Getting to grips with the recent Microsoft 365 Licence changes

Many customers might have missed the news, but Microsoft has announced some changes to Microsoft 365 and Office 365 plans which became effective 1st April 2024. But don’t panic. We have some reassuring news to share. But firstly a quick look a the changes:

  1. Ending sale of all existing Enterprise suites that include Teams for new subscriptions.
    • This includes Office 365 E1, E3, E5, Microsoft 365 E3, and E5 will no longer be offered to new customers.
  2. Introducing new licences without Teams
    • This means you can save money on the following licences if you don’t use Microsoft Teams. Office 365 E1, E3, E5, Microsoft 365 E3 and E5 (all without a Microsoft Teams subscription).
  3. Microsoft have introduced a new standalone Teams licence for people who just need Teams.
    • Microsoft Teams Enterprise – which includes some of the advanced Microsoft Teams meeting features.

Don’t worry, Microsoft will still offer the Business plans as they do today.

  1. Microsoft 365 Business Suite with Teams alongside the new versions without Teams.
    • Customers will be able to choose between the existing Microsoft 365 Business Basic, Microsoft 365 Business Standard and Microsoft 365 Business Premium either with Teams included or the new versions of those suites without Teams.

What does this really mean?

  • Existing customers who are currently subscribed to any of the suites involved can continue to use, renew, upgrade, and add seats to their current plans as usual, or if they want to switch to the new lineup, they can do so on their contract anniversary or renewal.
  • Net-new subscribers to Office and/or Microsoft 365 Enterprise suites who want Microsoft Teams capabilities will need to purchase two licences: one Microsoft 365 (no Teams) or Office 365 (no Teams) suite and Microsoft Teams Enterprise.

Why are Microsoft making this change?

  • These changes from Microsoft have come about due to changes in European Policy in 2023.
  • To give you the customer greater flexibility to choose if they want to use Microsoft Teams or not, meaning you only pay for the products you want to use.

Upon reading the Partner FAQ doc Microsoft provided with a fine-tooth comb it appears that the changes to the Enterprise SKU’s will not be truly enforced until 1st July 2024. The new SKUs are available from 1st April (if partners wanted to purchase these) but enforcement of the Enterprise SKU’s will not be until 1st July.

Which gives you a little breathing space for now. But if any of the above leaves you unsure then please contact us for more information.