Microsoft turns the spotlight on small and medium sized businesses (SMB) by announcing their newest Office 365 subscriptions. Drawing on extensive feedback from how smaller businesses want to get started with Office 365, this week Microsoft announced three new flexible, cost-efficient, and feature-rich subscription plans which are tailor made for SMBs.
The SMB cloud market already represents a sizeable and growing percentage of the cloud adoption revolution, and is gaining traction in the world of technology as smaller businesses recognize the competitive advantage to be gained by leveraging the power of cloud solutions. Furthermore, the SMB cloud market is expected to grow 19% every year to reach a massive $32 billion by 2016.
Beginning October 1st, 2014, these three Office 365 subscription options will be available to both new and current customers:
- Office 365 Business: Includes full set of locally installable Office applications (Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, and publisher) for up to 5 PC’s or Macs, and 1 TB of free OneDrive storage.
- Office 365 Business Essentials: A collection of the core online cloud services; includes business email and calendaring, Office Online, online meetings, IM, video conferencing, 1 TB free cloud storage, file sharing, and more. Yammer enterprise social networking support is also included.
- Office 365 Business Premium: Everything from both Office 365 Business and Business Essentials. This subscription combines the locally installable applications as well as the collaboration benefits of Office Online.
This graph from Microsoft’s Office 365 blog provides an overview of what is included in each new subscription and their respective pricing:
Cost savings are a major factor in SMB cloud adoption, and both the Business Essentials and Business Premium options represent major price cuts from corresponding older versions. Microsoft’s previous SMB-focused subscriptions ($5/user/month Small Business, $12.50/user/month Small Business Premium, and $15.00/user/month Midsize Business) include similar features but without the affordability of the newer versions.
For current customers, the seat cap for Small Business and Small Business Premium has been raised from 25 to 300 users, and Midsize Business, although the seat cap remains at 300, sees major price cuts from $15/user/month to just $12.50/user/month.
Microsoft has also met the need for greater flexibility by allowing businesses to purchase a mix of any of the small business plans and even combine or upgrade to Business Enterprise plans. Furthermore, companies can also freely change or add products like Exchange Online, Visio, or Dynamics CRM Online. This added fluidity caters to business fluctuations and changes by allowing the user to pick custom combinations of the subscriptions instead of being limited to any single plan.
For more details and information on your business’ eligibility to opt-in to the new Office 365 subscriptions for small and medium sized businesses, contact SADA Systems at firstname.lastname@example.org.