Hi Partners, hopefully you have all seen the recent announcement Evolving Office 365 plans for small and midsized businesses about the new plans that are coming for small and midsized business starting on October 1, 2014. I wanted to take a moment and highlight some of the great benefits that new and existing customers will realize as part of this announcement.
First off, a summary of the new plans…
- Office 365 Business – The full Office applications – Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote and Publisher, with 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.
The new Office 365 Business plan will make it simple and affordable to get the full Office apps at a great low price, and will include installing on up to 5 PCs/Macs and 1TB of OneDrive for Business cloud storage.
The new Office 365 Business Premium will include most of the Midsize Business’ services but at the Small Business Premium price, and Business Essentials will match the Small Business plan on price but will include additional services like Yammer and Active Directory Support.
One of the benefits I’m most excited about is that plans from different families will finally be allowed on the same tenant, which is something you cannot do today. That means within a single tenant you’ll be able to mix and match any of the new plans (Business, Business Essentials, Business Premium) with any Enterprise plan or standalone plan (e.g. Exchange Online Plan 1, OneDrive for Business, etc.).
So as your customers grow and their technology needs change, they’ll be able to move their 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.
For your existing Small Business, Small Business Premium, and Midsized Business customers, there are some great benefits to talk about as well. Starting on October 1, 2014, Small Business and Small Business Premium customers will see their seat cap raise from 25 seats to 300 seats. For your existing Midsize Business customers (whose seat cap is already at 300), they will see their price reduced from $15/user/month to $12.50/user/month the next time they renew (starting August 1, 2014).
As mentioned in Evolving Office 365 plans for small and midsized businesses, the current Small Business, Small Business Premium, and Midsize Business plans will be retired over time as customers will be moved to the similar new plan at their first renewal after October 1, 2015. Most customers will also have the ability to opt-in and move to the new plans after they launch. For more information, see the link above as well as existing customers will be receiving custom communications about these changes in their Office 365 Message Center.
This most recent announcement just continues to illustrate Microsoft’s commitment to providing ongoing value, benefits, features, and capabilities for its Office 365 customers. I can’t wait to see what’s next!