Easier upgrades to Office 365

Office365_Jan02_CMicrosoft’s Office productivity suite is among the most important business tools. From the word processor to spreadsheets, the latest, cloud-based version – Office 365 – has it all, and businesses are adopting it in greater numbers. In order to provide businesses with the software they need, Microsoft relies heavily on “plans,” each offering a different set of features at a different price level. While these plans are great, upgrading to a new one isn’t always as easy as it could be, an issue Microsoft recently set out to fix by introducing the Switch Plans feature. The company added Switch Plans to the business versions of Office 365, making it easier for some users to upgrade.

What is Switch Plans?

As you can probably guess from the name, the idea of the Switch Plans feature is to allow business users the ability to change plans. While this has always been an option, many businesses let Microsoft know that it was tougher than it should be to actually change their active plan. To make switching easier, Microsoft introduced the ability of plan administrators to switch plans directly in the admin center of Office 365, using the Switch Plans Wizard.

Can every business user Switch Plans?

This feature only applies to companies who currently use the business versions of Office 365, such as Office 365 Small Business Premium. In other words, this should apply to almost all companies using the suite.

There is one caveat you should be aware of before considering using this feature to upgrade. You can only upgrade using the Switch Plans Wizard. If you want to downgrade, say from Mid-Size Business to Small Business Premium, you will have to make the change manually. Your current plan also needs to be eligible for an upgrade. For example, Office 365 Midsize Business users can only upgrade to:

  • Office 365 Enterprise E1
  • Office 365 Enterprise E3
  • Office 365 Enterprise E4

Office 365 Small Business users can upgrade to:

  • Office 365 Small Business Premium
  • Office 365 Midsize Business
  • Office 365 Enterprise E1
  • Office 365 Enterprise E3
  • Office 365 Enterprise E4

If you would like to upgrade to another plan that isn’t on the list above, or the full list located here, you will have to upgrade manually.

How do I switch plans?

First you need to check that your desired upgrade is included on the list in the link above. If it is, and if you have admin privileges, follow these directions to upgrade your company’s current plan:

  1. Log into your Office 365 account. You should be able to do so directly from your main Office 365 portal e.g., mail.companyname.com, or mail.office365.com.
  2. Click on Admin, which is located in the top menu bar if you are an admin, followed by Licensing or Manage and purchase licenses.
  3. Click on Switch plans under the Plan Options field for the account you would like to upgrade.
  4. Select the plan you would like to upgrade to in the window that opens.
  5. Click Next and follow the on-screen prompts for checkout.
  6. Select Status on the Order Completed page to finalize the upgrade.

Your accounts should be upgraded to the new plan within 10 minutes, but it may take longer if there are any issues to resolve. Before you do anything, or if you have any questions, it would be a good idea to contact Providence. We can help make sure that your upgrade goes smoothly.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

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