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    May 21, 2024

    An Unbundle of Joy: The Impacts of Microsoft’s License Changes

    Recent changes to Microsoft’s licensing offer new opportunities and challenges for organizations globally. This includes its Enterprise, Small and Medium Business (SMB), and Frontline suites. For organizations of all sizes worldwide, this is big news. Image of a phone with Microsoft 365 apps and Microsoft Teams crossed out

    As of April 1, 2024, Microsoft is separating Teams from its Microsoft 365 (M365) and Office 365 (O365) suites to maintain consistency across its licensing offers. Back on August 31, 2023, Microsoft rolled out this change in the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland to comply with the European Commission.

    While existing Microsoft customers will have the option to use Teams as a part of their suite as they always have, new customers must purchase Teams as a standalone SKU. That’s not an insignificant change, especially for enterprise customers. 

    We’re here to unbundle this licensing change from Microsoft and how it may affect your organization. 

    All the Little Details of the Big Changes 

    Microsoft used to bundle Teams in with Microsoft/Office 365. Back in the day, all you had to do was purchase the big license and you’d get access to Teams. Now that Teams has been unbundled, net new customers will have to make separate purchases to get both the productivity suite and Teams. 

    It sounds like a tough break for new customers, but there are more benefits to it than you might think. It provides lower upfront costs to net new customers and offers greater flexibility to organizations looking to leverage Teams as a standalone SKU. 

    Pricing Adjustments 

    Without Teams, Microsoft 365 and Office 365 come at slightly reduced prices. For example, the Office 365 E3 license has been reduced from $23.00 to $20.75 per user per month, and the Microsoft 365 E5 license from $57.00 to $54.75. Meanwhile, the standalone Teams Enterprise SKU is priced at $5.25 per user per month. Of course, these prices will vary based on region and currency.  

    Strategic Opportunities 

    The unbundling of Teams offers several strategic opportunities for organizations. 

    Now the options are open to select standalone collaboration platforms that may fit user needs more effectively. There’s no more compulsion to use software bundled with other applications, nor a need to pay for additional platforms. 

    Organizations can also scale their collaboration tools independently of core office suites, making it easier to adjust to their business needs. 

    A Few Minor Concerns 

    These changes aren’t all sunshine and rainbows. There are concerns about management complexities that come from needing multiple licenses. On top of that, in more complex environments, there could be issues integrating different standalone platforms. 

    How Continuant Can Help During the Unbundling 

    With the major changes to the licensing, you may be wondering how your organization can best adapt. Partnering with an experienced Microsoft provider, like Continuant, will make this process much easier. 

    Our experts can tailor-make solutions that will perfectly fit the standalone Teams SKU into your environment. We also provide services such as: 

    • Implementation Strategies. We devise comprehensive strategies to help your organization implement the now-changed Microsoft licenses, whether you choose to purchase Teams as a standalone or in tandem with Microsoft 365. 
    • Integration and Compatibility Management. Our experts can efficiently integrate Teams into your environment with or without the full Microsoft license. 
    • Cost Analysis. Whatever choice you make regarding the Teams and Microsoft’s other products, we’ll make sure you get the best solution at the lowest cost. 
    • Ongoing Support and Managed Services. All our solutions come with our full suite of managed services. This includes proactive monitoring, regular updates, and immediate troubleshooting from a dedicated support team available 24 hours a day. 
    • Adoption and Change Management. We provide training sessions and modules to make sure your users know what they’re doing, maximizing your return on investment.

    The unbundling of Teams from Microsoft’s licenses gives you a wide range of new options for your communications. We’re here to make sure you know what those options are, and which ones will be the most cost-effective for your organization. 

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    David Shelby

    David Shelby graduated from George Fox University in 2018 with a bachelor's degree in English and began writing for Continuant soon after. With the help of Continuant's world-class engineers and subject matter experts, he's dedicated himself to understanding all things business communications. When it comes to UC, AV,...

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