Office 365 is Changing to Microsoft 365

This spring, Microsoft is transitioning the Office 365 suites that many small and medium businesses rely on to Microsoft 365. While this will bring some level of change for most companies that recently used an Office 365 or Office 365 ProPlus suite, the overall impact of the change is expected to have minimal material effect on business operations and bottom lines.

Microsoft 365 SKU Changes

Many Office 365 Products Are Changing Names

Many of Microsoft’s flagship Office 365 products are getting name changes with this transition, but some specialized programs won’t be affected by the updated terminology.

The following are the most notable programs that are getting name changes:

  • The Office 365 Business Essentials suite is now Microsoft 365 Business Basic.
  • The Office 365 Business Premium suite is now Microsoft 365 Business Standard.
  • The Microsoft 365 Business suite is now Microsoft 365 Business Premium.
  • The Office 365 Business suite is now part of Microsoft 365 Apps.
  • The Office 365 ProPlus suite is now part of Microsoft 365 Apps.

When necessary, the distinctions “for business” and “for enterprise” will be used to distinguish between different applications within Microsoft 365 Apps.

The following Office 365 products won’t see any name change during this transition:

  • Office 365 for Enterprise (including Office 365 E1, Office 365 E3 and Office 365 E5)
  • Office 365 for Firstline Workers (including Office 365 F1)
  • Office 365 for Education (including Office 365 A1, Office 365 A3 and Office 365 A5)
  • Office 365 for Government (including Office 365 G1, Office 365 G3 and Office 365 G5)

For the products that are changing, the transition automatically took place on April 21. If clients using these products haven’t already noticed, the suites already show the updated terminology.

Small and Medium Businesses Now Have Enterprise-Level Capabilities

While the change in name has minimal effect for most small and medium businesses, it does come with a few changes that enhance the overall capabilities of the programs and apps that these businesses use. Overall, the purpose of this update is to reflect that Microsoft has now made several enterprise-level capabilities available to smaller companies.

For example, small and medium businesses now have access to new capabilities in Microsoft Teams that make it possible to host rich events and meetings virtually. There’s also now greater cloud storage and sharing capabilities available to these businesses, and new identity and security solutions are in place.

Previously, these types of features were available only to larger businesses that purchased the enterprise-focused Microsoft 365, which was initially launched in 2017. Now that these features are available to smaller firms, Microsoft deemed it appropriate to update the names of their Office 365 suites accordingly.

Essential Office 365 Programs Will Remain Widely Available

These updates are helpful for some businesses and have relatively broad appeal in light of the current health crisis where many companies are operating remotely. For most business owners and managers, however, their primary concern is what Microsoft has done with the core programs of Office 365.

All of the essential programs that were available through Office 365 packages are still included in the same packages. Even though the names have changed, there’s been no alteration to what packages have Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and similar programs. Businesses will still be able to use the programs that they’ve relied on for years.

Prices for Microsoft Suites Will Remain the Same

Additionally, the price of each suite is also remaining the same at this time. Clients will notice a change in name only on their invoices, as there will be no change in how much a package costs.

Service Will Continue Uninterrupted

From a client’s perspective, this change will bring minor updates but will primarily have only a small effect on operations. Most importantly, those essential features that businesses have been using will continue to be available, and there won’t be any interruption to service during the transition. Microsoft has made the transition seamless, and we at Kraft Technology Group are always here to provide IT services for our Nashville clients whenever they need them.