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Microsoft 365 for Partners

Microsoft Office 365 SMB naming updates

On April 21, 2020, Microsoft will be updating the names of its Office 365 subscriptions for small and medium businesses (SMBs). There are no price, feature, or business model changes to commercial subscriptions.

  • Office 365 Business subscriptions are becoming Microsoft 365 for business subscriptions. This includes Office 365 Business Essentials, Office 365 Business Premium, and Microsoft 365 Business.
  • Standalone commercial desktop client subscriptions are becoming Microsoft 365 Apps subscriptions. This includes Office 365 Business and Office 365 ProPlus.
  • Consumer Office 365 subscriptions are becoming Microsoft 365 subscriptions. Learn more about consumer Microsoft 365.

Watch our video presentation and use the resources on this page to familiarize yourself with the commercial changes and find out how to make the transition to the new naming.

What’s changingOffice 365 Business Essentials(US$5 per user, per month)Office 365 SMB offeringsOffice client subscription productsMicrosoft 365 Business BasicOffice 365 Business Premium(US$12.50 per user, per month)Microsoft 365 Business StandardMicrosoft 365 Business(US$20 per user, per month)Microsoft 365 Business PremiumOffice 365 Business(US$8.25 per user, per month)Microsoft 365 Apps*for businessOffice 365 Pro Plus(US$12 per user, per month)Microsoft 365 Apps* for enterpriseBeforeApril 21, 2020AfterApril 21, 2020
*”Microsoft 365 Apps” can be used to refer to Microsoft 365 Apps for business or Microsoft 365 Apps for enterprise if the audience context is clearly set. Otherwise, use the full product name.

Key partner actions

  1. Watch the partner readiness video to learn more about this change.
  2. Review the new Microsoft 365 for business brand guidelines, and incorporate the latest naming conventions into your customer conversations.
  3. Inform your current customers about the name change and that there is no impact to their current prices or features.

What isn’t changing

  • Subscription prices
  • Product features
  • Offer IDs and SKUs
  • Office 365 Enterprise SKU names

Partner opportunities

While there are no product feature or pricing changes taking place, this new naming does unlock two important customer conversations:

Upsell to Microsoft 365 Business Premium
Aligning Microsoft 365 Business Standard and Microsoft 365 Business Premium to the same naming convention makes the upsell conversation clearer. Now not only is Microsoft 365 Business Premium our best offering for SMBs, its naming also reflects so.

Shift Office perpetual to the cloud
Microsoft 365 Apps simplifies the on-premises Office upgrade conversation by clearly differentiating on-premises Office from Microsoft 365 Apps. With Office 2010 end of service rapidly approaching and Windows 7 end of service already passed, users of these products should be encouraged to consider Microsoft 365 Apps.

Frequently asked questions

  • Over the past two years selling Microsoft 365 Business, we’ve learned that our customers have found it challenging to decide what SKU is right for them. Our middle price SKU is called “Office 365 Business Premium,” while our premium SKU is called “Microsoft 365 Business.” Our “Office 365 Business Essentials” SKU has more cloud services value than our “Office 365 Business” SKU. These inconsistencies mean that Microsoft and partners spend considerable effort explaining how our SKU plan works, and not how our services deliver value to our customers. Our updated naming aims to address these issues by aligning SKU names to the Microsoft 365 for business product family.

  • Absolutely not. Office remains at the heart of Microsoft 365 Apps. Customers know Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook. However, Office has evolved over the years to include other apps, other capabilities, a connection to the Microsoft 365 cloud, and a new user-based licensing approach that defines the experience around the user. The new name acknowledges this understanding and – while keeping Office central to the experience – helps to convey the larger value, too.

  • Starting in late April, current customers will see the name of their subscriptions updated to the new name across their in-product experiences. They won’t need to take any additional actions.

  • No. There are no price changes or feature changes to our commercial SKUs. We will continue to deliver ongoing subscription value to all our subscribers as features become available, but have no plans to announce new product value as part of this name change.

  • No. There are no name changes to Office 365 Firstline or Enterprise SKUs. We already offer Microsoft 365 Firstline and Microsoft 365 Enterprise SKUs and continue to recommend them as our hero products in relevant customer segments.

  • There will be no OfferID changes as part of this renaming. Microsoft will update the catalog Display Name for the OfferIDs of the affected SKUs on April 21, 2020. As such, there will be no name change on the pricelist preview nor new OfferIDs that partners need to become familiar with. We encourage all partners to validate their system readiness in advance of April 21, 2020.