As many of you are aware, Microsoft is in the process of transitioning Exchange Hosted Encryption (EHE) customers to a new service called Office 365 Message Encryption. I have had several questions from our partners regarding the potential impact. I want to detail the process and potential action items in the unlikely event any of your Open License customers receive a notice that their Message Encryption will expire prior to availability of the Microsoft Azure Rights Management SKU in Open.
Office 365 Message Encryption is packaged and sold as part of Microsoft Azure Rights Management, giving customers a complete solution that includes Information Rights Management (to help safeguard digital information from unauthorized use) and Office 365 Message Encryption (to encrypt and send secure email messages to anyone). With the upgrade, EHE customers will receive and benefit from both capabilities.
Customers with EHE are being migrated to Microsoft Azure Rights Management between now and September 30, at which point the old EHE service from Microsoft will cease. After the upgrade from EHE to Office 365 Message Encryption, the licensing section of the Office 365 admin center will show a Microsoft Azure Rights Management subscription with a price of $0. The price is set at $0 to prevent your customers from being charged for the new encryption service while their EHE agreement is still active.
The Microsoft Azure Rights Management SKU will be available through the Open License Program beginning December 1, 2014. We have identified all EHE customers with Open License tenants and have taken steps to ensure that their initial Office 365 Message Encryption subscriptions will not expire prior to December 1, 2014, regardless of when their EHE agreements are set to expire.
After December 1, 2014, customers whose EHE subscriptions expire will see their initial Office 365 Message Encryption subscription expire as well. At that time, you should lead your customers through the renewal process to purchase a Microsoft Azure Rights Management subscription, which will be available through the Open License Program.
If by error any of your Open License customers receive a notice that their initial Office 365 Message Encryption subscription will expire prior to December 1, 2014, please contact Office 365 partner support via the Microsoft Online Portal and we will extend the $0 subscription to December 1.
For additional resources and information regarding the EHE transition process, please visit the EHE Upgrade Center.