You may have heard on the grapevine that Microsoft have recently announced a price increase to their Microsoft 365 products. This is the first substantive pricing update since Office 365 was launched over a decade ago, so you could say it has been on the cards for a while! What does this mean for your business though? Let’s take a look in further detail.
A Decade Of Innovation
Since its launch, Office 365 has grown to over 300 million commercial paid seats (business owners who have invested in the software). It wasn’t just a case of launching and then leaving the product range though, the suite has been continually adapted to meet the ever-changing needs of their target market. It is crazy to think that only 4 years ago Microsoft 365 was created, bringing together the very best of Office, Windows and Security features too. Microsoft Teams was also introduced at this point.
The three core areas in which Microsoft have grown their portfolio for businesses are:
1. Communication and collaboration
Microsoft Teams has been the main platform introduced in line with this core arm of the business, and now has over 250 million monthly active users! When it was launched back in 2017, it was the only integrated solution where you could meet, chat, call and collaborate easily across the Microsoft apps, allowing a seamless workflow.
Then as the pandemic highlighted the importance of collaborative remote working, Microsoft integrated lots of other applications to Teams, helping to bring business processes together. During the past year, the focus has turned to real-time collaboration in Word, Excel and Powerpoint so teams can assign tasks, add comments and auto-save their work.
2. Security and compliance
Since first introducing Microsoft 365, Microsoft have had a big security overhaul, adding in attack surface reduction capabilities to help keep businesses more secure than ever. With the introduction of powerful tools such as data loss prevention for email and documents, as well as message encryption, this has helped to keep data secure within organisations, along with traditional offsite backup solutions.
3. AI and automation
Artificial intelligence is a buzzword at the moment, and Microsoft have been one of the market leaders when it comes to AI-powered innovations. From automatic email sorting and filtering in Outlook, to new chart and table features in Excel that are using AI for added creativity. These features have been introduced to help make both communication and collaboration more accessible, and there has been no cost to Microsoft 365 users for these amazing features.
The packages that are seeing a price increase on 1st March 2022 are unfortunately those which will affect most businesses:
- Microsoft 365 Business Basic, Standard and Premium Plans
- Office 365 Enterprise Plans
- Microsoft 365 Enterprise Plans
The price increases for the UK have yet to be announced, only the US pricing has been released so far but we will keep you updated as soon as we have the figures. Based on the $1-$4 dollar increase per plan we suspect this will mean an increase between 75p and £2.90 per user, depending on the plan that you are on.
Keep an eye on our social media channels for more updates, but if you have any questions or concerns please feel free to give our expert IT team a call on 01482 828000.
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