As you may already know – as of July 1st of 2016, Microsoft no longer is providing Office 365 E4 licenses to organizations. This was the ideal subscription for organizations that wanted to utilize Microsoft’s cloud subscriptions for Exchange Online, OneDrive for Business, and SharePoint Online, but wanted to keep their Skype for Business solution on premises for Enterprise Voice functionality. This subscription retirement previously had many organizations struggling to understand the price changes to either uplift to the Office 365 E5 SKU or drop to E3 with purchasing the Lync/Skype for Business Plus CAL (big capital expenditure that was not budgeted). Without much announcement, Microsoft released a workaround that provides the same functionality that the E4 previously provided.
The solution is combining the Office 365 E3 subscription with the Skype for Business Plus Add-on as a part of the Office 365 subscription. This provides EXACTLY the same features and functionality that the E4 subscription provided. If your organization has had issues with the retirement of E4 or would like to learn how to better leverage your Microsoft licensing, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will reach out to you shortly.
Martin Feehan, PEI