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Microsoft 365 Business and Microsoft 365 Enterprise: What’s New, Different and Available as of August 2?

August 2017: If you use a version of Office 365 and Windows for your organization, you can now get them bundled together into one subscription when you choose Microsoft 365 Business and Microsoft 365 Enterprise. Bundling can save time and expense, and deciding if it’s right for you can be the trigger to look at all of your current licenses and review your position.

Here’s a summary of the new Microsoft 365 bundles and their costs, links to all Office 365 plans, and some key questions to ask as you consider what’s right for your organization:

Microsoft 365 Business subscription includes Windows 10, Office 365 Business Premium plus security and management features for Windows and Office 365 apps, and a centralized console for device management and security. It’s designed for small to medium-sized organizations and was made available for public preview on August 2. The subscription cost is $20/month per user — you can see the on-demand video for more details.

Microsoft 365 Enterprise subscription combines Windows 10 Enterprise, Office 365 Enterprise, and Enterprise Mobility and Security features. As of this writing, Microsoft hasn’t released the pricing for Microsoft 365 Enterprise subscriptions but Secure Productive Enterprise E5 was $57/month per user. Microsoft says it will become available during the third quarter of 2017.

If you’re familiar with the Secure Productive Enterprise (and its E3 and E5 versions) and their introduction last year and you’ve also clicked on the links above, you may be a little confused. How do the new plans differ from the Secure Productive Enterprise plans? In a nutshell, they don’t. They’ve been renamed for branding and simplified pricing.

Office 365 plans

If you’re not using Windows on all of the machines at your organization or you don’t think the new bundled plans are for you, here are the eight current Office 365 plans that range from $8/month per user to $35/mo per user:

Each bundle builds on the previous bundle, except for Office 365 Enterprise 1 E1 and Office 365 Enterprise F1 which do not include access to Office Online (Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, OneNote and, for PCs, Access and Publisher) and OneDrive for storage like the other plans. Higher level bundles also include Sharepoint, but not all enterprise bundles include all Sharepoint features. You can compare Office 365 Enterprise bundle features here and review Office 365 Services descriptions for more details.

Choosing the right bundle and licensing options

Which plan or bundle is right for your organization? When is it a good idea to change plans and how should you do it? Should you phase in new plans on the same cycle that you refresh devices or is it better to change plans by department or according to job responsibilities? Are you paying too much for your current licenses because you have some you’re not using? Or are you not paying enough because you forgot to renew some licenses and might feel pain when you get audited by Microsoft?

Licensing is complicated! Leapfrog can help. Often what an organization really needs is a combination of different subscriptions, not a one-size-fits all for your entire operation. We have experts who work closely with our clients to help them make these decisions, and our procurement department conducts annual strategic reviews to see if your needs have changed and ensure you have exactly what you need, no more and no less. This way our frogs manage the ever-changing Microsoft landscape and you can just keep working. Feel free to contact Leapfrog if you have questions about the Microsoft bundles or about licensing in general.

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