Interlink Cloud Blog

Microsoft Increases Prices After a Decade of Continuous Innovation

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Microsoft increases prices, which will take effect on March 1, 2022. Learn how this impacts your organization and how to optimize your current licensing. 
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Summary of Changes/Timeline:

Over the last ten years, Microsoft has continued to add new apps (Teams, Planner, Power Platform, Steam, Whiteboard, Shifts, Forms, etc.) and over 1,400 new features and capabilities into the bundles while keeping the pricing the same. Even with additional value continuously being added, no substantive pricing updates occurred. For the first time in 10 years, Microsoft has announced pricing changes, which will go into effect in six months. On March 1, 2022, Microsoft will update its pricing for the following commercial products: 

  • Microsoft 365 Business Basic (from $5 to $6 per user)
  • Microsoft 365 Business Premium (from $20 to $22)
  • Office 365 E1 (from $8 to $10)
  • Office 365 E3 (from $20 to $23)
  • Office 365 E5 (from $35 to $38)
  • Microsoft 365 E3 (from $32 to $36)

These increases will apply globally with local market adjustments for certain regions. There are no changes to pricing for education and consumer products at this time.

Decade of Continuous Innovation

This change builds on the product innovation Microsoft has delivered over the past ten years to meet the changing needs of customers. Since its launch a decade ago, Office 365 has grown to over 300 million commercial paid seats. Along the way, Microsoft has continuously re-invested to meet the changing needs of our customers. Four years ago, Microsoft 365 was introduced to bring together the best of Office, Windows, and Enterprise Mobility and Security (EMS). Since its initial release, Microsoft has also added:

  • Communication and collaboration: 
    Microsoft Teams was introduced as the only solution with meetings, chats, calls, collaboration, and the ability to automate business processes. Microsoft Teams enables end-users to remain productive and drive business value efficiently.
  • Security and compliance: 
    Microsoft has added capabilities to reduce risk and remain secure, like data loss prevention (DLP) for documents and emails, Office messaging encryption, and attack surface reduction capabilities.  
  • AI and automation: 
    Microsoft has added new AI-supported capabilities that help save time by automating tasks, finding the information we need, and helping us communicate in ways that are more accessible for everyone. 
  • Increased value to Microsoft 365 Business Premium: 
    Microsoft added Azure AD Premium Plan 1, Azure Information Protection Premium Plan 1, Office 365 DLP, Microsoft Defender for Office 365 Plan 1, Share Computer Activation, Azure Virtual Desktop (WVD), and Universal Print.

Unlimited Dial-In Capabilities Added

Microsoft has also announced they will add a new $0 unlimited dial-in capabilities for Microsoft Teams meetings across enterprise, business, frontline, and government suites over the next few months. Even as Cloud connectivity increases, people join Teams meetings while they are on the go or struggling with a bad internet connection. Currently included with Microsoft 365 E5 and Office 365 E5, Microsoft has come to see dial-in as an important part of the complete Teams experience. Unlimited dial-in provides peace of mind that users will be able to join their Microsoft Teams meeting from virtually any device regardless of location. This is another example of Microsoft's continuous value-add but is not a driving factor in the new prices.

How Interlink can help:

While no immediate action is needed at this time, many of our customers are budgeting for 2022, so we want you to be aware of this. You will be impacted by these changes – the question is when and how.

Interlink's experts can help you in several ways.

  • Adoption:
    Fully leverage the solutions you already own. We can help you understand how to better utilize all the services and features included in your bundle that you may not be aware of (think Planner, Stream, etc.).
  • ROI:
    Microsoft is one of the largest security companies in the world and you are likely paying for 3rd party services in addition to what is included in your 365 bundle. Is it time to take a closer look at Microsoft's offerings and reduce that 3rd party spend?
  • Licensing Health Check:
    Are you over licensed or is there a more cost-effective bundle or standalone service that matches your users’ needs better? Utilize our proven methodology to optimize licensing and save money appropriately.
  • Postpone the Changes (CSP):
    Discuss where making a 1-year commitment to licenses on CSP could lock in today's pricing and postpone the increase until 2023.

Contact Interlink today to begin to gauge the impact of these changes and ways we can help.

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