Recently, Microsoft announced that they are raising the price of Microsoft/Office 365 services for the first time in 10 years. They have been innovating and adding new value over the past decade, but have not raised prices during that time.
There are three primary areas of new value:
- Communications and collaboration
- Security and compliance
- A.I. and automation.
A BRIEF HISTORY OF OFFICE 365
Office 365 was launched about 10 years ago and has grown to over 300 million commercial seats in that time. As you might expect, the needs have changed significantly over that time.
Four years ago, Microsoft 365 was created to combine the best of Office, Windows, and Enterprise Mobility & Security. Microsoft Teams was also launched, allowing users to meet, chat, phone, and collaborate.
Some of the many new tools, capabilities, and features introduced in the past four years include:
- Microsoft Teams
- Power Apps
- Power BI
- Power Automate
In 2020 alone, they added a slew of new Teams features including:
- Together mode
- Breakout rooms
- Wide gallery view
- Backdrop effects
- Raise a hand
- Live reactions
- Live captions with speaker attribution
- Fluid components.
Even the traditional office products such as Word, Excel, and Powerpoint got numerous upgrades involving real-time collaboration like @mentions, assign tasks, modern comments, and auto-save.
Additionally, new capabilities with OneDrive online storage and Exchange Online mailboxes have been introduced or expanded.
Another key area of new value is cybersecurity. The threat landscape is constantly morphing. Microsoft has steadily added new features to help companies defend against ransomware and other attacks.
Behind the scenes lurks another important innovation – artificial intelligence. How has this benefited you? More than you think. It helps writers write better, designers design better, and presenters present better.
Excel anticipates your needs and helps you make charts, maps, and tables. Filters in Outlook help you filter mail and focus on what is important – just to name a couple of examples.
So, what are the new prices? First of all, the price increases are only for commercial and business users – no change to education, non-profit, and consumer pricing.
Microsoft’s updated pricing went into effect on March 1, 2022:
- Microsoft Office 365 Business Basic (from $5 to $6 per user)
- Microsoft Office 365 Business Premium (from $20 to $22)
- Microsoft Office 365 E1 (from $8 to $10)
- Microsoft Office 365 E3 (from $20 to $23)
- Microsoft Office 365 E5 (from $35 to $38)
- Microsoft Office 365 E3 (from $32 to $36)
In addition to these price increases, Microsoft is requiring an annual license commitment. A month-to-month option is still available, but it will be at a 20% higher price.
Thus, most Customers will likely want to sign up for the annual licenses unless there is a high probability they will be reducing licenses during the term.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR YOUR COMPANY?
As employers have faced ever-expanding changes and challenges, Microsoft has kept pace with the security, productivity, and ease-of-use requirements of the modern worker.
We have found that, if implemented, the recent changes to Office 365 will improve efficiency and productivity in your business.
We recognize that these changes could affect the way you use Microsoft’s products. If you have any questions about what plan is best for you, you can talk to our IT support team. They will also be available to help you implement Microsoft’s new features into your business.
To learn more about Microsoft’s price increases, for help figuring out what plan is right for you, or to speak with our IT support team, contact Philantech3.
Russ serves as the Vice President, of Customer Success at Philantech3 Consulting Group. He loves high-tech! Russ started his career as an Electrical & Computer Engineer designing Hewlett-Packard computers. After getting an MBA, Russ moved into management and spent the last 18 years designing, building, marketing, and selling IT, software, & video solutions to hospitals. He has managed large divisions for multi-billion-dollar companies but has also bought, built, or sold several small businesses – from $1M to $25M. So, he knows the challenges of owning, building, and managing your own company!
Russ lives in Spokane with his wife and six children. He is passionate about building a better Spokane community by helping businesses succeed! He is active in church and community service. He enjoys landscaping, playing games, and “building stuff” in his spare time.