Microsoft Defender for Business

Microsoft introduce Microsoft Defender for Business – capabilities from the Microsoft Defender for Endpoint solution optimised for businesses with up to 300 employees.

It will be available through a preview soon, and thereafter sold via a CSP partner or Microsoft’s website. Licensing wise, it will be included in the Microsoft 365 Business Premium product, or available as a standalone offering costing $3 per user per month.

Find the announcement here: https://bit.ly/31VYmZP.

Dynamics 365 Licensing Guide

There’s an updated (November 2021) Dynamics 365 Licensing Guide with three main changes.

Firstly, the initial capacity for a Customer Insights licence now includes 10,000 B2B Accounts, and there’s a new Add-on available for an additional 10,000 B2B Accounts.

Secondly, there’s a new app for the Customer Service module called Voice Channel which is licensed via a User SL for users already licensed with a Customer Service Enterprise licence – see our blog for more details: https://bit.ly/3HUKAra.

And finally, Basic and Standard Edge Scale Unit Add-in and Overage licences are available for  Supply Chain Management; this is a good place to learn about SCM Scale Units: https://bit.ly/3r4TrjI.

Find this latest Licensing Guide here: https://bit.ly/3D0adnq.

SQL Server 2022 in preview

Microsoft announce the preview of SQL Server 2022 for early adopters, with the public preview and general availability coming in the next year.

In terms of what’s new, there are the usual improvements to performance, security and availability that you’d expect, as well as greater integration with Azure.

The three main improvements feature Disaster Recovery in the cloud through Azure SQL Managed Instance, near real-time insights on on-premises data through Azure Synapse Link, and visibility across the entire data estate though integration with Azure Purview.

There’s a useful datasheet here: https://bit.ly/30j36Ig with links at the bottom to the announcement, an overview video, and where you can apply to join the Early Adoption Program.

General availability of Visual Studio 2022

Microsoft announce the general availability of the Visual Studio 2022 IDE.

There are the usual three editions available: Community is a free download, and Professional and Enterprise are the ones included in the Visual Studio Standard and Cloud subscriptions.

Find the announcement here: https://bit.ly/3DgP8W2.

Microsoft Cloud for Nonprofit

Microsoft announce that Microsoft Cloud for Nonprofit is generally available.

This is an add-on licence with a variety of qualifying licences required, dependent on which nonprofit scenarios are important to you in areas such as fundraising, and volunteer engagement and management.

It’s a tenant-wide licence available through the EA, CSP and Web Direct, and there’s a Basic plan which is free, and a Standard Plan 1 (for less than 250 employees) at $750 per month and a Plan 2 for more than 250 employees at $2,000.

The different qualifying licences and the scenarios they light up are detailed in a pricing datasheet which you can find here: https://bit.ly/30JcMMW, and the availability announcement with some useful links, including one to a webinar on 7 December, 2021 is here: https://bit.ly/30DRWOP.

General availability of SharePoint Server Subscription Edition

Microsoft announce the general availability of the next on-premises version of SharePoint Server – the Subscription Edition.

Customers with active SA are entitled to use this edition and will need to maintain the SA to keep using it; if the SA lapses then the customer retains rights to SharePoint Server 2019.

There’s no change to the Server/CAL licensing model or pricing, or existing CAL equivalence rights, but note that there is no longer the option to purchase just a licence for this product.

Project Server Subscription Edition is a part of the SharePoint Server Subscription Edition installation and thus also available.

Find the announcement article here: https://bit.ly/3qCdRAo.

Dynamics 365 Voice Channel

Microsoft announce the availability of Dynamics 365 Voice Channel, an additional app for the Customer Service module, helping organisations to offer a continuous, personalised customer experience across all communication channels.

AI plays a big part with AI-based routing of calls to the best skilled agent, automatic transcription and translation of calls for agents, as well as live customer sentiment analysis.

Power Virtual Agent also has a role as a chatbot, or as an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system allowing customers to select menu choices through the telephone keyboard or their voice response.

From a licensing perspective, it’s licensed via a User SL for users already licensed with a Customer Service Enterprise licence. Alternatively, customers also needing the Digital Messaging app can now buy a combined Digital Messaging and Voice Channel User SL. Voice Channel relies on Intelligent Voicebot Minutes and Call Intelligence Minutes and initial capacity is included in the Voice Channel licences, as well as being available as additional capacity.

Find the announcement here: https://bit.ly/3HGbGlN.

Microsoft 365 Apps for enterprise is now an EOLS

There’s a change to the status of Microsoft 365 Apps for enterprise when it’s purchased through an Enterprise Agreement. It’s now designated as an Enterprise Online Service which means that it doesn’t need to be purchased enterprise-wide and 500 licences can be acquired to start an Enterprise Online Services-only enrolment.

Find the relevant page of the Product Terms site here: https://bit.ly/3ABfP5K.