Earlier this year at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference, we were told there would be new Office 365 plans that would offer greater flexibility and value to SMBs. Although I believe the existing lineup of choices are pretty solid, there were customers that just didn’t fit the options offered and they either had to lose features to remain in budget or go over budget for features they may not have needed.
The new plans are not in tandem with the old but rather a replacement for the small to midsize plans that Microsoft previously offered. These had number of user limitations, for example Office 365 Small Business did not include Office applications and was only good for up to 25 users. Office 365 Small Business Premium did include Office applications and was only good for up to 25 users. Office 365 Midsize Business did include Office applications and was good for up to 300 users.
With the new plans we see a new breakdown of three different parts. Those that don’t need the Office applications but do need online servers for email, collaboration and social networking. Those that do need the Office applications but do not need the online servers for email, collaboration and social networking. And those that need both. As for a user limit for these three plans, they are all up to 300 users. I think that is what is brilliant and spot on.
The new plans for SMBs include the following:
- Office 365 Business Essentials: $5.00 per user/month with an annual commitment for up to 300 users offers you Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, Lync Online, Office Online, OneDrive for Business with 1TB of space and Yammer.
- Office 365 Business: $8.25 per user/month with an annual commitment for up to 300 users offers you full Office desktop applications, Office for tablets and smartphones, Office Online and OneDrive for Business with 1TB of space.
- Office 365 Business Premium: $12.50 per user/month with an annual commitment for up to 300 users offers you everything. All the desktop application, Office for tablets and smartphones and Office Online pieces combined with the Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, Lync Online, OneDrive for Business with 1 TB of space and Yammer.
Note: For those of you on existing plans you will be transitioned over time according to Microsoft. You should visit your Message Center through your Office 365 portal admin center to obtain more details. Be sure to see the original Office Blog post for this information. Microsoft has also provided detailed information to compare Office 365 plans as well.
So what do you think of the new Office 365 pricing plans for SMBs? Feel free to add a comment to this blog post, or reach out to me on Twitter (@jpbrruzzese) with your thoughts.
Editor’s Note: Peter heads up our new Office 365 resource page on the redesigned Petri IT Knowledgebase website. We’ve also added a new Office 365 forum category to our forums, and we’d encourage you to check that out for help with Office 365, or if you want to get advice from fellow Office 365 users.