Microsoft Monthly Newsletter - December
Tom Walker
Head of Vendor Alliances
17/12/2021

Read below for all the latest news and updates from Microsoft this month.

Microsoft Price Increases Coming March 2022
Starting 1st March 2022, Microsoft are increasing the price of its enterprise Office 365 and Microsoft 365 subscriptions by up to 25%, meaning that you'll be paying more for the same licenses in your current tenancy. To help you, we've highlighted some of these changes below, full details can be found here.
 
25% increase to Office 365 E1 plans
20% increase to Microsoft 365 Business Basic plans
15% increase to Office 365 E3 plans
 
If you're an existing CSP customer, Microsoft have now limited your flexibility on monthly billed licenses and therefore by March 2022, you'll be paying up to 20% more on top of your current tenancy. 
 
To help, Ultima are offering you a free licensing consultancy call with our inhouse Software Team who will review your estate and will help you to reduce your costs ahead of the price increases. To get started, all you need to do is contact us and the team will reach out with next steps.

Microsoft Operator Connect Conferencing
Microsoft announce the general availability of Operator Connect Conferencing and add the licences to the Product Terms. 

With Operator Connect Conferencing capabilities, organisations can add phone numbers from a third-party operator to their Audio Conferencing bridge, and use those numbers to join Teams meetings. Meeting organisers either need to be licensed with an Audio Conferencing licence (which is included in Office/Microsoft 365 E5), or with a $0 Operator Connect Conferencing licence which can be assigned to anyone already licensed for Teams, and is available through an EA or CSP.

Find the announcement here: https://bit.ly/32Wv6CL
And details on the licensing here: https://bit.ly/3GopAHu

Phone System Renamed
The "Phone System" product, previously known as "Cloud PBX", has been renamed once more, this time to "Teams Phone". 

In January 2022, there will be a "Teams Phone with Calling Plan" offering which will replace two existing products: both the "Microsoft 365 Business Voice" SKU aimed at businesses with less than 300 users, and the "Teams Calling Essentials" product aimed at larger businesses. This new voice bundle includes just the cloud-based phone system and a domestic calling plan since the originally included Audio Conferencing product will now be included in Office 365/Microsoft 365 licences - see our blog for more details on that:https://bit.ly/3D6H0b3

Licensing-wise, it remains a User SL added onto various Office 365/Microsoft 365 pre-requisite licences, and is priced at $15 per user per month in the US, UK and Canada, and at $20 in an additional 30 markets. 

Find the announcement here: https://bit.ly/3DoJLTL
And a useful FAQ here: https://bit.ly/3IoUoK7.

SharePoint Server On-Premises
Microsoft announce the general availability of the next on-premises version of SharePoint Server - the Subscription Edition.

Customers with active SA are entitled to use this edition and will need to maintain the SA to keep using it; if the SA lapses then the customer retains rights to SharePoint Server 2019.

There's no change to the Server/CAL licensing model or pricing, or existing CAL equivalence rights, but note that there is no longer the option to purchase just a licence for this product.

Project Server Subscription Edition is a part of the SharePoint Server Subscription Edition installation and thus also available. 

Find the announcement article here: https://bit.ly/3qCdRAo

Teams Phone with Calling plan
In January 2022, there will be a Teams Phone with Calling Plan offering which will replace two existing products, both the Microsoft 365 Business Voice license aimed at businesses with less than 300 users, and Teams Calling Essentials product aimed at larger businesses.

This new voice bundle includes just the cloud-based phone system and a domestic calling plan since the originally included Audio Conferencing product will now be included in Office 365/Microsoft 365 licences.

Click here to learn more

Microsoft Security Product Name Changes
There were some name changes in November 2021 to Microsoft Security products. Here’s the summary:

Microsoft Cloud App Security is now Microsoft Defender for Cloud Apps
Azure Defender for IOT is now Microsoft Defender for IOT
Azure Sentinel is now Microsoft Sentinel
Azure Security Center is now Microsoft Defender for Cloud
Azure Defender for Storage is now Microsoft Defender for Storage

New Microsoft Defender for Business License
Microsoft announce Microsoft Defender for Business – capabilities from the Microsoft Defender for Endpoint solution designed for businesses with up to 300 employees.

It will be available in preview soon, and thereafter available via CSP agreement. It will be included in the Microsoft 365 Business Premium product, or available as a standalone offering costing £3 per user per month.

Introducing Microsoft Defender for Business

Upcoming Webinars and Events
Make sure you check out the latest webinars and events running: Click Here.
Our previous webinar recordings are available here.


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