“Microsoft 365 E3 – Unattended Licensing Brief”

The Microsoft 365 E3 – Unattended licence allows a bot to run repetitive tasks in a Windows client/Office app without user intervention.

This new (May 2020) Licensing Brief has some useful introductory information, a section on licensing scenarios showing when this new licence is needed, and an FAQ.

Microsoft 365 E3 – Unattended licence

Microsoft announce a new flavour of Microsoft 365 E3 – one that you can assign to a Bot to run repetitive tasks without user intervention.

The May 2020 Online Services Terms gives the low-down on the licensing: the Bot may use the suite in a physical or virtual machine including Windows Virtual Desktop, licence reassignment follows the same rules as if the Bot were a (real) user, and it’s an (illegal) multiplexing scenario if the Bot carries out activities on behalf of an unlicensed user or device.

Find the announcement here: https://bit.ly/3d9zqhW, and get the current Online Services Terms here: http://bit.ly/MSproductterms.

Microsoft 365 Compliance changes

Microsoft 365 Compliance has been a cost-effective way of acquiring Office 365 Advanced Compliance and Azure Information Protection Premium Plan 2 at a cost of $10 per user per month, but from 1 April, 2020 there are changes.

The two Microsoft 365 Compliance components (themselves collections of services) are retired, and replaced with three “mini suites” which repackage the existing Compliance offerings into different groups and add some new functionality too. The three new mini suites are: eDiscovery and Audit, Information Protection and Governance, and Insider Risk Management, priced at $7 per user per month for Information Protection and Governance and $6 per user per month for the other two. Microsoft 365 Compliance remains the way to access the services of all three mini suites at $10 per user per month.

These suites can be added on to a Microsoft 365 E3 licence (as you would perhaps expect), but also to a whole host of other licences, and page 60 of the April 2020 Product Terms document lists the various prerequisites.

The compliance offerings are typically tenant-level services and the licensing guidance for tenant-level services is updated here: https://bit.ly/35gbdUv where you’ll also find a useful Compliance Licensing Comparison document detailing which services are licensed by which EMS, Office 365 or Microsoft 365 plan. This document is available as a PDF document (https://bit.ly/3aoaQbc) or Excel file (https://bit.ly/2zCCK6C).

April 2020 Online Services Terms updates

The very useful table on the last page of the Online Services Terms document which shows you which components are included in which Office 365 and Microsoft 365 plans is updated for April 2020.

The main changes are for the revised Firstline Worker plans with Office 365 F1 renamed to Office 365 F3, Microsoft 365 F1 renamed to Microsoft 365 F3, and the new Microsoft 365 F1 added. OneDrive for Business Plans 1 and 2 are added while some other components are removed, including the now discontinued Azure Information Protection Plan 2.

Find the Online Services Terms documents here: http://bit.ly/MSproductterms.

Microsoft 365 Business Voice

Microsoft introduced Microsoft 365 Business Voice in November 2019 for the UK and Canada, and from 1 April 2020 it’s also available in the US. This is a single Add-on licence which includes access to Phone System, Audio Conferencing, and a Domestic Calling Plan, and can be added to an Office 365 plan (Business Essentials, Business Premium, A1, E1, F3, A3, E3) or a Microsoft 365 plan (Business, F3, A3, E3). It’s limited to up to 300 users in an organisation, and the price per month is $20 per user. There’s also an International Calling Plan available for $12 per user per month. Business Voice without a calling plan also launches on 1 April, 2020 in around 70 additional countries.

Find the announcement here: https://bit.ly/2RlnP6K and confirmation of US pricing here: https://bit.ly/3aVc12Z.

Name changes to some Office 365 and Microsoft 365 plans

Microsoft announce that there will be name changes to some Office 365 and Microsoft 365 plans from 21 April, 2020. Here’s the summary:

For the Business plans aimed at customers requiring less than 300 users:

  • Office 365 Business Essentials becomes Microsoft 365 Business Basic
  • Office 365 Business Premium becomes Microsoft 365 Business Standard
  • Microsoft 365 Business becomes Microsoft 365 Business Premium

For the Office applications:

  • Office 365 Business becomes Microsoft 365 Apps for business
  • Office 365 ProPlus becomes Microsoft 365 Apps for enterprise

For the consumer plans:

  • Office 365 Personal becomes Microsoft 365 Personal
  • Office 365 Home becomes Microsoft 365 Family

Changes to the names are automatic in all the relevant portals, and there are no changes to any pricing or functionality with the exception of the consumer plans where additional, new Microsoft 365 features are added.

Find the main announcement here: https://bit.ly/2yF3yCX, additional information on the consumer plans here: https://bit.ly/3bPge8q, and information for partners here: https://bit.ly/3e1Line.

Changes to Microsoft Firstline Worker plans

Microsoft announce some changes to their plans for Firstline Workers, effective from 1 April, 2020. The existing Microsoft 365 F1 plan will be renamed to Microsoft 365 F3 and keep its $10 per user per month price, and a new plan (with a lesser set of functionality) will take the Microsoft 365 F1 name and have a price tag of $4 per user per month. Office 365 F1 is also renamed to Office 365 F3 and remains at $4 per user per month. All of the Firstline Worker plans will have additional  Teams functionality added, as well as enhanced identity and access management features.

There’s a useful chart comparing what’s available in the different plans in the announcement article here: https://bit.ly/3a6Qkg4.

VDA Add-on for Microsoft 365 E3/E5

A VDA Add-on for Microsoft 365 E3/E5 is added to page 57 of the March 2020 Product Terms

This Subscription Licence allows Microsoft 365 E3/E5 users to access a Windows Enterprise Virtual Desktop Infrastructure on dedicated servers when the users don’t have a primary device with a Qualifying Operating System – for example, users whose primary device is a thin client or a Mac. Note that these licences are only available to customers buying through an Enterprise Agreement.

Find the current Product Terms document here: http://bit.ly/MSproductterms.

Self-service purchase capability

14 January, 2020 is the day that Microsoft’s new self-service capability goes live for commercial customers in the US.

This functionality allows end-users to buy Power BI licences on their organisation’s tenant without going through the IT department. They pay with a credit card and get limited access to the Microsoft 365 Admin Center so that they can assign licences to other users as required. IT administrators can see any licences that have been purchased in this way through their view of the Microsoft 365 Admin Center, and can turn off users’ ability to self-serve using PowerShell if required. End users will be able to purchase licences for Power Apps and Power Automate soon, and the functionality will be available in other geographies through 2020. Find an FAQ here: http://bit.ly/2uNNQU3.

Microsoft 365 Business Voice

Microsoft introduced Microsoft 365 Business Voice in November 2019 for the UK and Canada, with plans for global availability in 2020. This is a single Add-on licence which includes access to Phone System, Audio Conferencing, and a Domestic Calling Plan, and can be added to an Office 365 plan (Business Essentials, Business Premium, A1, E1, A3, E3) or a Microsoft 365 plan (Business, A3, E3). It’s limited to up to 300 users in an organisation, and the price per month is £12.00 per user.

Find the original announcement here: http://bit.ly/2Yt80gU and a useful overview page here: http://bit.ly/2Yw4LoR.