Microsoft has launched new one-stop solutions bundles for businesses that rely on the company’s software and cloud offerings for their end-user computing.
During the Microsoft Inspire conference in Washington D.C. today, the software giant announced Microsoft 365, a new licensing option that includes the Windows 10 operating system, Office 365 and Enterprise Mobility + Security (EMS), the company’s cloud-based mobile device and application management product. Microsoft 365 will be available in two flavors, Enterprise for large organizations and Business for the small and medium-sized business (SMB) set.
If it all sounds familiar, that’s because Microsoft launched a similar bundled licensing option called Secure Productive Enterprise last fall. In fact, Microsoft 365 Enterprise replaces Secure Productive Enterprise, revealed Kirk Koenigsbauer, corporate vice president of Microsoft Office, in a July 10 announcement.
Microsoft 365 Enterprise will be offered in two plans, E3 and E5, when it goes on sale on Aug. 1, according to Koenigsbauer. Both offer access to Office applications, Intune device management and an assortment of security-enhancing technologies.
Microsoft 365 Enterprise E5 builds on those capabilities and adds PSTN (public switched telephone network) conferencing, cloud PBX (private branch exchange) telephony features, Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection and Power BI Pro analytics, among other functionality. A full list is available here.
Smaller organizations, meanwhile, can purchase Microsoft 365 Business for $20 per user per month when Microsoft releases it in the fall.
“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,” Koenigsbauer stated. “It offers services to empower employees, safeguard the business and simplify IT management.”
Included in the bundle is the new Windows AutoPilot self-service PC deployment technology, a terabyte of cloud file storage and Teams, Microsoft’s Slack-like team collaboration offering. For customers interested in taking Microsoft 365 Business for a spin before making a commitment, Microsoft plans to launch a public preview on Aug. 2.
“I imagine Microsoft 365 will be revolutionary for the industry,” Dux Raymond Sy, chief marketing officer and Public Sector CTO at AvePoint, a SharePoint management specialist, told eWEEK. “With this new solution, customers at both large and small companies will be able to implement a holistic Microsoft ecosystem that IT departments will be able to use with ease.”
Not only can Microsoft 365 help add momentum to customers’ digital transformation efforts, but perhaps also help the software giant further expand its considerable reach in the business software market.
“The Office 365 aspect increases mobility and collaboration opportunities and the Enterprise Mobility + Security section of the suite ensures security is accounted for. This new product suite will also help Microsoft grow its customer base by opening up a solution that works for both big and small companies,” Sy added.
The software provider is also including three “tailored” applications for Microsoft 365 Business and Office 365 Business Premium subscriptions, added Koenigsbauer. They include Microsoft Invoicing and the Listings service for publishing business information on leading online directories and resource sites. Also included is Microsoft Invoicing, which can be used to create professional invoices.