I recently analyzed
reasons driving the 250 million daily active users of Microsoft Teams. Referencing Teams’ increased adoption and also the 24 new applications added to Office 365 by Microsoft over the last decade, Jared Spataro, corporate vice president for Microsoft 365, last week announced
this innovation comes at an increased cost.
The lowest-priced Microsoft 365 Business Basic license, which includes an Exchange email inbox, Microsoft Teams, and provides access to web versions of Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote, increases by $1 per user to $6 user/month. The penultimate Microsoft 365 E3 bundle, which includes all the desktop apps and services, increases by $4 per user to $36 per user/month. Licenses falling in between increase between $2 and $3 per user/month. There was no mention of a price increase for the most extensive Microsoft 365 E5 bundle, currently listed at $57 user/month.
All of these price changes take effect on March 1, 2022.
It’s no question that Microsoft 365 nee Office 365 provides value. When first unveiled
at the Inspire conference in 2017, my observation was that most in attendance did not hear or process the difference between “Office 365” and “Microsoft 365.” According to Microsoft, “Microsoft 365 brought together Office 365, Windows 10 and Enterprise Mobility and Security.”
With the name shift, Microsoft expands its bundle to include everything from the operating system up to the top of the stack (applications). Doing so, Microsoft undoubtedly provides the most expansive productivity bundle available across any computing device.
A quick perusal of the Microsoft 365 Roadmap
supports Spataro’s assertion that many features have been added, with 832 launched in the last 12 months alone and another 226 currently rolling out. Based on this, it’s easy to believe 1,400 features referenced by Spataro have been added since 2017. With respect to his mention of 24 applications added to the Office suite, this, too, is noteworthy, primarily because few users, or even IT Pros, could list all of the bundled apps. When was the last time you used GroupMe, Delve, Kaizala, Sway, Lens?
In addition to announcing these price increases, Microsoft revealed that it would include unlimited dial-in audioconferencing, enterprise, business, frontline, and government licenses. While most calls and meetings leverage the Internet, the ability to join the audio of a meeting in the event of an internet issue, poor Wi-Fi, or when driving is welcome. Previously the add-on audioconferencing license was $4 user/month.
In summary, even after the price increases, the Microsoft bundles include tremendous capabilities and offer the potential to deliver substantial value, provided your end users are aware of and leverage these capabilities. Matching the robust capabilities within the Microsoft suite to the individual needs across different lines of business should be a core focus for IT teams. Doing so likely will require investing more in ongoing training and micro-learning techniques and then using usage and adoption metrics to understand the most beneficial approaches.
To get more value from Office 365 and specifically Microsoft Teams, please join me for my Taming Teams: Delivering Exceptional User Experience with Microsoft
session at Enterprise Connect in Orlando, Fla., this September 27. This session will provide specific and detailed instructions to help IT professionals deliver impactful, relevant, and engaging business experiences for end users by leveraging the full power of Teams, including:
- Options for deploying and managing Teams as your primary voice platform and integrating Teams with your contact center environment / Management challenges and opportunities, including using built-in analytics to identify what is working and where more work is needed
- The newest Teams' features that enable end-user productivity and proven training approaches to help your users leverage Teams features
- Low code and no code tools IT professionals can use to manage the Teams infrastructure and deliver unique line-of-business solutions
- Specialized mobile and front-line worker capabilities supported by Teams