Microsoft 365 Business Frequently Asked Questions

Introduction

What is Microsoft 365 Business?

Microsoft 365 Business is a new solution designed for small and midsize businesses (SMB), bringing together the best-in-class productivity and collaboration capabilities of Office 365 with device management and security solutions to safeguard business data.

Microsoft 365 Business enables you to:

  • Create your best with tools like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote and Access.
  • Be productive from anywhere, with business-class email from Outlook and access to cloud files with OneDrive for Business.
  • Conduct online meetings and get instant messaging with Skype for Business.
  • Collaborate in real time with the chat-based workspace Microsoft Teams.
  • Safeguard your business by enforcing malware protection for Windows devices, with Windows Defender.
  • Help protect your data and intellectual property with App Protection for Office mobile apps on iOS and Android devices, and Mobile Device Management (MDM) for Windows 10 PCs.
  • Save time and be protected with consistent configuration across newly deployed PCs running Windows 10 Business and auto deployment of Office 365 apps, provided by Windows AutoPilot.
  • Be secured and always up to date with Office 365 updates and Windows 10.
  • Simply manage technology costs in one subscription, with simple per user, per month pricing.

Where can I find out more about Microsoft 365 Business?

Customers and partners can visit http://www.microsoft.com/microsoft-365/business where they can sign up to see a demo of Microsoft 365 Business in action. The preview will be accessible from the web site on August 2, 2017.

Who should consider adopting Microsoft 365 Business?

Microsoft 365 Business was built for small and midsize customers that have little to no IT resources on staff and want best-in-class productivity and collaboration capabilities of Office 365 together with device management and security solutions that safeguard business data.

How can I get Microsoft 365 Business for my business?

Microsoft 365 Business may be purchased through a Microsoft Partner or directly from Microsoft. In choosing whether to purchase directly from Microsoft or via a Microsoft Partner, you should consider your on-staff capability and desire to maintain an IT infrastructure. A Microsoft Partner can help you deploy and manage your IT infrastructure including Microsoft solutions.

How much will Microsoft 365 Business cost?

Microsoft 365 Business will be offered at USD\$20.00/mo./user based on an annual contract if purchased directly from Microsoft. When purchased through a Microsoft Partner, pricing can vary based on the services the partner provides and their pricing model for Microsoft 365 Business. There are no planned pricing discounts for government, education or non-profit organizations.

How are customers billed for Microsoft 365 Business subscriptions?

When Microsoft 365 Business is purchased via a Microsoft Partner, the bill will come from that Partner and may include additional products and services outside of the subscription pricing. When purchased directly from Microsoft, the customer is billed by Microsoft.

Is there a cap to how many Microsoft 365 Business seats a customer can have?

Microsoft 365 Business was designed for small to medium sized businesses with low to medium IT complexity requirements. Customers may purchase up to 300 Microsoft 365 Business licenses for their organization. Depending on their organization’s IT requirements, they may add Microsoft 365 Enterprise licenses to the same environment.

When considering an environment consisting of multiple subscription types, customers should work with their trusted IT advisors to determine how best to manage and secure the various subscriptions as Microsoft 365 Business and Microsoft 365 Enterprise use different capabilities to secure and manage applications and data.

Can I combine Microsoft 365 Business with other Microsoft subscription offerings?

Yes, customers can combine their Microsoft 365 Business subscriptions with plans and add-ons from Azure, Dynamics and Office 365.

Does everyone in my business required to have a Microsoft 365 Business subscription?

No, not everyone needs a Microsoft 365 Business subscription, although the security and management benefits are available only to those users with devices managed with a Microsoft 365 Business subscription.

Standardizing an IT environment serves to help reduce maintenance and security costs over time and is a state that businesses should strive to attain. However, we recognize that some small and medium size customers update their software primarily when they upgrade their hardware, over an extended period of time. Businesses can deploy Microsoft 365 Business to part of their organization, but for best protection of sensitive business data and consistent collaboration experiences, deployment to all users is recommended.

How can I know if the hardware and software I run today is compatible with Microsoft 365 Business?

If the hardware you run today runs Windows 7 Professional or later, it likely meets the minimum requirements for Microsoft 365 Business. Certain Windows 10 features such as Cortana, Windows Hello and multi-touch require specific hardware that is only available on newer PCs. See the Windows 10 Pro system requirements for additional details.

Existing desktop (Win32) application compatibility is strong in Windows 10, with most existing applications working without any changes. Customers and their trusted IT advisors should read the recommended application testing process for Windows 10 compatibility and review the Office system requirements to ensure a smooth transition to Microsoft 365 Business.

What is Windows 10 Business?

Windows 10 Business is a set of cloud-services and device management capabilities that complement Windows 10 Pro and enable the centralized management and security controls of Microsoft 365 Business. Windows 10 Business also comes with Windows AutoPilot, a service that streamlines the deployment of new Windows 10 PCs. If you have devices that are licensed for Windows 7, 8 and 8.1 Professional, Microsoft 365 Business provides an upgrade to Windows 10 Pro which is the prerequisite for deploying Windows 10 Business.

How does Microsoft 365 Business help support my company’s Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy?

Many employees prefer to use their own mobile phones or tablets to access personal and work information rather than carrying multiple devices for each purpose. The use of personal devices for work, while commonplace, increases the risk that business information could end up in the wrong hands. Many competing mobile data protection solutions require users to switch to a specific mode on their device or use another complex mechanism that users may find intrusive and therefore avoid using.

Microsoft 365 Business offers customers a simple but powerful means of enabling employees to use their personal devices for work while providing the business with the ability to prevent those devices from accessing, retaining and/or sharing business information. More specifically:

  • App Protection for Office mobile helps apps protect Office data, including email, calendar, contacts, and documents on iOS and Android mobile devices, by enforcing policies such as automatically deleting business data after a prescribed amount of time of not connecting to the service, requiring that information is stored only to OneDrive for Business, requiring a PIN/fingerprint verification to access Office apps, and preventing company data from being copied from an Office app into personal apps.
  • Mobile Device Management (MDM) for Windows 10 devices allows businesses to choose to set and enforce capabilities such as Windows Defender protection for malware, automatic updates, and turning off screens after a prescribed amount of time. In addition, lost or stolen Windows 10 devices can be completely wiped of business applications and data through the Admin center.

How does Microsoft 365 Business help protect PCs in my organization from malicious attacks?

PCs managed with Microsoft 365 Business are protected with Windows Defender, which is the No. 1 antivirus feature on Windows 10, protecting more computers against viruses, malware, spyware, and other threats than any other solution. With Microsoft 365 Business, businesses can ensure Windows Defender protection is running and always up to date on all their Windows 10 devices.

What's the difference between Office 365 Business Premium, Microsoft 365 Business and Microsoft 365 Enterprise?

Microsoft has a variety of productivity and security management offerings that small to medium-sized customers may consider when upgrading their desktop and device infrastructure, each bringing increasingly powerful features and functionality.

Office 365 Business Premium delivers best-in-class productivity with Office 365 apps and services but does not include the application protection and device management capabilities of Microsoft 365 Business.

Microsoft 365 Business combines Office 365 apps and services with mobile application management and Windows 10 Pro to enable remote management and help protect devices against viruses and malware. It includes a simplified management console through which device and data policies may be administered. Many small to midsize businesses can be best served with Microsoft 365 Business, although those in highly regulated industries may require more advanced functionality provided by Microsoft 365 Enterprise plans (E3 and E5).

Microsoft 365 Enterprise is a set of licensing plans that offer increased levels of mobility and security management over Microsoft 365 Business and are designed for enterprise customers and those customers that are required or regulated to provide the highest level of protection for their data. In addition, Microsoft 365 Business plans provide additional functionality including business intelligence and analytics tools.

Can I switch my Office 365 plan to Microsoft 365 Business?

Yes, customers may switch their plans from a qualifying Office 365 plan to Microsoft 365 Business is generally available. Depending on the customer’s current plan there may be a decrease or increase in monthly charges.

In what regions will Microsoft 365 Business be available?

The Microsoft 365 Business will be available to all partners and customers where Office 365 is available. See the list of Office 365 international availability for languages, countries and regions.

Public Preview

Who has access to the Microsoft 365 Business preview?

The Microsoft 365 Business preview is available to new customers as well as existing Office 365 subscribers in all markets where Office 365 is currently available.

I’m an existing Office 365 customer. Can I access the Microsoft 365 Business preview?

Microsoft 365 Business can be used with existing Office 365 Business Premium subscriptions. Office 365 Business Premium subscribers that move to Microsoft 365 Business would not experience any end-user impacts (re-install Office, lose functionality, etc) upon assignment of the license. Customers running Office 365 Enterprise E3/E5 may experience end user impacts if they move to Microsoft 365 Business, it is not a recommended transition path at this time.

When will Microsoft 365 Business preview be available?

The Microsoft 365 Business preview will be available starting on August 2, 2017.

In what regions is the Microsoft 365 Business preview available?

The Microsoft 365 Business preview is available to all partners and customers where Office 365 is available. See the list of Office 365 international availability for languages, countries and regions.

When will Microsoft 365 Business be generally available?

Microsoft 365 Business is expected to be generally available toward the end of the calendar year.

Is there a limit to how many users can experience the preview?

Each organization can up to 300 users on Microsoft 365 Business during the preview.

What should customers and partners know before running Microsoft 365 Business within their organization?

Customers that wish to experience the complete capabilities of Microsoft 365 Business must be running Windows 7, 8.1 or 10 Pro* on their existing desktops. Customers who use on-premises Active Directory must switch to cloud identity and management as part of their deployment. Existing Windows 10 Pro PCs should be running Creators Update if they have not already done so.

*Devices running Windows 7 or 8.1 Pro are eligible for an upgrade to Windows 10 Pro within the Microsoft 365 Business preview.

Is there any charge for the Microsoft 365 Business preview?

No, Microsoft will not charge for the preview. If you work with an outside IT partner and require assistance to deploy Microsoft 365 Business preview, they may charge you for their deployment services and assistance. At the end of the preview customers may convert to a paid subscription to continue using Microsoft 365 Business.

I’m an existing Office 365 customer. Will I be charged for an Office 365 subscription while I am using the Microsoft 365 Business preview?

Customers will continue to be charged for any active Office 365 plan to which they are subscribed.

What is the best way to deploy Microsoft 365 Business in my organization?

Partner-assisted deployment is the recommended way to deploy Microsoft 365 Business preview. Contact your Microsoft Partner and ask them if they are participating in the Microsoft 365 Business Preview Trial. Your Partner is well-equipped to help customers understand their options and make the best recommendations for deploying Microsoft 365 Business preview in your organization.

If you do not have a Microsoft partner, you can find one here.

Deployment

What should customers consider when planning a Microsoft 365 Business deployment?

The most direct path to a successful Microsoft 365 Business deployment is to engage with a Microsoft Partner. They have extensive training and experience with a wide variety of customer scenarios and are best equipped to understand your environment and needs. Customers that have experienced IT on staff can use the Microsoft 365 Business Getting Started to assist them in their Microsoft 365 Business deployment.

Does Microsoft 365 Business include the full capabilities of Microsoft Intune?

Microsoft 365 Business includes a robust set of mobile app management capabilities powered by Microsoft Intune. These are a subset of Intune features, specifically chosen to meet the needs of SMBs and organized to be easily managed via a simplified administration experience. If a company requires the full capabilities of Intune, they can purchase a Microsoft 365 Enterprise plan.

Does Microsoft 365 Business allow customers to manage Macs?

The security and management capabilities of Microsoft 365 Business pertain to iOS, Android mobile devices, and Windows PCs.

What is Windows AutoPilot?

Windows AutoPilot is a service that streamlines the deployment of new Windows 10 PCs. This process can be done when the end-user logs on to Microsoft 365 Business for the first time— without IT ever touching the device—by leveraging centralized management controls of Microsoft 365 Business. You can also use Windows AutoPilot for existing PCs that are running Windows 10 Professional Creators Update and have been factory reset. Details about Windows AutoPilot can be found in this June blog post.

Compatibility

Can I add Office 365 E5 add-ons to Microsoft 365 Business?

All the add-ons that can be added to Office 365 Business Premium can be added to Microsoft 365 Business. This means that you can purchase Advanced Threat Protection, Advanced Security Management, Customer Lockbox, Advanced eDiscovery, MyAnalytics, PowerBI Pro, and PSTN Conferencing.

Can I add Cloud PBX and PSTN Calling plans to Microsoft 365 Business?

At this time, these capabilities are reserved for customers who have more advanced needs. Customers who require Cloud PBX or PSTN Calling plans should look at Microsoft 365 Enterprise offerings.

Can I use add on Archiving or additional storage to Microsoft 365 Business?

Yes, you can add on additional archiving or storage to Microsoft 365 Business.

Can Microsoft 365 Business customers use Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection?

No, customers that require Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection need either Windows 10 Enterprise E5 or Microsoft 365 Enterprise E5.

Can I use Windows Information Protection with Microsoft 365 Business?

Yes, Windows Information Protection (WIP) is a feature of Windows 10 Pro and helps businesses prevent accidental leaks by restricting user and app access to business files based on policies you define. Your business data is protected no matter where it lives on your devices—without affecting your user experience. Microsoft 365 Business includes controls to ensure Windows Information Protection is properly configured and automatically deployed to end-user devices.

Can customers use Microsoft 365 Business with on-premises Active Directory?

To realize the full value of Windows 10, Windows 10 PCs need to be joined to Azure Active Directory. You may use Microsoft 365 Business with Windows 10 devices joined to on-premises Active Directory but it is not recommended because you won’t be able to enforce policies from the Microsoft 365 Business Admin console.

Can customers create hosted Windows 10 VMs with a Microsoft 365 Business subscription?

No, customers that require virtualization should purchase Windows 10 Enterprise or a Microsoft 365 Enterprise subscription.

Partner Opportunity

Where can I learn more about the opportunities and benefits in becoming a Microsoft Partner?

IT service providers that are not already Microsoft partners can learn more about the Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider program at https://partner.microsoft.com/cloud-solution-provider.

Where can I learn how to sell Microsoft 365 Business?

Partners now selling Office 365 can use the same consultative selling methods to sell Microsoft 365 Business. In addition, we are introducing resources and training for your sales team to understand the customers’ existing desktop environment, Active Directory reliance, mobility and security needs to effectively communicate the full value of Microsoft 365 Business in a way that is relevant to the customer. Find these resources on the Office Partner portal at http://partners.office.com.

How can Microsoft 365 Business help partners increase the profitability?

Microsoft 365 Business will help partners reduce costs through greater operational efficiencies and enhance revenue through the sale of additional services. The Forrester Research, Microsoft 365 Business Total Economic Impact (TEI) Study, June 2017 (available on the partner portal), demonstrates that Microsoft 365 Business will have positive impact on partner profitability.

In the TEI study partners reported that with Microsoft 365 Business they expect:

  • 20%-point increase in [one-time] deployment and advisory services revenue
  • 10%-point increase in attach rate of managed services
  • 8%-point increase in consulting and [ongoing] managed services profit margins (from lower costs)

What resources are available to partners to sell, deploy and support Microsoft 365 Business?

Microsoft provides a wide selection of resources for CSP partners to market, sell, and support Microsoft 365 Business. They can be found at http://partners.office.com.

What up-sell opportunities does Microsoft 365 Business give partners?

Microsoft 365 Business allows partners to maintain their trusted advisor position with customers, by creating a solid and secure platform upon which to sell additional services, or upgrade existing products and services. Microsoft 365 Business provides an opportunity to have an upgrade discussion with customers now using Exchange Server, Exchange Online or Office 365 Business Essentials. Partners may also gain additional revenue from increased managed services and/or per-user support fees.

With the new Windows AutoPilot feature included in Microsoft 365 Business, partners who have been reluctant to sell new Windows devices due to deployment logistics and costs may now find this opportunity much more attractive. Customers who are confident in the security of their onpremise and mobile devices are also more likely to invest in additional services, such as Dynamics 365.

Should partners sell Microsoft 365 Business over other plans from Microsoft?

A Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider should always sell the plan that best suits its customer business needs and budget. For example, if a customer must comply with privacy and security regulations, a CSP may sell Microsoft 365 Business plus any add-ons that help the customer meet its requirements or may suggest the advanced security and management provided by Microsoft 365 Business E SKUs.

I have devices that are not genuine; will Microsoft 365 Business make my devices genuine?

No, Microsoft 365 Business does not make an otherwise non-genuine version of Windows, genuine. Microsoft 365 Business does provide an upgrade benefit allowing those customers running genuine Windows 7, 8 or 8.1 Pro to upgrade to the most recent, genuine version of Windows 10 Pro.

How do partners make any money offering the Microsoft 365 Business preview to their customers?

Partners can realize revenue opportunities by deploying Microsoft 365 Business preview and providing other managed services that support the solution.

What is the exact name of the Microsoft 365 Business preview SKU and when will it be available?

The Microsoft 365 Business preview is called the Microsoft 365 Business Preview Trial and will be on August 2 CSP Price List.

How can I convert a preview customer subscription to Microsoft 365 Business when it is generally available?

We will provide more information on converting Microsoft 365 Business preview customers to subscribers later.

What support is available to CSP partners for the Microsoft 365 Business Preview?

The same support channels available to CSP partners today (premier support and advanced support program) have been trained on Microsoft 365 Business and are ready to provide partners with support.

What is the GDPR and how does Microsoft 365 Business help customers with their compliance obligations?

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a comprehensive new privacy law that gives residents of the European Union (EU) greater control over their “personal data” and requires organizations to maintain the integrity of that personal data. The GDPR requires organizations that control, or process personal data tied to EU residents to only use third-party data processors that meet the GDPR’s requirements for personal data processing. In March 2017, Microsoft made available contractual guarantees that provide these assurances. Customers who have questions about how Microsoft can help them meet their additional GDPR obligations should learn about the advanced compliance and security capabilities available as add-ons (e.g. Azure Information Protection) and in other Suites (e.g. Microsoft 365 Enterprise E5). To learn more, visit www.microsoft.com/gdpr.