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Top 6 Things to Know About Microsoft Office Becoming Microsoft 365

While Microsoft is known for product name changes that sometimes leave us scratching our heads, the reality is that they are continuously innovating and optimizing how we use their products.  

One of the more recent targets is Microsoft’s industry-leading productivity suite: Office 365. As of April 21st, 2020, Office 365 has officially rebranded as Microsoft 365. Reflective of the company’s “complete productivity platform,” Microsoft 365 is a bundle of services and applications that can be grouped under a single subscription package. The service includes Office 365, which is why existing Office 365 subscribers haven’t really seen any major changes yet.  

We’ve had a lot of questions about the name change and what this means for new and current subscribers. We’ve compiled all of the most up-to-date information on the subject in this blog post, including 6 things you should know about Office’s new facelift.  

What is Microsoft 365?  

Microsoft 365 is an integrated cloud platform that delivers Microsoft’s most popular productivity apps (Microsoft Teams, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint) alongside intelligent cloud services (cloud storage, machine learning) and world-class security. According to Microsoft, the reason behind the name change from Office 365 to Microsoft 365 was to reflect the full range of features and benefits now available to businesses and individuals. Without any separation between essential productivity tools and business apps, people are able to effectively work and collaborate from anywhere while keeping their data protected.  

Similar to Office 365, Microsoft 365 is available through a selection of monthly subscription packages designed to fit your specific business needs. There are three plans to choose from:  

  1. Microsoft 365 Business Basic 
  2. Microsoft 365 Business Standard 
  3. Microsoft 365 Business Premium  

Each of these plans includes a variety of different apps, services, and features that you can pick and choose to fit your needs. You can select from the following components:   

  • Web and mobile versions of Office apps 
  • Email and calendaring 
  • File storage and sharing 
  • Teamwork and communication 
  • Security and compliance 
  • Support and deployment  
  • Tools to build and manage your business  
  • Desktop versions of Office apps for PC and Mac 
  • Advanced security  
  • Device management  

6 Things You Need to Know About Microsoft 365  

To help answer any questions you have about the transition to Microsoft 365, we have compiled six of the most common questions we have received about the intricate productivity platform.  

  1. There are no price or feature changes for existing Office 365 business plans  
    If you’re already an Office 365 subscriber, you don’t need to do anything to start enjoying Microsoft 365. The same Office 365 business plans are available, except with the updated Microsoft 365 name: 
    – Office 365 Business Essentials is now Microsoft 365 Business Basic 
    – Office 365 Business Premium is now Microsoft 365 Business Standard 
    – Microsoft 365 Business is now Microsoft 365 Business Premium 
    – Office 365 Business is now Microsoft 365 Apps for business 
  1. Consolidated apps reduce costs (and produce many other advantages!) 
    A unified platform eliminates the need for multiple costly apps, improves collaboration and information sharing, simplifies deployment and IT management, and ultimately saves your employees valuable time every month. 

The Microsoft 365 Advantage

  1. Built-in security features protect against cyberthreats 
    Microsoft 365 includes over 1,000 security and privacy controls to help you meet key international, regional, and industry-specific requirements. For small businesses that are highly susceptible to security breaches, this provides total control over who has access to your business information at all times.    
  1. You can switch to other Microsoft 365 plans easily  
    In some cases, you can use the switch plans wizard in your Admin Center to upgrade your plan. However, you will need to upgrade manually from IT or your Microsoft partner’s assistance if your subscription has more than 300 users or if you used a prepaid card to purchase your plan.  
  1. You can still buy Office apps on their own  
    Not every business needs or wants all of the additional features now available in Microsoft 365. Starting at CAD $11 user/month, you can purchase a plan that includes desktop and mobile versions of all the Office apps you know and love: Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote. This plan includes a license for 6 users and file storage and sharing with 1 TB of OneDrive cloud storage.  
  1. Moving to new licenses will require setup and migration requirements  
    Unless you are starting from a blank slate, there will be time and costs associated with migrating to your new Microsoft 365 licenses and supporting your team. To minimize business disruption and ensure successful adoption, work with an experienced IT team or Microsoft partner.   

Make the Most Out of Microsoft 365  

Now that you know more about what Microsoft 365 includes, the name change makes sense. Office 365 is really only one piece of the puzzle. When it comes to your business, you want to make sure every person in your organization, from sales to IT, has access to the tools and information they need to do their jobs better every day. The next step is to select the right plan for your business and make sure your people and systems are set up to truly take advantage of all the intelligent features that Microsoft 365 offers.  

Whether you are an existing subscriber or deciding what Microsoft 365 plan you should get, Open Door is here to help. We work with Microsoft 365 every minute of every day and have the technical background to not just help you select the best plan but implement the platform for optimum productivity. Contact us today for Microsoft 365 licensing information, more details on migrating to Microsoft 365, or to simply ask questions.  

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