Microsoft recently announced ‘Microsoft 365’, which is a new bundle of its cloud services for business customers. In a nutshell, it replaces the old ‘Secure Productive Enterprise’ bundle from last year, and the branding is now simple and clear. The announcement was made at the Inspire conference, where Microsoft discuses its partnerships with more than 17000 attendees. If you’d like to see all announcements, you can watch the full keynote here.
The company already sells Windows and Office subscriptions, but Microsoft 365 is meant to combine Windows 10, Office 365, as well as Microsoft’s mobility and security suites into one big subscription package. The tagline here is that “people are at the heart of digital transformation”. These services allow your employees to work and collaborate with ease, even when moving from one device to another. The bundle is also about Microsoft encouraging more use of its cloud services.
There are two flavors to choose from: Enterprise and Business. The first is designed for large organizations, while the second is more suitable for small and medium-sized businesses with no more than 300 users. For those of you who don’t know, you also get Intune, Azure Active Directory, and Azure Cloud App Security, and Threat Analytics as part of the deal. This should make device management and security an easier job.
Microsoft 365 Business will first arrive in preview form on August 2, and will be offered at $20 per user per month. Pricing for Microsoft 365 Enterprise varies depending on the particular plan the company choses when they sign up. If last year’s bundle prices are any indication, this could be around $36 and $54 for the E3 and E5 plans, respectively. Large organizations should be able to take advantage of these plans by the end of this summer.
Pushing further with Azure Stack
This news is perfectly in line with the Redmond giant’s strategy of powering the cloud that many companies will rely on. The company also announced Azure Stack hardware, which is a way for companies to host their own hybrid cloud. According to market research firm Gartner, most companies are still in the early stages of digital transformation. Microsoft said they already have more cloud partners than Amazon, Google and Salesforce combined. This brings confidence in the company’s ability to secure its future in the cloud space.
To underline the momentum in the enterprise space, here are a few more interesting stats from the Inspire conference. No less than 70% of top 500 global companies are on track to have dedicated teams for digital transformation by 2019. To put it in perspective, Gartner estimates put these initiatives at $2.2 trillion, and Microsoft touts 19% higher margins for their partners when compared to the competition. And 80% of senior executives are sold on the importance of digital transformation, which is something to keep in mind if you’re on the fence.