As if rising gas and food prices were not misery enough, Microsoft will significantly raise the price for Office 365 shortly also. This was announced in August of 2021 through a company blog. You first had to read through several paragraphs extolling the enhancements made over 10 years to this productivity suite. But you still have time to prepare to negotiate. Here are some strategies for the 25% price increase coming for Microsoft Office 365.
You Only Have One Month To Prepare Your Strategy
The price list changes on March 1, 2022. The price list is confusing, as there are different iterations of these programs. Are you using Office 365 with just the basic apps? Or do you use Microsoft 365 which includes a Windows license, security tools, and enterprise mobility? Both Office 365 and Microsoft 365 offer two categories of support (E for enterprise and F for frontline workers), and both have multiple categories (E1, E3, E5, F1, F3.) Who in your business handles this? You can so easily overspend if you don’t stay on top of Microsoft services. Microsoft is asking enterprises to spend more to save more. The percentage price increases will be smaller on the more features/more expensive bundles, closing the price gap between Office 365 and Microsoft 365, and making the higher support levels more attractive.
Know Exactly What You Need, Then Plan Your Strategy
You may not need the most expensive license with comprehensive functionality for everyone. With all the changes in how and where work is done now, look carefully at how each end-user contributes to your business.
- Create the profiles of the different workers in your business. This should be your first step in getting a handle on the costs.
- If you must purchase from Microsoft through a reseller, shop their competition to be sure you are getting the best price after their middleman markup.
- Negotiate price protection into your renewal contract to limit how much vendors can increase their prices. You don’t want to pay the list price in a couple of years.
- Don’t be dazzled by all the enhancements Microsoft will list for you. Know exactly what applications your business needs and will productively use.
- Be serious in your threat to move on. Know your alternatives to Microsoft Office 365.
Alternatives To Microsoft Office 365
There are alternatives to Microsoft’s once-game-changing office productivity suite. Google Workplace, once called Google Docs or G-Suite has long worked to offer applications and services commensurate with Microsoft. Recently Google has been increasing its market share primarily through frontline or deskless workers who probably do not need a full productivity suite every day. Research Zoho, also with cloud-based productivity apps, service desk, email, CRM, bookkeeping, and other tools. Salesforce now has an office productivity platform after they acquired Quip in 2016. Your sales team may not need Microsoft licenses at all. You have choices.
Does This Sound Difficult, Expensive, and Time-Consuming? Yes, It Can Be.
Understanding the inner workings of computers, networks, and software programs can save a business big money. This knowledge led to the creation of the CIO—Chief Information Officer, or CTO—Chief Technology Officer. Big corporations search long and hard for qualified CIO candidates because they have come to see how cost-effective such a company officer can be. Mid-size to small businesses, however, can be just as effective with a fractional CIO/CTO, or virtual CIO/CTO. This IT consultant works on contract with price usually based on the number of end-users. Their IT management and support companies are your go-to for not only hardware and software problems, but also vendor relations, budget planning, equipment recommendations, searches, and purchasing—the list of services available is long.
Some Strategies For The 25% Price Increase Coming For Microsoft Office 365
If you own your own business you, by definition, are already spread thin. I’m sure you appreciate your CFO watching your money, and your HR person, who keeps up with labor laws and manages your workforce. Having a technology specialist (or CTO) keeping your computers humming and your network secure should rank right up there with helping you sleep at night. My company, Aptica, is not about fixing your printer (although we can.) We stay on the leading edge of Information Technology breakthroughs and best practices, and we stay grounded in our Midwestern values of honesty, commitment, and service. If you are running Microsoft 365 or Microsoft Office 365 and do not want to absorb the new list prices, give us a call. We can answer your questions and offer solutions. 260.243.5100.
Jason Newburg, 260.243.5100, ext 2101, is the founder and owner of Aptica LLC. This IT management and support company has been serving small to medium-sized businesses for 20 years in the region that includes Angola, South Bend, and Fort Wayne, IN, Battle Creek, MI, and Toledo OH.