Cloud Girl's Microsoft Blog

Office 365 Transition Guide

Nicole Sheridan - Friday, July 03, 2015


Make a coffee, this is a long one but very much worth the read!
So Microsoft said way back when the new business plans were released,  that they were going to have a plan in place by October 2015 to move existing Small & Midsize Business customers over to the new plans. Then it all went quiet and no one would commit to a date. When I attended Ms Ignite in Chicago in May, I asked several speakers if the plan was still in place, and no one could confirm… 
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Today, they officially announced October 1st as the beginning of the new transition. Users who currently have Small Business, Small Business Premium and Midsize Business currently HAVE to renew to their existing plan, unless they want to do a full migration. This would involve, shutting down the old tenant, releasing the domain and starting from scratch. Not ideal. 
Customers renewing or adding users between now and October 1st are in the same position. 

For customers renewing after October 1st 2015, they will not be able to renew to their existing plan, they will have an option of all Business and Enterprise plans, but not small business or M Plan. 

Guidance for current Office 365 Small Business customers

How does Small Business compare to Business Essentials?

Microsoft has already increased the seat cap of Small Business (25) to match Business Essentials (300).

What stays the same?

  • Price
  • Business-class email (Exchange)
  • Online Meetings, IM (Skype for Business)
  • Online document storage & file sharing (OneDrive for Business)
  • Team collaboration sites & internal portals (SharePoint)
  • Ability to combine Business and Enterprise plans (if some users in organization need advanced functionality)
  • Private social networking (Yammer)
  • Support for Active Directory synchronization


There are no features removed when moving from Small Business to Business Essentials.

 

Guidance for current Office 365 Small Business Premium customers

How does Small Business Premium compare to Business Premium?

Again, Microsoft has already increased the seat cap of Small Business Premium (25) to match Business Premium (300).

What stays the same?

  • Price
  • Microsoft Office applications—Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote, Publisher, business-class email (Exchange)
  • Online Meetings, IM (Skype for Business)
  • Online document storage & file sharing (OneDrive for Business)
  • Team collaboration sites & internal portals (SharePoint)

 

What is added? 

  • Ability to combine Business and Enterprise plans (if some users in organization need advanced functionality)
  • Private social networking (Yammer)
  • Support for Active Directory synchronization
  • Microsoft Access
  • PSTN capabilities of Microsoft Lync (required on-premises deployment of Lync Server 2013)


**With the added ability to combine Business and Enterprise plans, customers who need access to the removed features and functionality are able to move some (or all) of their users to the Enterprise E3 plan, while keeping the rest on Business Premium.

Guidance for current Office 365 Midsize Business 

How does Midsize Business compare to Business Premium?

Microsoft has reduced the price of Midsize Business to match Business Premium. Customers will be able to realize this benefit at their next renewal.

What stays the same?

  • Seat cap
  • Microsoft Office applications—Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote, Publisher, business-class email (Exchange)
  • Online meetings, IM (Skype for Business)
  • Online document storage & file sharing (OneDrive for Business)
  • Team collaboration sites & internal portals (sharepoint)
  • Private social networking (Yammer)

 

What is added? 

Ability to combine Business and Enterprise plans (if some users in organization need advanced functionality)

What is removed? 

  • Microsoft Access
  • PSTN capabilities of Microsoft Lync (required on-premises deployment of Lync Server 2013)
  • T controls: Group policy, app telemetry
  • Excel BI features: PowerPivot, Corp Data Access, spreadsheet compare/inquire


With the added ability to combine Business and Enterprise plans, customers who need access to the removed features and functionality are able to move some (or all) of their users to the Enterprise E3 plan, while keeping the rest on Business Premium.

 

What will the experience be for my end users after renewal?

  • End users that have Office 2013 installed will get a notification stating that their subscription has a pending change, and will be prompted to sign in again with their Office 365 work account credentials. The user can choose to be reminded later, or sign in to get the updated license and continue using Office. If the user continues to choose Remind Me Later, their Office applications will eventually go into Reduced Functionality Mode until they sign in and receive the new license. 

    When the user signs in again, Office will download an update which will uninstall Microsoft Access. In addition, Remote Desktop Services will no longer work. Customers can choose a different plan to maintain these features.

    End users using Skype for Business will need to download Skype for Business Basic from the software download page inside the end user settings page. 

  • End users using Office for Mac, iOS, Android will be unaffected by the conversion to the new license in to get the updated license and continue using Office. If the user continues to choose Remind Me Later, their Office applications will eventually go into Reduced Functionality Mode until they sign in and receive the new license. 

    When the user signs in again, Office will download an update which will uninstall Microsoft Access. In addition, Remote Desktop Services will no longer work. Customers can choose a different plan to maintain these features.

    End users using Skype for Business will need to download Skype for Business Basic from the software download page inside the end user settings page. 

  • End users using Office for Mac, iOS, Android will be unaffected by the conversion to the new license.
  • For customers transitioning after October 1, 2015, add-ons like extra sharepoint storage or Exchange Archiving will transition to the new SMB plans automatically, with no downtime or data loss
  • If you have users on Midsize Business who want to keep Microsoft Access and/or Remote Desktop Services, you should renew to Business Essentials and then add Office 365 ProPlus. This gives you the same feature functionality as you had in the previous SMB plan. Alternatively, you can look at E3 but this one is more expensive! 
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