As we head towards the end of the year, it’s a time to look forward to the upcoming holidays. It’s also a time many companies are planning their IT budgets for 2022.
One thing to be aware of for next year is the fact that Microsoft is increasing prices beginning in March of 2022. Don’t worry though. We are here to help you navigate through the changes. We’ll be working with each of you to determine the plan and structure that is best for your organization. This is one of the benefits of working with a Microsoft Gold Partner!
Changes to Microsoft Pricing
So what’s changing? Well, a lot. Let’s dig into it a little deeper.
First off, it’s important to note that since Microsoft released Office 365 in 2011, the price has not changed. That’s remarkable in and of itself, especially considering what Microsoft has added to the platform in the last decade. They’ve added 25 new applications and over 1,400 new features in that time.
One of the largest new products they’ve launched is Teams. Teams has become a critical part of many company’s communication toolsets. Given the changes in the world and the shift to a remote workforce, a tool like Teams is critical.
Updates to Microsoft Teams and Other New 365 Features
As they keep growing Teams, next year Microsoft will be adding the Audio Conferencing plan ($4/user value) to most Teams licenses for free. This means your end-users, clients, and other meeting attendees can now call into Teams meetings and conferences from their phone (versus having to join by computer) from over 70 countries at no additional cost. Whether your team is remote or your customers are, you will have access to this powerful new communications tool.
There have also been many updates behind-the-scenes of Office 365. Microsoft has worked to increase platform security. They have also added new security and encryption features. These new tools are critical in many fields, especially the legal and financial industries. They’ve also invested in artificial intelligence features for many of its products. New features include video transcriptions, live captions, editorial help in Word and Outlook, improved translation tools and more.
The biggest change Microsoft is making is around product and site licensing. Prices are expected to rise around 15%. With this new pricing, Microsoft is encouraging businesses to make a longer term commitment. It is believed (but remains TBD) that this commitment will act as a price lock.
Microsoft is asking its customers to commit to licenses in 1 and 3-year terms. During these terms, you will not be able to decrease your license count, similar to the purchase of other industry software such as Exchange user CALs or Office 2019 perpetual licensing.
For customers wanting to retain the ability to remove 365 licenses, month by month, your price will increase some 20% over the already pledged price increase. Here’s a quick pricing breakdown of the new pricing for 1 and 3-year plans:
- Microsoft 365 E3 $32 → $36 (12.5%)
- Office 365 E5 $35 → $38 (8.5%)
- Office 365 E3 $20 → $23 (15%)
- Office 365 E1 $8 → $10 (25%)
- Microsoft 365 Business Basic $5 → $6 (20%)
- Microsoft 365 Business Premium $20 → $22 (10%)
There is no change to educational pricing at this time. Starting in January 2022, we will be able to lock you in at your current pre-March 2022 price increase for a full year, providing extra time at your current price.
What Should You Do To Get Ready?
So what do you need to do now? Nothing. Sit tight. Have some hot chocolate.
Over the next few weeks, your Accellis account manager will be reaching out to you. Our experts have done a deep dive into these new plans and licenses. Our team will be working with each of our customers to find a plan that works best for them. As we said, this is one the benefits of working with a Gold Microsoft Partner like Accellis.