended redundancies, therefore making a software audit advantageous. On the other hand, some organizations may struggle to encourage employee adoption of these new solutions. You should begin thinking about how the update to Microsoft 365 will affect your workforce and software environment in the long-term – this forethought will help you enjoy all of the new, exciting capabilities for years to come.

Get Your Workforce Aligned with Microsoft 365

SoftwareONE’s 365Simple will help your team adopt these new features and functionalities quickly, allowing your organization to enjoy the benefits in no time.

Discover 365Simple

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Author

Tony Mackelworth

Head of Microsoft Advisory

Cloud, Digital Transformation, Licensing, Software Procurement Services

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