Introducing Microsoft 365 Education

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In the past month Microsoft announced changes to their licensing model for education. Also known as the EES license (Enrollment for Education Solutions), the changes come under the same name but have a completely different focus.  The changes will enable you to get more out of Office 365 and other products and services in the cloud.  If anything, you are getting more from your licensing and better security.

Cloud First Licensing

When Satya Nadella was appointed Microsoft CEO he set out a new vision for the organisation which has seen the business grow and change under his leadership.  “Mobile First, Cloud First “.  Even though Microsoft are now publically focusing on AI (artifical intelligence) this moto is true to any business and should help to focus change within business in delivering better services to their employees, customers, teachers and learners.

Office 365 has changed over recent years to include more education features such as Microsoft Teams Edu, OneNote Class Notebook and Learning Tools but there have been lots of other changes to the platform for security, Cloud Telephony, Minecraft for Education, the list continues but these have all been available to us but at an extra cost on top of our EES agreement.

The new EES agreement is a cloud first based licensing enabling you to get more out of some of those paid for solutions at a very similar price to what you are paying now.

With Office 365 Education licensing you don’t have to purchase anything from Microsoft (including EES) to get this free license which has now been renamed to Office 365 A1 and if you do purchase EES you can get the Office 365 A1 Plus added, adding the Office 365 Pro Plus client for your users to use.   As part of your EES (2015) license you would get your server licenses, productivity suite server licenses and also your client access licenses with that single benefit to the cloud (Office 365 A1 Plus).  With the new licensing model (EES 2017) and Microsoft 365 Education, things flip the other way so you get your licenses in the cloud first which then enable you to license products in your own environment.

Additional Solutions from the Cloud

You will now purchase Microsoft 365 Education licenses at either the A3 or A5 depending on the features you want for those users and get additional functionality for that level.  The best of these in my opinion is Minecraft for Education – all students and teachers will get this license, what a great addition to your licensing and Microsoft Cloud Platform.

Other features include (depending on if you buy A3 or A5)

  • Azure AD Premium
  • Intune Education
  • Office 365 Advanced Treat Prevention
  • PowerBI Pro
  • My Analytics
  • Enterprise Mobility Suite
  • Office 365 A3/A5
  • PSTNConferencing / Cloud Telephony

Note, you still get the ability to install client software on your machines, depending on the licensing provider (we’ll get to this in a future post).

Look out for the changes with your licensing provider and I look forward to sharing more about these features in the future.

Latest updates from Office 365 Education – September 2017

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All the latest news from Microsoft Education and the Ignite Conference

What a week it has been for the education team and Office 365 with way to many announcements for us to get into in this post.

The Microsoft Education team announced Microsoft 365 Education along with some licensing changes from the 1st October, some of these are in your Office 365 platform already.  The Office 365 Education license now becomes the Office 365 A1 license and you will soon be able to change your license agreement to match Microsoft’s vision of Cloud-First, Mobile-First.

This week also saw Microsoft host the Ignite conference with a large number of announcements, changes and improvements to all their products including Office 365, Azure, SQL and the future release of the Office 2019 productivity stack.

Below I have put some links we feel should help you to understand the changes so you too can be ready to support your end users.

 

Microsoft 365 Education is the new licensing model for your next renewal.  Learn more about it from the Microsoft website….click here
 

Skype for Business will soon become Microsoft Teams.  Microsoft announced their road map to merge the two products into one with external access and telephony…click here

 

In the next few weeks we will start to see a new Office 365 App Launcher, also known as the “waffle”.  You will now you will see applications you use more often with an All Apps button for the rest. Read more about the changes on the Office Blog…click here
 

We’ve counted 18 announcements for OneDrive just in this link!  Take a read to know how you can get more out of the cloud storage feature…click here
 

New SharePoint Hub sites to pull news from all your SharePoint sites that you have in SharePoint Online including your Microsoft Teams and Office 365 Groups…click here

Awarded MVP – 10 Years #mvpbuzz

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It’s the normal blog post for the 1st July, but this year, what makes it extra special is that it is the 10th award I have recieved.  Thanks to everyone who supports me in giving to the community and I hope we can work together to achieve more in the next 12 months.

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Collection of all Microsoft User Voices

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#UPDATED 8th June 2017

Microsoft have been using User Voice to gage your input and development ideas for their products over the last few years but there are lot of them out there than you realise *trust me there are a lot more than I had realised and I’m sure I’ve missed a lot too.

Having heard and spoken to different product teams they sit down as a team every week or other week and look at the new requests, the votes and comments added and decide if it is something that should be added or prioritied for the product.  Not all product teams do the same but I hope this list helps for you to add the right feedback you want for the developments you want in Microsoft services.  If you know of any that I missed please tweet me and I will update the list.

Office

Windows and Management

Azure

Education

Visual Studio and Development

Others

Consumer

 

Presentation: Why you still need Azure AD even if you are Google

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It was a delight to be able to represent both BFC Networks and Pugh Computers at the recent Cynhadledd Technegol ColegauCymru Annual Technical Conference (Welsh Colleges Annual Technical Conference).

It is the only time during the year I get to speak solely to a college audience and with the conference in the valleys of Wales but it also gives me the opporunity to enjoy the drive through the beaultiful Welsh Valleys.

This year the theme was based on Security with GDPR being a hot topic so having given a few ideas of different sessions it was decided to talk more about the importance of Azure AD whether you are Office 365, Google or neither.  As other organisations move to the cloud, you need to be secure and know how your users are using your domain name to access content from other Office 365 enviornments

Ensure your Office 365 Data Moves to the UK

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In recent years we have seen Microsoft announce data centres across the world and more importantly for my point of view a set of them in the UK.  Azure services can now be purchased to house your services in the UK with new Office 365 tenants being created in the these new data centres.

Did you know you have to opt in to get your current Office 365 tenants moved to the UK?  Did you know you have only until the 15 September 2017 to complete your request?

Well hopefully you do now.  If you navigate to the Admin Centre in Office 365, Settings and then Organisation you will see while navigate down the page it talks about where your data is located.  Below that is the notification around moving you data.

Ensure you understand what the move process is and how it effects your organisation and chat with Microsoft or visit the Trust centre if you have more questions.

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Microsoft Education Online Event 2nd May #MicrosoftEdu

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In a month of announcements and events including Microsoft Build and The SharePoint Summit we have another event for those interested in the education space.

Looking at different reports there are guesses around announcements such as Windows Cloud, new Surface devices however I’m hoping for the announcement and general release of Microsoft Classroom, Intune for Education and a focus on Microsoft School Data Sync and how third parties can integrate with the SDS and Microsoft Classroom.

Hope to see you there. http://event.microsoft.com/MayEvent

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Speaking at UK Community Day – 23rd March

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I’m delighted to presenting at the next UK Community Day on the 23rd March.  Do you want to come and join us with a great set of speakers including Steve Smith, Neil Hodgkinson, Penny Coventry, Heath Groves and Brett Lonsdale?  If you do come and register now on the site and we hope to see you there as we take SharePoint to the Battle Royal – SharePoint vs SharePoint Online!

UK COmmunity Day

SharePoint Community Day

 

Come and join us at our SharePoint Community Day taking place on the 23rd March, where our range of speakers pitch SharePoint On-Premises against SharePoint Online and cover all the bits in between.

 

This exclusive day will de-mystify a lot of the mis-understanding between SharePoint On-Premises and SharePoint Online and what options are available depending on what direction your business is heading.

 

The Community Days are delivered by speakers that are renowned industry experts and MVP’s.

 

 

When and Where?

 

UK Community Day ‘SharePoint On Prem Versus SharePoint Online

It’s a battle Royal’

 

23rd March 2017, Leicestershire

 

Free for you to attend!

 

Speaking at Microsoft Ignite

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I’m delighted to be speaking at the 2016 Microsoft Ignite conference in late September.

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Over the course of two sessions I’ll be focusing on how the education sector are using Office 365 in two different ways.

  • Be ready for how the millennial generation are using Office 365
  • Meetup: Education meetup for schools, colleges or those working in the sector

Tuesday Lunch time – 12:40pm – Expo Theater 2

In the community theatre I will be present and talking about Be ready for “How the millennial generation are using Office 365”.  Over the past few months I’ve been able to work with a few large companies in the UK and talk to them about how the millennial generation are using Office 365 and Microsoft technologies.  This allowing them to ensure they have an effective device strategy for new starters that support the technologies they have been using in the classroom and at home.  Is your business ready for a different type of worker that is always connected and communicating?

 

Wednesday Morning – 9:00am – B203

During this time we will be have an education meetup to talk about some of the technology and challenges we have in the education sector with Microsoft Technologies.  I’ve put some questions together that will get us talking in groups around some of technologies such as Microsoft Classroom, OneNote Class Notebook and Office Mix.  Come and listen, watch a demo and interactive and learn from each other on how these technologies are already being used with learners.

My Speaker from for more details of my sessions

 

Microsoft Classroom: Webinar Demo

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Thanks to Pugh and BFC Networks for allowing me to present on Microsoft Classroom today.

During the call we went through a few different aspect to help understand what you can do with a Microsoft Classroom class.

  1. What is Microsoft Classroom?
  2. What is an Office 365 Group?
    1. Conversations
    2. Calendars
    3. Files
    4. Notebook
    5. Connectors
  3. Microsoft Classroom
    1. Assigning
      1. Documents and Links (video)
    2. Completing
    3. Submitting
    4. Grading
    5. Conversations
  4. School Data Sync

I also mentioned during the call about a new podcast called the MS Edu Podcast where we talk about all the latest from Microsoft that help in the education sector.  You can get more of thing on the site.  Click Here –> MSEduPodcast