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April 12, 2024

Microsoft 365 Licensing Changes: No April Fools’ Joke

By Jamie Clark

On April 1, 2024, Microsoft made an announcement that might have easily been dismissed as an April Fools’ Day prank. However, the update on Microsoft 365, Office 365, and Teams licensing was no joke. This change, initially applied within the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland last year, has now been extended worldwide, aiming for a globally consistent licensing approach. 

What’s Changing?

Microsoft is rolling out a new licensing model that separates Microsoft Teams from Microsoft 365 and Office 365 suites for customers outside the EEA and Switzerland. This shift introduces new commercial suite options that exclude Teams, alongside a standalone Microsoft Teams Enterprise option. The intent is to streamline decision-making for customers and provide clearer options. 

For Enterprises

  • Existing Enterprise Suites: No longer available to new subscribers, these included Office 365 E1/E3/E5 and Microsoft 365 E3/E5 with Teams. 
  • New Options: Enterprises can now subscribe to versions of these suites without Teams, at revised pricing points, or opt for a standalone Teams Enterprise subscription. 

For Frontline Workers

  • Continued Options: The current Microsoft 365 F1, Office 365 F3, and Microsoft 365 F3 suites with Teams will remain available alongside new versions without Teams. 
  • Pricing Adjustments: Reflecting the removal of Teams, the new suite versions come at a lower cost. 

For SMBs

Microsoft 365 Business Suites: Small and medium businesses have the choice between the existing suites with Teams and new versions without Teams, adjusting the cost according to the inclusion of Teams. 

Why These Changes?

Microsoft’s goal is to realign its subscription structures globally, following the changes initiated in Europe. This move aims to offer clarity and simplified choices to its customer base worldwide. For existing customers, the transition offers flexibility with the ability to continue, renew, or switch plans according to their current contracts. New customers, however, will need to navigate the updated offerings to align with their needs. 

Impact on Customers 

Existing Customers: Can stick with their current plans or switch to the new models at their renewal or contract anniversary. 

New Customers: Will need to purchase separate SKUs for Microsoft 365 or Office 365 suites without Teams and for Teams Enterprise, if they require the functionality of Teams. 

Microsoft Teams Enterprise vs. Essentials

The introduction of Microsoft Teams Enterprise offers an upgraded capability for meetings, chat, calling, and collaboration without limitations on seat numbers, distinct from the Teams Essentials offering. 

Navigating the Changes with SpiderGroup

With these significant changes in Microsoft licensing, it’s understandable that businesses might have questions or need guidance on the best path forward. SpiderGroup is here to provide the support and answers you need.  

As Microsoft Partners, we’re equipped with the latest information and expertise to help you transition smoothly to the new licensing models. Whether you’re an existing customer assessing your options or a new customer looking to understand the best package for your needs, SpiderGroup has you covered. 

Need assistance navigating these changes? Contact SpiderGroup today. Our team is ready to answer all your questions and ensure you have the support you need during these transitions. 

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