Advanced Communications is available

Microsoft announce that Advanced Communications is available from August 1, 2020.

This adds a new set of capabilities for Teams, costs $12 per user per month and may be added on to any licence that includes the Teams service.

It supports large meetings enhancing the standard Teams limits from 10,000 to 20,000 attendees, 15 to 50 concurrent events, and event durations from 4 to 16 hours. Note that these limits are already uplifted for all Teams users until 1 October, 2020 – find details of that here: https://bit.ly/3lf2fON.

It also supports integration with ISV compliance recording and contact centre solutions, and will support custom branded meeting lobbies in the near future.

Find details of what’s included here: https://bit.ly/31r24b8, the announcement itself here: https://bit.ly/3hsYl2l, and a useful FAQ here: https://bit.ly/34vzoQr.

Microsoft 365 Compliance changes

Microsoft 365 Compliance has been a cost-effective way of acquiring Office 365 Advanced Compliance and Azure Information Protection Premium Plan 2 at a cost of $10 per user per month, but from 1 April, 2020 there are changes.

The two Microsoft 365 Compliance components (themselves collections of services) are retired, and replaced with three “mini suites” which repackage the existing Compliance offerings into different groups and add some new functionality too. The three new mini suites are: eDiscovery and Audit, Information Protection and Governance, and Insider Risk Management, priced at $7 per user per month for Information Protection and Governance and $6 per user per month for the other two. Microsoft 365 Compliance remains the way to access the services of all three mini suites at $10 per user per month.

These suites can be added on to a Microsoft 365 E3 licence (as you would perhaps expect), but also to a whole host of other licences, and page 60 of the April 2020 Product Terms document lists the various prerequisites.

The compliance offerings are typically tenant-level services and the licensing guidance for tenant-level services is updated here: https://bit.ly/35gbdUv where you’ll also find a useful Compliance Licensing Comparison document detailing which services are licensed by which EMS, Office 365 or Microsoft 365 plan. This document is available as a PDF document (https://bit.ly/3aoaQbc) or Excel file (https://bit.ly/2zCCK6C).

New Security and Compliance Offerings

The Microsoft 365 Enterprise plans are a convenient way of purchasing Windows 10 Enterprise, Office 365 and EMS. If you look at the difference between the E3 and E5 plans then there are three main areas where you get more functionality in E5: security and compliance, productivity tools, and telephony.

On 2nd January, 2019 Microsoft announced two new Add-on plans for Microsoft 365 E3 to allow customers to buy the security and compliance components at a cost-effective price from 1st February, 2019.

Information Protection & Compliance will be made up of Office 365 Advanced Compliance and Azure Information Protection Plan 2 and will be $10 per user per month.

Identity & Threat Protection will be ALL of the other security components: Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection, Azure Advanced Threat Protection for Users, Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection (now including Office 365 Threat Intelligence), Azure Active Directory Premium Plan 2, and Microsoft Cloud App Security. This plan will be available for $12 per user per month.

Find the Microsoft announcement here: http://bit.ly/2sFNgUa.