Microsoft have announced some changes to their Microsoft 365 F-plans and launched a new licence to better help frontline workers, starting on 1st April 2020.
Microsoft have a set of licences aimed at firstline workers (also known as ‘frontline’ workers). Microsoft define firstline workers as someone who serves as the “first point of contact between a company and the outside world” and involved in daily operations, such as staff behind retail counters, factory workers, customer service teams or maintenance staff to name a few.
Office 365 and Microsoft 365 ‘F’ plans are aimed at these workers to give them the tools to address common challenges:
- Communication – ensure staff can easily and securely communicate with each other through calls, video and chat (Teams)
- Information access – Simplify access to key content and give staff a central portal or intranet to access resources (SharePoint and OneDrive)
- Shift management – Easily manage and schedule shifts and rotas or integrate with existing tools (Shifts in Teams and APIs)
- Task management – Improve efficiency and productivity with activity management, project planning, task tracking and automation (Planner, Tasks, Power Platform)
- Access to core business apps – Modernise LOB applications and create simple mobile apps that are easy for staff to use (Power Platform)
Underpinning all of these features and benefits, is Security. With Enterprise Mobility + Security (EMS) included in Microsoft 35 F plans, organisations can secure and manage their devices, staff identities and data – or add enhanced add-ons if further security is required.
Currently the only plan for firstline workers is Office 365 F1 and Microsoft 365 F1, however Microsoft are launching a new entry-level licence, which will be available from 1st April 2020. This will be known as Microsoft 365 F1. Meanwhile, the ‘current’ Microsoft 365 F1 will be rebranded as F3 (and Office 365 F1 will become Office 365 F3).
The image below from Microsoft gives a good high-level overview of what is included in each subscription.
Summary of changes:
- Microsoft 365 F1 will be rebranded as Microsoft 365 F3
- Microsoft will be launching a new entry-level offering called Microsoft 365 F1
The launch of the new Microsoft 365 F1 SKU will give organisations a very cost-effective entry-level licence to enable firstline workers to easily work together with powerful apps such as Teams, SharePoint and Planner underpinned by effective security and management tools. Meanwhile, the renamed F3 plan will continue to provide a well-rounded solution to staff with additional functionality, such as Windows 10, Office, Forms and PowerApps and Power Automate. By having these two licences, organisations can combine licences and ensure that their staff have the correct solutions to improve productivity, communication, engage staff and overall, make operational jobs easier to do.