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Microsoft Announces Updates to Firstline Worker Plans

arch 2020, Microsoft announced the addition of a new plan and changes to its Firstline Worker plans. The new Microsoft 365 (M365) plan will slot in below the current Firstline Worker plan. It will take on the existing M365 F1 name, and the current M365 F1 will be renamed M365 F3.

These changes are designed to allow organizations to connect firstline workers with limited productivity requirements to the rest of the company infrastructure at an entry-level price.

These M365 changes will address a longtime technology gap and provide better tools, communications, security, and management.

Source: Microsoft

Update Details of M365 Firstline Plans

Microsoft 365 F1 (New): Available April 1, 2020, M365 F1 will provide the security foundation and accessibility to organization resources and tools. Included is Enterprise Mobility + Security package, Yammer, Stream, Sharepoint, and Teams. The list price for M365 F1 will be $4 per user, per month.

Microsoft 365 F3 (Updated): This plan is already in the market as M365 F1. The renamed M365 F3 will be enhanced to include the all the features in the new M365 F1, plus Windows 10, VDA rights, and Power Apps. This new SKU will list for $10 per user, per month, unchanged from the previous F1 pricing.

The key addition to these plans is Microsoft Teams, which will include full audio and video capabilities and meeting rights.

Recommendations

  • Review the features of the new SKUs and consider deployment to firstline workers based on their needs.
  • Review your current O365 and M365 user deployments and consider changing some to M365 F1 or F3.
  • Firstline Worker plans could be considered for remote workers in this changing IT environment and increased support for work-from-home users.
  • If you are using the existing M365 F1, check your O365 admin portal in early April for notification and grandfathering rights.
  • Leverage Microsoft Teams for Firstline Workers.

Bottom Line

These changes and additions to the Microsoft cloud suite plans will provide additional user options and price points for IT departments. It could provide savings by redeploying/downgrading to M365 F1 or M365 F3 plans and allow IT improved management and security of remote workers. The addition of Microsoft Teams will provide much greater value to these plans and allow firstline workers to connect and collaborate with the entire organization.