New Office 365 ProPlus benefits for students and faculty/staff

 

More great news for students and faculty staff.  Launching today we have the Office 365 ProPlus benefit available as a new student ‘sign up yourself’ option.  In addition, today we are announcing that you can use the same qualifying benefit for faculty and staff available for sign up yourself in October and orderable license via your reseller on December 1st, 2014.

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What is the Office 365 ProPlus benefit?

If your school/campus qualifies for the Office 365 ProPlus benefit, you can provide students and fac/staff (coming in October) with full offline copies of Office 2013 Professional Plus, Office 2011 for Mac, and Office for iPad on up to 5 machines and 5 tablets per user at no additional cost. Please see my other blog post here for eligibility and a more in depth definition.

What link can I send to students for the Office 365 ProPlus benefit?

Send them here for direct student sign up:

http://office.com/getoffice365

What does the Office 365 ProPlus benefit mean exactly?

There are now TWO options to provide Office 365 ProPlus benefit in education:

Option 1) Institution led Office 365 ProPlus benefit – this is where your IT staff creates an Office 365 Education tenant, obtains Office 365 ProPlus licenses (and in the near future faculty/staff also) from your reseller, assigns these licenses to your students and fac/staff in the tenant (populated via Dirsync, etc) via Powershell or GRAPH API (see here for samples scripts), and then students and fac/staff download Office 365 ProPlus here and log into Office for valid usage.

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Option 2) Sign up yourself Office 365 ProPlus benefit  – this is what is launched today where customers without Office 365 Education tenants can provide students an option to obtain Office 365 ProPlus without having IT setup a tenant, without having to obtain licenses from a reseller, and without having IT having to assign Office 365 ProPlus licenses to users.  Existing Office 365 Education tenants can also use sign up yourself for auto-account creation and/or auto-assignment of Office 365 ProPlus licenses to users for easier enablement.

What are the requirements for the Sign up yourself Office 365 ProPlus benefit to work with auto-account creation and auto-license assignment?

There are four requirements:

1) Student must have an academic email to validate they are a student. Student would sign up using their academic email.

2) Institution must be eligible for Office 365 ProPlus benefit – 100% of institution’s faculty/staff must have E3 or Office 365 ProPlus, or Office via Volume License. Check with your reseller for eligibility if you are unsure.

3) Student must be age 13 or over

4) No ADFS for federated login with their Office 365 Education tenant AND the need for auto-account creation. When using the ‘Sign up yourself’ option, the auto-account create portion does not work with federated logins to Office 365 Education however the ‘sign up yourself’ auto-license assignment portion does work with federated logins.

What are the requirements for the Sign up yourself Office 365 ProPlus benefit to work with just auto-license assignment with existing Office 365 accounts?

There are just two requirements:

1) Institution must be eligible for Office 365 ProPlus benefit – 100% of institution’s faculty/staff must have E3 or Office 365 ProPlus, or Office via Volume License. Check with your reseller for eligibility if you are unsure.

2) User has a valid login for Office 365 Education to use with the Sign Up Yourself link.

Optional -  Administrators can also obtain a pool of Office 365 ProPlus benefit licenses using Sign Up Yourself feature.This account would be used to obtain the Office 365 ProPlus pool of licenses for auto-assignment to the users inside of an existing Office 365 Education tenant for scenarios when no academic email exists or under 13 scenarios.

Which direction should we leverage option 1 or option 2?

This all depends on your current situation with Office 365 Education. I laid out a few use case scenarios:

 

No current Office 365 Education tenant

If you do not have Office 365 Education and have no current plans to rollout Office 365 Education you can leverage option 2 (‘sign up yourself’) to provide Office at no additional charge for your students. The benefit is the school or campus does not need to really do anything to make this work as it is fully student ‘sign up yourself’ option. 

If at a later point, IT wants to gain control of this ‘sign up yourself’ tenant this option is available. See the FAQ for more details on an institution taking over a ‘sign up yourself’ tenant under ‘manage a tenant created by my students’ section.

 

Have Office 365 Education tenant but not Office 365 ProPlus benefit 

If you have an existing Office 365 Education tenant such as E1 for students only but have not yet obtained the Office 365 ProPlus licenses or assigned them. Option 2 (sign up yourself) could be used to provide auto-assignment of licenses for your students and fac/staff in December within your existing E1 only tenant. This will avoid the additional step of using a reseller to obtain licenses and the scripting the Office 365 ProPlus licenses.

 

Have Office 365 Education but only for Fac/Staff but no plans for Students

If you have a tenant only for fac/staff but no plans for students. Option 2(sign up yourself) would also be a good fit as you do not have to provision students nor assign licenses, etc. You could either allow the students to create their own ‘sign up yourself’ tenant if the academic email is different for auto-account and auto-license assignment or you could allow or not allow students to auto-account creation and auto-licenses assignment within your faculty/staff tenant by registering their academic email domain in the tenant. If the academic email is the same, you could allow or block this feature within your tenant.  See the FAQ here under ‘Prevent students from joining my tenant’ section.

 

Have no academic email for students (K12)

If you do not have academic email for students you can either go with option 1 or go with option 2 using the ‘Sign up yourself Auto-license only’ option explained above using the admin account to obtain a pool of Office 365 ProPlus benefit licenses for use.

Once you have the pool of licenses for use, admins can create student accounts in the tenant via Dirsync, AAD Dsync, CSV import, GRAPH API, etc if needed.

Next, admins provide the username and password to students to register for auto-license assignment using the http://office.com/getoffice365 link or the institution can assign licenses via PowerShell from the license pool obtained earlier and students can download Office 365 ProPlus and login into Office with a username and password provided.

 

Have academic email but want to provide this benefit for under 13 year olds (K12)

If the student has an academic email but is not 13 or older you can either use option 1 or use Option 2 using the “Sign up yourself Auto-license only’ option explained above.

Once you have the pool of licenses for use, admins can create student accounts in the tenant via Dirsync, AAD Dsync, CSV import, GRAPH API, etc if needed.

Next, admins provide the username and password to students to register for auto-license assignment using the http://office.com/getoffice365 link or the institution can assign licenses via PowerShell from the license pool obtained earlier and students can download Office 365 ProPlus and login into Office with a username and password provided.

 

Have an Office 365 tenant, have ADFS for federated login, students share the same academic email domain as fac/staff and do not have students created in tenant

For this scenario, you will have to leverage Option 1(institution led) as we do not support the auto-creation of accounts in a federated (ADFS) login scenario.

 

What about student support for Option1 or Option 2?

The best bet for support issues for students is to point them here as there are step by step Office 365 ProPlus installation guides and the top Office 365 ProPlus error codes.

 

For more information please see the Office 365 ProPlus benefit FAQ here.