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Secure Productive Enterprise Evolves to Microsoft 365

  • Complete Microsoft Inspire 2017 coverage here.

Microsoft on Monday unveiled a marketing and substance overhaul to its Secure Productive Enterprise package that will be called Microsoft 365.

Secure Productive Enterprise was unveiled last July as a bundle of Office 365, Windows 10 Enterprise and the Enterprise Mobility + Security (EMS) suite. The product that became available later in Microsoft's fiscal year consisted of E3 and E5 versions and was billed as all the software necessary to get an employee up and running securely and productively.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella was set to announce the new naming, and new subscription bundling that extends a version of the offering tailored to smaller businesses, during his keynote Monday at the Microsoft Inspire conference in Washington, D.C.

The name change brings the licensing bundle in line with the branding muscle Microsoft has already put behind Office 365 and Dynamics 365. It also marks the second rebranding of the main idea of a comprehensive bundle priced per user instead of per device in two years. Secure Productive Enterprise itself was a renaming of the Enterprise Cloud Suite (ECS).

The two main bundles of Microsoft 365 will be Microsoft 365 Enterprise and Microsoft 365 Business, according to a blog post Monday by Judson Althoff, executive vice president of Microsoft's Worldwide Commercial Business.

Of Microsoft 365 Enterprise, Althoff said, "It provides customers with the latest and most advanced technology for empowering employees." Microsoft 365 Business, he said, "is designed to give small-to-medium sized businesses a complete productivity and security solution, while streamlining IT management."

The Microsoft 365 Business package will include Office 365 Business Premium and security and management features for Office applications and Windows 10 devices. The suite will also include centralized console management for deploying and securing devices and users in one location, Althoff said.

Microsoft officials say the Microsoft 365 Enterprise will be available this quarter. Althoff said Microsoft 365 Business would be available in public preview starting Aug. 2.

Pricing details were expected to be released this week. Pricing for Secure Productive Enterprise E3 and E5 had been about $32 and $57 per month, respectively.

Althoff positioned Microsoft 365 as part of a shift that partners and customers are making "from viewing productivity, security and device management as individual workloads, to seeking a comprehensive approach to secure productivity."

Selling Microsoft 365 as opposed to Office 365 alone will also be a boost to partners, especially with an installed base of 500 million active Windows 10 devices and 100 million monthly active Office 365 users, Microsoft executives say. "It represents a significant opportunity to increase deal size, differentiate their offerings, and grow their managed services revenue," Althoff said. "According to Forrester Consulting, Microsoft 365 Enterprise increases partner revenue opportunity by more than 50 percent vs. selling and deploying Office 365 alone."

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.