Introducing Microsoft 365

Office buildings and sky

This week is Microsoft's annual partner conference "Microsoft Inspire" - a week which often comes with several new updates, releases and announcements. One of the most exciting of these this year is the launch of Microsoft 365.

Microsoft 365 was previously known as 'Secure Productive Enterprise' - a great set of offerings, which provided organisations with the security and productivity tools to be a successful enterprise (see what they did there) - comprising of Office 365, Windows 10 and Enterprise Mobility + Security (EM+S). This week has seen the 'relaunch' of this bundle with a much more memorable name; Microsoft 365. It may be confusing having another 365 product - along with Office 365 and the fairly recent Dynamics 365 - but it shows Microsoft's wider plan to tie all their services neatly together, all powered on Microsoft Azure.

What is Microsoft 365?

Microsoft 365 is a combination of three of Microsoft's key services; Office 365, Windows 10 and Enterprise Mobility + Security. Microsoft 365 will be available in either Business and Enterprise edition - with Enterprise further breaking down into a E3 and E5 version. Business edition is aimed at organisations with 0-300 seats while Enterprise is aimed at 300+ - however there are often organisations with less than 300 seats on E3.
This suite of offerings gives organisations the productivity tools from Office 365 to work effectively, the secure operating system to work on with Windows 10 and the packaged security bundle to that wraps neatly around everything - in the form of EM+S. While the outline of the Enterprise edition is clear, there is a lack of information on Business edition, which won't be available to preview until next month.

Introducing Microsoft 365 graphic

What's included?

Microsoft 365 Enterprise includes Office 365, Windows 10 and EM+S - with the matching plans for either E3 or E5 (i.e. Office 365 E3, Windows 10 E3 and EM+S E3).

While for most organisation E3 will be sufficient, E5 does offer PSTN conferencing, Cloud PBX and additional security features, but please note that some of these apps can be purchased as add-ons if you don't feel ready for the jump between E3 and E5.

To give a better insight into features we've created this breakdown below:

Microsoft 365 enterprise plans comparison chart

Why Microsoft 365?

Many organisations are now using and enjoying the benefits of Office 365. It's packed with lots of different applications to help staff work - with new apps being added regularly (Teams, Bookings and Planner to name a few). With Microsoft 365 - you get all your Office 365 features and functionality but then also enjoy Windows 10 Enterprise and EM+S features in a more cost-effective package; providing complementary security tools to Office 365 to improve organisational security, which is obviously a very hot topic.
The upcoming release of the Business edition preview also marks an exciting time - tying in well with the Business preview of Dynamics 365 and showing that Microsoft are not forgetting about the SMB market. Providing an SMB-focused plan allows smaller businesses to tap into products and features that have been traditionally only affordable for enterprises. With the continuing reliance on IT and technology, even small companies need to make sure they have the tools and protection to remain competitive; which should be covered by Microsoft 365 Business - watch this space!

When will it be available? Microsoft 365 Business will be available in Preview on 2nd August and Microsoft 365 Enterprise will be available to buy from 1st August.

How much will it cost? Business edition is set to cost around $20 (somewhere between £15-16 per user per month). Pricing is not yet known for Enterprise but the predecessor, Secure Productive Enterprise, E3 was priced at £28 per user per month.

We can't wait to see the Business edition when the preview is released and will be updating our table to give an overall comparison between all the plans. In the meantime, if you would like to see any of Microsoft 365 Enterprise in action please contact us so that we can organise a demo or meeting.

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