Microsoft 365 Business Launches Alongside New Office 365 Apps

Posted on November 1, 2017 by Paul Thurrott in Office 365 with 8 Comments

Microsoft 365 Business Launches Alongside New Office 365 Apps

Microsoft announced today that Microsoft 365 Business is now generally available for small and medium-sized businesses.

Additionally, Microsoft announced the general availability of three new Office 365 apps for business—Microsoft Connections, Microsoft Listings, and Microsoft Invoicing—which join Microsoft Bookings, Outlook Customer Manager, and MileIQ to create what it calls “a suite of capabilities” for small businesses.

“Microsoft 365 Business is built to deliver the productivity tools and security services businesses need in a single, simple-to-manage product,” the software giant explains. “It safeguards company information, extending security across users, apps, and devices. It helps ensure PCs are up to date and secure, helping prevent security vulnerabilities that cyber-thieves often exploit. It also provides protection for company information across devices, with the ability to remove company data from lost or stolen devices.”

Microsoft announced Microsoft 365 Business and Microsoft 365 Enterprise in July, describing it as a “fundamental shift” in the way it delivers its software solutions to business customers. I was a bit more direct, calling it “Microsoft as a service.” Since then, the firm has been beta-testing Microsoft 365 with its customers. And in September, it revealed that it would make the offering available to education customers too.

Microsoft 365 Business is aimed at small- and medium-sized businesses with little or no IT staff and an unmanaged (e.g. no Active Directory) computing infrastructure. It includes all of the cloud and client products and services in Office 365 Business Premium, Windows 10 Pro, plus device management and security tools. It costs $20 per user per month, compared to $12.50 for Office 365 Business Premium alone. Both services are available to businesses with up to 300 users.

Microsoft is also shipping three new Office 365 apps that aim to help small businesses acquire new customers, increase revenue, and accelerate billing and receivables. They are:

Microsoft Connections. This app lets businesses send professional-looking marketing emails that showcase their brand and drive sales.

Microsoft Listings. This app helps businesses acquire new customers and build their brand by getting their business listed on Facebook, Google, Bing, and Yelp.

Microsoft Invoicing. This app provides estimate and invoicing tools that help accelerate payment and manage cash flow.

Together with Microsoft Bookings, Outlook Customer Manager, and MileIQ, these new apps form “a toolkit for small business owners to run and grow their businesses,” Microsoft says.

 

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Comments (9)

9 responses to “Microsoft 365 Business Launches Alongside New Office 365 Apps”

  1. Avatar

    cheetahdriver

    I would really like an expanded explanation of what the benefits of this might be for a small business that already has Windows10Pro and Office365 accounts. So far I am quite in the dark as to what it is that Microsoft365 does for you, despite having heard and read about it several times here and on the podcasts.

    • Avatar

      wright_is

      In reply to cheetahdriver:

      I thought it came with Windows 10 Enterprise... Although looking back at Paul's original post, he says Windows 10 Enterpeise for the Enterprise tiers, but only Windows 10 for the Business option. Confusing.

      A lot of (very) small businesses buy non-Pro machines, which means that even getting Pro and its features would be a bonus. But if they already buy kit with Windows 10 Pro installed, you are only getting the centralized device management. That in itself can be worthwhile - a central console to check on the status of the devices in the company and remotely disable / delete them.

    • Avatar

      VancouverNinja

      In reply to cheetahdriver:

      I can tell you right now that MS Connections is huge for us. It is going to replace Mail Chimp right away. To have a marketing campaign system integrated in Office365 and included at no additional charge is fantastic. The Listings component also looks to have good potential for us as well. MS is really starting to hit it out of the ball park, I can't see why a small business would not adopt these new services or simply subscribe to Office365.


      Looks like MS's focus on Azure and Office365 is going to have further reaching results than most people have realized.

    • Avatar

      Chris_Kez

      In reply to cheetahdriver:

      Which version of Office 365 does the business already have?

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