Add-ons that are NOT compatible with Microsoft 365 Business (yet)Alex Fields
Update 3/9/2019: I had to update this article. I am moving some former content on Identity & Threat Protection to its own article, and expanding on it there.
Microsoft 365 Business is a fantastic value, and contains most of what we would like to see in a small business subscription. However, there are some limitations that I think everyone needs to be aware of.
The following subscription add-ons would NOT be compatible with Microsoft 365 Business (you would need to upgrade into the Enterprise track before you could really use them):
Azure-hosted Windows 10 VM’s (requires Windows 10 Enterprise) WVD is now included with Microsoft 365 Business
- Teams Phone System & calling plans (requires Office 365 Enterprise)
- Windows Defender ATP (requires Windows 10 Enterprise)
At least as of today, this is the state of affairs that we live with, officially. Source. To quickly cover off on each of these features:
Hosted Windows 10 Virtual Machines: I don’t really care that much about hosted VM’s. The fact here is that only the licensing is included with Enterprise anyway–so you still end up paying for VM runtime in the cloud, for every VM you deploy. Adds up quickly for an SMB. Plus, so many small businesses are ditching Windows server-based applications in favor of cloud varieties anyway (and why else would you need to host a desktop, except to grant access to a desktop client-server based application?)–so that product has a definite lifespan in the SMB (and it’s short).
Teams Phone System: Yes, I would like to see the Teams phone system/calling plans open up to Business subscribers. I don’t understand why this is being withheld, seems dumb. I guess that small businesses will just keep moving to competitors in this space like Vonage, Ooma, etc.
Windows Defender ATP: I have heard murmurings that Windows Defender ATP, at least, may trickle down and become available as an add-on to any Windows subscription (even Business). We will see if this pans out to be true in the coming months, but recently a small clue came in the form of some new Security & Compliance offerings, which are essentially add-ons for non-E5 subscriptions (because everything is included in E5).
It used to be that WDATP was only available as part of Windows 10 E5 or Microsoft 365 E5. There is a lot of documentation out there that still erroneously reports this requirement. But now it is in fact possible to add-on the Identity & Threat Protection SKU to the Microsoft 365 E3 plan, for USD $12.00/user/month, opening WDATP and many other features normally reserved in E5.
For Business subscriptions, WDATP is not officially supported at this time–you must have Windows 10 Enterprise on your client PC’s in order to leverage its full power and capabilities.
Update: Some folks have pointed out to me that you can turn on WDATP in Pro/Business edition of Windows and it “runs”… but again, it isn’t supported, and you will find that not all of the features really “work.” So. Lame. But this could all change, if we keep bothering MS for it.
WDATP is an EDR product–and it has a great reputation so far. A lot of influencers in this space (myself included) have been asking Microsoft to open Windows Defender ATP to the SMB masses. We are literally saying to Microsoft: “How can I give you my money for this product?” And the answer cannot be to upgrade to a 57.00/user/month subscription–because that’s too much money.
This was just an overview of “add-on” products that don’t play well with Microsoft 365 Business. It usually comes down to upgrading into the Enterprise track. There are other differences in the Business and Enterprise subscriptions of Microsoft 365 which relate back to Office software (e.g. shared computer activation, advanced Access and Excel tools/features, etc.), and other differences (I have explained most of them here).
If any other questions come up, feel free to hit me up. It takes a small army to stay on top of all the licensing changes out there.