Some businesses that use Microsoft 365 and Office 365 are going to have some new pricing to budget for come the new year. According to Microsoft, this is the “first substantive update” in prices since the company launched Office 365 about 10 years ago.
Over 731,600 companies in the U.S. alone rely on Microsoft Office 365 for much of their productivity workflow. It holds the ever-popular Office tools (Excel, Word, PowerPoint, Outlook) as well as multiple 21st-century cloud services, including OneDrive, SharePoint, and Teams.
If you’re one of those companies that have been using Microsoft 365 for years, then you’ll want to be prepared for a change in the per-user pricing beginning next year.
A price increase is going to take effect on March 1, 2022. The company announced the price raise back in August along with giving several reasons for the increase. The increase will apply globally, not just in the U.S.
Are All Microsoft Office 365 Products Getting Increased?
Not all users are going to be affected by this price raise. Those using the consumer and education versions of Microsoft 365 will not see their prices increased. It’s only impacting the business and enterprise plans, but not all of them. So, some businesses won’t see their price changed.
For example, Microsoft gave a list of the subscription plans being impacted, and M365 Business Standard was not listed, although Business Basic and Business Premium were.
What Are the New Prices Come March 2022?
Here is a rundown of the new prices coming early next year for Microsoft 365:
- Microsoft 365 Business Basic is going from $5 to $6 per user per month
- Microsoft 365 Business Premium is going from $20 to $22 per user per month
- Office 365 E1 is going from $8 to $10 per user per month
- Office 365 E3 is going from $20 to $23 per user per month
- Office 365 E5 is going from $35 to $38 per user per month
- Microsoft 365 E3 is going from $32 to $36 per user per month
So, depending upon your subscription plan, you could be paying between $1 to $4 additional per user per month when the increase goes into effect in March.
What Are the Reasons for the Price Increase?
Microsoft notes a few different reasons for this price increase with an overarching theme of the company adding more value to the platform over the years.
Multiple New Apps Added
When Office 365 was first launched back in 2011, it was fairly sparse in the app department compared to what it looks like now.
It included Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Lync, Exchange, and InfoPath back then. Today, the platform has added 24 more apps (depending upon your plan), providing customers with a “one-stop-shop” for cloud productivity tools.
Some of the newer apps that Microsoft has added to its cloud platform over the years include:
- OneDrive: Cloud storage and sharing
- Teams: Online work hub that can do chat, video, audio, and more
- OneNote: Cloud-based notebook and “catchall” for ideas
- Bookings: Online appointment booking tool
- Forms: Cloud-based survey and forms creator
- Power Apps: Automation for workflows
- Lists: Powerful online tool that can replace many manual list-based processes
- SharePoint: Tool for company intranet sites
- Visio: Cloud-based diagramming tool
- And many more
Something that Microsoft has done well is to provide clients with more value by giving them tools in their existing subscription that could replace tools they may have bought elsewhere. And for years, new tools were added without any increase in the subscription price.
Security & Compliance Upgrades
Another reason noted for the need to increase the price of some of the business and enterprise plans was the increase in security that Microsoft has needed to implement as the cybersecurity landscape becomes more complex.
Some of the capabilities that it has added to certain plans include data loss prevention (DLP), sensitivity labels to allow automated security policies to be applied persistently, and message encryption.
Compliance capabilities have also been added to help ensure companies can meet the regulatory requirements of their specific industry or government. Some of the compliance-related additions to Microsoft Office 365 include:
- Content Search
- core Litigation Hold
AI & Automation
Artificial Intelligence has been sprinkled into many of the apps you may use every day. A few examples are real-time translation and captioning which has been added to Microsoft Teams and Presenter Coach, a tool in PowerPoint that can listen to your presentation and give you tips on things like pacing and repetitive word use.
The addition of data types in Excel is another big benefit to any company that needs to look up data on a wide variety of subjects. It connects you to one of multiple databases, so you can pull in facts and figures about a topic in seconds.
Are You Getting the Most Out of Your Microsoft 365 Subscription?
Did you read about some apps in this article that you never knew came with a Microsoft Office 365 subscription? C Solutions can work with your Orlando area business to ensure you’re getting the most out of M365 and other cloud platforms.
Schedule a free consultation today! Call 407-536-8381 or reach us online.