Users of Microsoft 365 are used to getting new features added regularly since the original Office 365 platform was launched over 10 years ago. Microsoft has been on the cutting edge of things like the incorporation of AI and the move to a hybrid workforce, and its tool enhancements have reflected this.
Microsoft states that it has focused on three key areas when adding new features to M365, these are:
- Security and Compliance
For all the companies enjoying those features that have been largely added without any increase in price, the bill is about to come due. (At least for some users.)
Microsoft is doing one of the largest price increases that it has ever introduced for the cloud productivity suite. Come, March 1, 2022, some users will be charged a higher per user/per month price for their subscription plans.
We’ll go through the main points of the upcoming price increase as well as the reasons that Microsoft gives for making it.
Facts About the Microsoft 365 Price Increase
Home & Educational Users Aren’t Impacted
Home and educational users can breathe a sigh of relief because the price increase is not going to impact them. Their prices will remain the same. Microsoft is only increasing the pricing for business and enterprise plans.
Some Business Users Won’t Be Impacted
Microsoft isn’t raising all M365 and O365 pricing across the board, it’s just for specific business and enterprise subscriptions. For example, if you use Microsoft 365 Business Standard, you’ll keep paying the same price you do now.
Plans Being Impacted & New Pricing
Office 365 and Microsoft 365 plans are included in the price increases for March of 2022. Some prices will only go up $1 per user, but others are going up as much as $4 per user, which can add a significant increase to your budget. You’ll want to review your expected pricing now so you can budget accordingly.
This is also a good time to have an IT professional like Connect2Geek review your plan to ensure you don’t have licenses provisioned that aren’t in use.
Here are the increases that companies will see:
- Microsoft 365 Business Basic: Going from $5 to $6 per user (+$1)
- Microsoft 365 Business Premium: Going from $20 to $22 per user (+$2)
- Office 365 E1: Going from $8 to $10 per user (+$2)
- Office 365 E3: Going from $20 to $23 per user (+$3)
- Office 365 E5: Going from $35 to $38 per user (+$3)
- Microsoft 365 E3: Going from $32 to $36 per user (+$4)
The price increases are global and will impact users in every country.
Why Are Prices Going Up?
The Platform Has Added Over 24 Apps
Since Office 365 first came out, there have been over 24 new apps added to the platform without any major price increases. Some of the applications added that have significantly increased value include Microsoft Teams, OneDrive, Visio, Power Apps, Yammer, Stream, and many others.
Improvements to Communication & Collaboration
There have been multiple improvements to communication and collaboration and Microsoft keeps adding these. Users now have a full webinar and video meeting tool with MS Teams, an online forms generator with Microsoft Forms, and an app that empowers customers to book meetings online easily with Bookings.
These communication-based improvements empower businesses to do more and save time connecting and serving their customers. The new features and capabilities in this area and the fact that online connection is vital to businesses are reasons Microsoft is choosing now to increase the price to help pay for future enhancements.
On the horizon for Teams in 2022 includes things like 3D meeting spaces and greenrooms for virtual events and webinars.
Security & Compliance Enhancements
As online threats and data privacy protection have continued to evolve, so have the security and compliance features in Microsoft 365. To keep risk to a minimum and help organizations defend against cyber threats like ransomware, multiple enhancements have been added.
Some of the security additions over the years include:
- Data loss prevention
- Sensitivity labels
- Content search
- Litigation Hold
- Mobile Device Management
AI & Automation Additions
To keep up with evolving technology and continuous improvement initiatives, AI and automation have been folded into many of the Microsoft 365 tools you use every day.
This includes things like data types in Excel and Presenter Coach in PowerPoint. There are also multiple automations added to help you chart your data for more insights, as well as email assistance that sorts email and declutters automatically.
Need Help Reviewing Your Cloud Plan to Reduce Waste?
Connect2Geek can help your Treasure Valley area business with a cloud review to ensure you’re not spending money on redundant or unused applications.
Schedule your free consultation to learn more today! Call 208-468-4323 or reach out online.