5 Things To Know About The Launch Of Microsoft 365 Business

Business Bundle

Initially launched as a preview this summer, one of Microsoft's new bundled software offerings, Microsoft 365 Business, is now generally available. The Redmond, Wash.-based software giant is also debuting three new business apps as a part of Microsoft 365 Business and Office 365 Business Premium. The tools are intended to help business owners simplify and secure their operations, while ultimately helping staff to improve productivity. In the following slides, the CRN Test Center rounds up five key things to know about Microsoft's newest announcements.

What It Is & Who It's For

Microsoft 365 Business includes Office 365 Business Premium along with a set of security and management features for Office apps and Windows 10 devices. The software will be managed in a central console, Microsoft said. The console can be used to set up new employees, manage user identity and access, configure device security policies, and keep Windows 10 and Office versions current.

Microsoft 365 Business is targeted for small and medium-sized businesses with up to 300 employees. Partners, according to Microsoft, will be able to increase deal size and grow managed services revenue with Microsoft 365.

Partner Take

Ric Opal, senior director at Oak Brook, Ill.-based SWC Technology Partners, told CRN previously that he thinks Microsoft is on to something with the approach of Microsoft 365.

"Instead of ordering three things, this gives all of the technology needed to participate in today's transformative workplace, yet in a very secure manner," Opal said. "If I can simplify that in my ordering and provisioning process, and wrap managed security services around that, that's a pretty simplistic way for me to bundle and a pretty simplistic way for a customer to transact."

Opal also said he sees a correlation between Microsoft's sales reorganization this year and the launch of Microsoft 365. "Not only are they simplifying the organizational structure, they appear to be simplifying the licensing to go along with it -- which plays right back to Microsoft's focused effort to be easy to work with," he said.

New Business Apps

As mentioned, Microsoft is also introducing three new business apps as part of Microsoft 365 Business. Microsoft Connections is a marketing email tool for businesses, aimed at creating "professional-looking" emails such as newsletters for customers. Microsoft Listings assists users with listing their businesses on sites such as Facebook, Google, and Yelp. Moreover, Microsoft Invoicing offers tools for creating estimates and sending invoices for use with payment and cash flow management.

Additional Apps

Along with those three new apps, Microsoft is including three previously announced apps in Microsoft 365 Business. Microsoft Bookings is a simplified tool for scheduling and managing customer appointments, while Outlook Customer Manager provides quick access to information about customers. MileIQ automatically logs mileage and provides an easy way to classify the mileage as business or personal.

Business Center

For all of the Microsoft 365 Business apps, there's also a centralized dashboard for getting access to the tools. Business Center enables users to keep track of important business metrics such as invoices, email subscribers, online impressions, and total bookings. The dashboard aims to help users "to pinpoint what's working and what's not so that you can get the most out of your time," Microsoft said.