Inspire, Microsoft’s largest partner-only conference, unveiled exciting announcements from the tech giant. One of the biggest was the introduction on Microsoft 365. However, a lot of people (partners and customers alike) are confused on what Microsoft 365 really is and what it means for them.
What is Microsoft 365?
Microsoft 365 is Microsoft’s new package that includes Office 365, Windows 10, and Enterprise Mobility + Security (EMS). Microsoft 365 will be offered in two tiers, Enterprise and Business.
Microsoft 365 Enterprise
Microsoft 365 Enterprise actually consists of two different offerings. Customers have the option to choose between Windows 10 Enterprise, EMS, and Office 365 E3 or Windows 10 Enterprise, EMS, and Office 365 E5. This gives customers the options to choose what works best for their business needs and users. E5 gives customers PSTN Conferencing/Cloud PBX, Advanced Threat Protection, and Intelligence, Advanced Information Protection, Advanced eDiscovery, and Power BI Pro.
While all these features are highly recommended, they may not be required for every user, so Microsoft has given customers the ability to scale back to E3 or mix and match licenses.
Microsoft 365 Business
Microsoft 365 Business includes Offices 365 Business Premium, Windows 10 Pro, and “the best of” EMS. On top of all the benefits of Office 365 Business Premium, such as Office in the Cloud, OneDrive, SharePoint, Bookings, Invoicing, MileIQ, etc., customers will also get MAM for Office Apps, Mobile Device Management (including Auto-Enroll), Auto Pilot, Selective data wipe, group targeting policies, etc.
Microsoft 365 Business brings the collaboration and security benefits of a Fortune 500 business to the small mom and pop shops.
What does this mean for me?
Microsoft Office, Windows, and Security are all things any organization, of any size, needs to run their business. Until recently, they all had to be purchased separately, which was more costly and confusing to the customer. With Microsoft 365, customers are empowered to find the package that works best for them, and get up and running quickly with the right solution. You no longer have to be a Microsoft Licensing Expert (yes, this is a real thing!) to understand if you are purchasing the right applications for your business.
In addition to basic applications, such as email and the windows platform, Microsoft 365 gives you the ability to digitally collaborate with your employees and customers, from anywhere, anytime. You can enroll employee devices in Mobile Devices Management to protect and secure your company data, share company information on SharePoint, set up projects in Planner, create presentations in Delve. Microsoft 365 (Enterprise) also gives you the ability to visualize data from all of your business systems (including ERP and CRM), in one tool: Power BI. Data Visualization was once something only huge corporations had the power to do, and Microsoft has brought it to the SMB Market. Power BI can also be purchased a la carte.
These tools are all available through Microsoft 365, so you can work at the height of efficiency. Microsoft is a “cloud first” company, but they, clearly, have not forgotten where they started: building applications so that customers can grow their businesses at their own pace, with applications that will grow with them.
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