Microsoft Launches Microsoft 365 at Their Inspire Event + More
Microsoft have been heavily investing in their cloud services capabilities as well as the breadth of products primarily through their Azure platform which was led initially with Office 365.
Because of this popularity and the market moving from a device base to a more flexible, mobile user centric we have seen Microsoft expand the Office 365 model to the likes of Windows operating systems and other products in their cloud services business.
As has been customary with recent product releases the combination into bundles has seen the likes of System Centre become a single platform rather than the modular approach first released. The bundles are aimed to simplify
Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella, at its Inspire event, unveiled Microsoft 365, which brings together Office 365, Windows 10 and Enterprise Mobility + Security, delivering a complete, intelligent and secure solution to empower employees.
With more than 100 million commercial monthly active users of Office 365, and more than 500 million Windows 10 devices in use, Microsoft is in a unique position to help companies empower their employees, unlocking business growth and innovation.
What variants of Microsoft 365 are there?
To address the commercial needs from the largest enterprise to the smallest business, there are two flavours: Microsoft 365 Enterprise and Microsoft 365 Business.
- Microsoft 365 Enterprise is designed for large organisations and integrates Office 365 Enterprise, Windows 10 Enterprise and Enterprise Mobility + Security to empower employees to be creative and work together, securely.
Microsoft 365 Enterprise is offered in two plans—Microsoft 365 E3 and Microsoft 365 E5. Both are available for purchase on August 1, 2017.
- Microsoft 365 Business is designed for small- to medium-sized businesses with up to 300 users and integrates Office 365 Business Premium with tailored security and management features from Windows 10 and Enterprise Mobility + Security. It offers services to empower employees, safeguard the business and simplify IT management.
Microsoft 365 Business will be available in public preview on August 2, 2017. It will become generally available on a worldwide basis in the fall of 2017, priced at US $20 per user, per month.
As a part of our commitment to small-to-medium sized customers, we’re also announcing the preview of three tailored applications that are coming to Office 365 Business Premium and Microsoft 365 Business:
- Microsoft Connections—A simple-to-use email marketing service.
- Microsoft Listings—An easy way to publish your business information on top sites.
- Microsoft Invoicing—A new way to create professional invoices and get paid fast.
Cloud Solution Provider (‘CSP’)
The Microsoft Cloud Solution is a partner led reseller programme that enables partners to directly manage customer’s Microsoft cloud customer lifecycle. Some Partners, such as SCC, utilise dedicated in-product tools to directly manage and support their customer subscriptions.
CSP offers a substantially more flexible approach to cloud services consumption commercials as opposed to other licensing models provided by Microsoft. By providing a consumption plan that is assessed on a monthly basis, rather than an annual commitment, changes within the Enterprise can be rapidly reflected in the billing of the desired services.
CSP can also be used as a vehicle for providing Azure Services outside of the cumbersome Monetary Commit mechanism used under EA/SCE agreements. Billed under your standard commercial terms with the Partner, CSP can ensure that you no longer run the financial risk involved in making an up-front financial commitment.
Other Product News:
Azure Stack aka Hybrid Cloud Offering
For customers not wanting to fully utilise infrastructure and services wholly in the cloud, Microsoft have launched their ‘Azure Stack’ offering that effectively replicates an on-premise instance of the Azure service offerings.
This allows Microsoft to be able to deliver hybrid cloud services (I.e. Cloud services that span both public and private clouds for customers).
The charging model will be exactly the same as in Azure – I.e. based on consumption – as well as being able to be added to existing Azure commitments through CSP or EAs.
Extended Hotfix Support removed from Software Assurance (‘SA’)
From 1st July 2017, extended hotfix support is no longer a software assurance benefit.
This benefit included Extended Hotfix Support Agreements (EHSA) as hotfix issues arise. Annual fees associated with EHSA are included in the Software Assurance agreement—helping to increase peace of mind and reduce support cost. To qualify for this benefit you must have a Premier or Essential Support Agreement.
Any customers that have existing SA in place remain unchanged until the expiration of that agreement.
How Will This Affect You?
As with certain simplification approaches, some customers may prefer the flexibility to procure individual products rather than bundles. In the main it does allow customers that strategically utilise Microsoft for the medium to long term and will be moving to cloud services a more simplified route to market.
As with cloud services, the processes and governance that sit around your organisation’s utilisation of cloud services is critical to get right. By not addressing this in advance of cloud migration this could adversely affect the commercial exposure an organisation may experience.
How Can SCC Help?
Why not contact SCC to understand your current licence effectiveness with our free of charge service; Microsoft Licensing Health Check service that can look at your requirements and how the licensing investment matches this including future strategy considerations.
Our professional services and datacentre services teams can also work with you to understand how your technical requirements can be best matched to technologies such as Microsoft including implementation services.