If you’re one of over 730,000 U.S. companies that use Microsoft 365, then you may need to budget a little more for your subscription in 2022. Microsoft is doing a major price increase in the first quarter of the year that will be impacting many business and enterprise customers.
The company notes that over the years since Office 365 (renamed to Microsoft 365) came out, it’s added over 24 apps and a lot of additional productivity value. All without doing any large price increases for the last decade.
Now, to prepare for new enhancements it is bringing to the service in both productivity features and security, it’s raising prices on March 1, 2022.
Microsoft 365 does offer a lot when it comes to the tools that keep offices going. Beyond the popular core Office suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook), cloud-based applications that have been added over the years include:
- OneDrive (cloud storage)
- Teams (messaging, video calling, chat, and more)
- Forms (online forms/survey tool)
- Lists (automated list-based processes)
- Visio (diagramming tool)
- Yammer (company social media feed)
- Bookings (online booking app)
- SharePoint (intranet sites and file sharing)
- And much more
We’ll go through other reasons that Microsoft gives for the need to raise prices at this point and exactly which subscription plans are going to be increased.
Why the Price Increase Now?
Added Security Features
The cybersecurity landscape has only become more dangerous in the decade or so since this cloud platform first came out. Microsoft has continued adding new security capabilities to reduce the potential for malware infection or a data breach, and those features have meant a lot of money spent on security engineers and developers.
Some of the capabilities that have been added to Microsoft 365 over the years include:
- Sensitivity labels (for persistent application of document-based security)
- Data loss prevention (DLP)
- Message encryption
- Compliance capabilities like eDiscovery and core Litigation Hold
- Mobile device management capabilities
Artificial Intelligence & Automation
Another advancement that Microsoft has been integrating into many of its apps has been AI and automation. You can see this in action in features like data types in Excel, which connect you to databases of facts about a wide variety of topics, and Presenter Coach in PowerPoint, an automated mentor to help you hone your presentation skills.
Charts in Excel have also become more robust and can automatically analyze your data to provide new and unique visual insights.
Extended Audio-Conferencing Capabilities
Microsoft Teams has added the ability for unlimited dial-in capabilities for its meetings across enterprise, frontline, business, and government plans. This makes the app even more useful as a tool to enable communication both inside and outside your company.
Tools for the Hybrid Workforce
Microsoft has been on the cutting edge of enabling work from anywhere, even before the pandemic. Its Microsoft Viva add-on for Teams has modules that promote remote team well-being and connectedness and that can incorporate ongoing training right inside the app.
Teams has also added multiple collaborative capabilities, including:
- Together Mode
- Background effects
- Large gallery view
- Raise hand
- Live reactions
- Breakout rooms
- Live captions (with translations)
- And more
In 2022, Teams is planning to go 3D and provide virtual environments with avatars to make an online connection even more realistic.
Price Increase Details (Impacted Plans & Pricing)
Not all plans will be impacted by the price increase on March 1, 2022. For example, Microsoft 365 Business Standard is staying the same, but Microsoft 365 Business Basic and Premium are both being increased.
Users that have Microsoft 365 Personal or Family will not be impacted by this increase. Educational plans are also not being increased at this time.
This increase is impacting business and enterprise plans.
New Microsoft 365 Pricing on March 1, 2022:
- Microsoft 365 Business Basic: Going from $5 to $6 per user (+$1)
- Microsoft 365 Business Premium: Going from $20 to $22 per user (+$2)
- Office 365 E1: Going from $8 to $10 per user (+$2)
- Office 365 E3: Going from $20 to $23 per user (+$3)
- Office 365 E5: Going from $35 to $38 per user (+$3)
- Microsoft 365 E3: Going from $32 to $36 per user (+$4)
These price increases are impacting all countries (adjusted for their currency).
With prices increasing, you may want to revisit the value of potentially upgrading to another plan to get more features and capabilities. For example, moving from Business Basic to Business Standard gives you the desktop versions of the Office apps, plus the ability to host webinars and manage customer appointments.
Get Help Making the Most of Your Microsoft 365 Subscription
Are you getting full value from your M365 or O365 subscription? Carl’s Computer Care can help your Louisiana business explore all the productivity tools in the platform that you might be missing.
Contact us today to schedule a consultation! Call 225-315-3498 or reach us online.