Microsoft is making changes to its Microsoft 365 (formerly Office 365) programs, how subscriptions are purchased and overall pricing for many product lines. They are rolling out a new platform, called Microsoft New Commerce Experience, which is a multi-stage change to its cloud service programs and offers more flexibility in purchasing and managing Microsoft programs. This new platform comes with a Microsoft 365 price increase.
It’s important to note that Microsoft has not made a price increase on this product line in over a decade; however, they have made many improvements to it including additional communication and collaboration tools with Microsoft Teams; security and compliance improvements; and AI and automation.
With this change, it has left many questioning what it means for their organization. Recently, NetGain hosted a Microsoft New Commerce Experience webinar to share how Microsoft 365 price increase changes will affect organizations. Here are some frequently asked questions that we received regarding Microsoft’s new subscription model and the pricing adjustments.
Microsoft 365 Price Increase FAQs
Why is Microsoft making changes to Microsoft 365?
Microsoft has spent a ton of time, resources and bandwidth adding innovative solutions to their 365 product line. This is the first significant Microsoft 365 price increase in over a decade. According to Microsoft, “it reflects the value of innovation that’s been added over the years.” They have added additional communication and collaboration tools with Microsoft Teams, security and compliance improvements, and AI and automation. Since introducing Microsoft 365 in 2017, they have added 24 applications, including Teams, Power BI, Stream, OneDrive, etc.
With the new subscription options, can I do a mix of annual and monthly subscriptions?
Yes. However, each will require a separate subscription agreement. For example, you have 50 Microsoft 365 Business Premium subscriptions containing 40 annual subscriptions and 10 monthly subscriptions to maintain some flexibility. Alternatively, you can have 50 Microsoft 365 Business Premium subscriptions and 10 Microsoft 365 Business Standard subscriptions where you can choose to do the Business Premium as annual and the Microsoft Business Standard monthly.
Can I upgrade a subscription during the term?
Yes, you can upgrade a subscription during the term. For example, you can upgrade the Microsoft 365 Business Standard to the Microsoft 365 Business Premium. However, you cannot downgrade your subscription from premium to standard during the term.
Can I move from a monthly subscription to an annual subscription?
Yes, at any point in your term you can change your Microsoft 365 subscription from a monthly structure to an annual subscription.
If I have 10 subscriptions and one of my employees leaves, can I reuse the subscription for a new employee?
Yes. You still own the license which allows you to move that license to other members of your organization. If a user does leave, it can go unused until you are able to assign it to another person.
I have interns, or part-time workers, during the summer who require a subscription. Do I have to purchase full year subscriptions for them?
No. You can purchase a month-to-month subscription for those employees.
Are you able to purchase licenses through your normal admin portal?
Yes, you will see the new price increase in your Microsoft Admin Portal. This change will not change the normal behavior of your Office 365 Portal.
Are non-profit organizations affected by these changes?
No, Microsoft continues to support non-profits so changes in regard to the New Commerce Experience do not affect them.
Government entities, currently on GCC or GCC High, and the education industry is also not affected by these changes.
How many devices can a user install their license on?
The normal amount is usually five devices per user, but it does depend on the specific license that you have purchased. Some organizations may need more than five depending on the employee, company or industry.
What is main difference between business standard and Microsoft 365 E3 besides a smaller mailbox?
The E3 licenses are normally used for larger organizations that are enterprise clients. Microsoft E3 gives you more security features and tools that give advanced threat protection. The features of the business standard model are all included in the E3 license as well as extra mail security, Azure identity protection and other security features.
The Microsoft New Commerce Experience is definitely going to shake things up across many organizations. Knowing what to expect from the Microsoft 365 price increase is important to being prepared for these changes and to keep your business thriving.