Office 365 and Windows 10 may not be available to small business users for much longer, at least in their current guise, after Microsoft announced plans to change the way it packages products with Microsoft 365.
Consumer research has revealed to Microsoft that some business users feel the current offering to be too disjointed. They reported feeling like the business suite left them dealing with multiple, partner-led companies, rather than ‘one Microsoft’.
Introducing Microsoft 365
To solve the issue, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella announced that it would be repackaging its business offer and giving it a new name: Microsoft 365. This new solution will have two strands: Microsoft 365 Business and Microsoft 365 Enterprise.
Microsoft 365 Business is aimed squarely at SMBs, with its offering focused on three central tenets: achieving, safeguarding and simplifying.
It has been designed to improve how companies connect both to customers and suppliers – whilst also enabling staff members to work from anywhere, using any device (‘Achieve’). It also offers always-on security (‘Safeguard’) and management of devices and services through the provision of a single IT console (‘Simplify’).
Microsoft 365 Enterprise, meanwhile, is aimed at larger businesses. This is the product which combines not only Office 365 and Windows 10, but also Microsoft’s enterprise mobility and security.
The suite promises to “unlock creativity” through enhanced collaboration that is supported by AI and machine learning. There will also be a teamwork toolkit, offering the widest range of apps and services, so employees have the choice on how they connect and communicate. As with the Business version, Enterprise will simplify IT provision, through unified management across devices, apps and services. Finally, it will also help safeguard data and intellectual property, thanks to built-in, intelligent security.
On top of all this, Microsoft also announced a new Relationship Sales Solution that combines Microsoft 365 with Dynamics 365 and LinkedIn. This combination, it claims, will allow companies to unify social and sales data “to identify the right leads and connect with them through personalised engagement.”