Back in July, I wrote a post on the upcoming release of Office 365 Enterprise E5. At the time, the details of this new deluxe bundle were sketchy. But with the release of the E5 bundle around the corner, we now know more.
First, the basics: the E5 bundle will eventually be replacing the E4 bundle as the top-tier offering in Office 365. This is the “best of the best” that Microsoft has to offer through its Office 365 subscriptions, and includes several enterprise-level features that may be overkill for many small and medium businesses. The enterprise features of E5 fall under three categories: real-time communications, analytics, and advanced security.
That said, let’s update the information from my previous post.
- Office 365 Enterprise E5 will become available on December 1, 2015.
- According to the latest intelligence reports, the E4 bundle will still be sold until June 30, 2016, so there will be some overlap between the release of E5 and the phasing out of E4.
- The pricing for the new plan is not publicly available yet and won’t be announced until December 1. (It’s classified. So I could tell you, but then I’d have to kill you.) The current price for the E4 bundle is $22.00 per user per month, so the new E5 bundle will be more expensive than that.
- Additional features are also being added to the E1 and E3 bundles. Specifically, they are adding new capabilities for online meetings and project management to both bundles. They are also adding data protection features to the E3 bundle.
In my previous post, I included a chart which listed the current features of the various Office 365 business plans, and my speculation on what the features would be with the E5 bundle. Microsoft has now provided a more clarity on what is included in the E5 bundle and what the changes will be to E1 and E3. So starting next month, the features of each plan should be as follows. (Again, this chart is offered on a “best efforts” basis and is subject to change.)
|Feature||Office 365 E1||Office 365 E3||Office 365 E4||Office 365 E5|
|Price per User per Month||$8.00||$20.00||$22.00||Not Publicly Available|
|Availability||Now||Now||Now, but phasing out||Available on Dec. 1st|
|Full, Installed Office Applications: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Publisher, OneNote, & Access||–||X||X||X|
|Office on PCs, Tablets, & Phones||–||X||X||X|
|Email and Calendars: 50GB Inbox Per User||50 GB||Unlimited||Unlimited?||Unlimited|
|Task Management: Planner||New!||New!||New?||New!|
|Instant Messaging, Online Conferencing, & Skype Connectivity: S4B App; S4B Stand. CAL Equivalence; S4B Ent. CAL Equivalence||X||X||X||X|
|1TB File Storage and Sharing: OneDrive for Business||X||X||X||X|
|Team Intranet Sites||X||X||X||X|
|Corporate Social Network: Yammer||X||X||X||X|
|Office Online: Online Versions of Word, Excel, & PowerPoint||X||X||X||X|
|Search and Discovery||X||X||X||X|
|Corporate Video Portal||X||X||X||X|
|Apps for Office and SharePoint||X||X||X||X|
|Document & Email Access Control: Archiving & Rights Management||–||X||X||X|
|Data Loss Prevention, Encryption||New||New||X|
|Mobility: Mobile Apps||–||X||X||X|
|Enterprise Management of Apps: Group Policy, Telemetry, Shared Computer Activation||–||X||X||X|
|Voicemail Integration (Unified Messaging)||–||X||X||X|
|Advanced Compliance Tools: eDiscovery Center||–||X||X||X|
|Self-service Business Intelligence in Excel||–||X||X||X|
|Enterprise Voice: enhancement or replacement for PBX phone system; S4B Plus CAL Equivalence.||–||–||X||X|
|Real-Time Communication: Cloud PBX & PSTN Conferencing||–||–||–||New!|
|Analytics: End User Analytics & Organization Analytics||–||–||–||New!|
|Advanced Security Features: Equivio Analytics for eDiscovery, Secure Attachments & URLs, Access Control||–||–||–||New!|
|Enterprise Plan Add-ons|
|PSTN CallingSkype for Business||–||–||–||New! Pricing not publicly available|
|CRM Online ProfessionalDynamics Online||–||–||–||New! Pricing not publicly available|
|Basic Features for All Plans|
|Up to Date||X||X||X||X|
|Active Directory Integration||X||X||X||X|
There are question marks next to the new features of E4 because I am not sure if Microsoft will be adding those features to that bundle before it phases out. For further reading on this topic, I would recommending reading the article by Mary Jo Foley here, who broke the story at the beginning of this month.