Microsoft has always been at the forefront of technological innovation ever since it released the first version of Windows and the Office suite of products back in the early 90’s.  Since then Microsoft transitioned this software to the Cloud maintaining it as a very affordable prices, especially for the SMB (small-and medium-sized business) sector.

But with new advancements coming out, it was inevitable that there would be a price increase, which will be happening early next year.

The Advancements That Have Transpired

Here is a brief overview in which the latest technological innovations have taken place for M365 (formerly known as “Office 365”).:

1. Microsoft Teams:

When COVID-19 first reached its peak about a year ago, the remote workforce relied heavily upon the use of the Zoom Video Conferencing platform.  But over just a short period of time, it started to show its cracks, especially with “Zoombombing” occurring on an almost daily basis.  Because of this, Microsoft Teams has now become the de facto standard for Video Conferencing needs.  In fact, it has even replaced Skype as well.  Teams is still a relatively new product, having been first released in 2017.  Now it boasts a subscriber base of well over 250 million paying subscribers.  In fact, to meet the new dynamics of Work From Home (WFH), there were over 300 new functionalities that were deployed in Teams, in order to give a seamless, working environment.  Other various project management tools were also developed, as well as compatibility with these third parties:

  • Adobe
  • Atlassian
  • Salesforce
  • SAP
  • ServiceNow
  • Workday

2. The adherence to Compliance and Security:

Microsoft has always been at the forefront in making sure that the M365 platform has, and continues to help businesses of all sizes and industries to meet the rigorous standards of the data privacy laws of the GDPR, CCPA, HIPAA, etc.  Also, Microsoft has developed newer versions of other products to even help the Defense Industrial Base (aka “DIB”) to come into the compliance requirements of the CMMC.  From the standpoint of the ever-evolving Cybersecurity threats, new advancements have also been made, including:

  • Tools to reduce the surface exposure due to digital attacks
  • Data Loss Prevention functionalities
  • Various labeling hierarchies to show employees the importance of the shared resources that they are accessing
  • Much higher levels of encryption that have deployed into the Exchange Server platform
  • The Endpoint Manager
  • Sophisticated forensics tools such as the following:
    • Litigation Hold
    • eDiscovery
    • Content Search

3. The use of Artificial Intelligence:

This is also a rapidly advancing field, and Microsoft has made some pioneering headway into this area as well.  For example, there is a huge array of AI tools that are available in Azure, which allow you to create and develop “smart” based applications quickly and easily.  But, the use of AI has found its home in M365, especially when it comes to automating and enhancing the daily work tasks of the remote workforce, especially with collaboration and communications.

4. Enhanced audio-based functionalities:

Even in the best of times, trying to get a good, audio-based connection can still be a problem. Because of this, Microsoft has announced that it will offer unlimited dialing features in the M365 E5 licensing plan.  This new component will soon be available across 70 countries, with support for over 40 languages and their respective dialects.

The New Pricing

This is detailed in the matrix below:

Subscription New Pricing
M365 Business Basic Increase from $5 to $6 per user
M365 Business Premium Increase from $20 to $22 per user
Office 365 E1 Increase from $8 to $10 per user
Office 365 E3 Increase from $20 to $23 per user
Office 365 E5 Increase from $35 to $38 per user
M365 E3 Increase from $32 to $36 per user

Conclusions

In order to get an understanding of how these increased prices might impact you, contact us at KAMIND IT today.

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