Our mission is to ‘save the world from information overload, one app at a time’. To further backup our mission we have decided to start a blog series which aims at making interesting data related to our business easier to swallow. For this first blog post we have chosen to simplify the “SharePoint Online Plans, Pricing and Features”.
Since the launch of Office 365 people have been enthusiastic about the service. Getting high quality enterprise IT services for a low price is one of the great benefits of public cloud computing. However if you ask about Office 365 there is one thing both customers and partners mention … The somewhat complicated pricing and feature model.
When you are buying a P1 or E3 plan, things can be pretty straightforward. When getting something special however things become more complex. Microsoft tried to make a menu where everybody could find what they need but seeing the amount of trouble people have deciding what to get it’s lackluster at best. In the end when a feature comparison doesn’t fit in a normal matrix based table you just know something is wrong…
Since we love SharePoint Online and want to help everyone to make a proper choice we felt the need to create a better overview. The complex feature trade-off plans shown in a simple graphical way.
Some of the important things to notice:
- Last week (May 21th 2012) the “Partner Access Plan” was updated from 1.000 to 10.000 free Partner Access Licenses! Every Office 365 SharePoint Online customer (at the tenant level, not per subscription) has these Partner Access Licenses (PALs) that can be leveraged for external sharing.
- External (Partner) Licensed users can use InfoPath forms to submit data.
- The “Partner Access Plan” and “Partner Access Licenses” have nothing to do with the “Office 365 Partner Internal Use Rights” (IUR’s) which Microsoft Online Partners receive.
- The “SharePoint Kiosk Worker Plan” doesn’t exist anymore; you can now only buy it as the bundled “Office 365 K1 or K2” Plan (which also include the Exchange Online Kiosk Worker).
- We love the ability to edit Office files in the browser, but in some cases you have to pay a lot extra to use it, so keep that in mind.
- Office 365 E1/E2 Plan users are SharePoint Plan 1, and E3/E4 have SharePoint Plan 2.
- You will always need one SharePoint Plan 2 Account to setup Visio, Excel or Access Services.
This is a great time to experiment with External Users. Up to 10.000 users who can access your SharePoint site for free is a very cool thing! Since the last Office 365 Service Update (which was rolled out in March/April 2012), external users can associate their own business email address (ex: firstname.lastname@example.org) to the LiveID system. (This used to be limited to @Live.com, @Hotmail.com, @MSN.com, etc.)
SharePoint Online is a great service and provides a lot of value for money. We hope this blog post will help people and businesses to better understand the different plans and features and help them make the right disscion.