Microsoft extends Office 365 ProPlus education benefits

benefitsLast year Microsoft announced it would give students free access to Office 365 (O365) through its Student Advantage program. Now the software giant is extending these benefits to school faculty and staff, and revealing a self-enrollment model that makes it even faster and easier for all parties to take advantage of these benefits.

Effective Dec. 1, 2014, any educational institution purchasing Office for its faculty and staff can now include an O365 Professional Plus (ProPlus) subscription at no extra cost for all students, faculty, and staff. Anyone with an active school-specific email address from eligible schools can sign up and install the following versions of Microsoft Office on up to five machines and five tablets of their choice:

  • Office 2013 Professional Plus
  • Office 2011 for Mac (and the new Office for Mac when it comes out next year)
  • Outlook for Mac (next generation)
  • Office for iPad (full featured)
  • Office for iPhone (full featured)
  • Office for Android tablet (when available)

Who is eligible for the O365 ProPlus benefit?

In order to provide O365 ProPlus for eligible users at no additional cost, institutions must currently license O365 ProPlus, O365 E3 or E4, or Office ProPlus for faculty and staff through Enrollment for Education Solutions (EES), Open Value Subscription for Educational Solution (OVS-ES), or School Agreement.

To take advantage of this program, institutions must order the $0 Office 365 Professional Plus SKU for students, faculty, and staff through their large account reseller or a Microsoft Authorized Education Reseller, or obtain their $0 Office through the O365 portal self-serve option.

How can users access the O365 ProPlus benefit?

Academic institutions have two options to provide O365 ProPlus benefits to eligible users:

1. Institution-led O365 ProPlus benefit. With this model, an institution’s IT staff creates an O365 Education tenant, obtains O365 ProPlus licenses from its reseller, and assigns these licenses to users within the O365 tenant. Students, faculty, and staff then download O365 ProPlus and log in to Office.

2. Self-enrollment of O365 ProPlus benefit. This new self-serve model, launched Dec. 1, removes the burden the institution-led model places on IT staff by letting students, faculty, and staff sign up for O365 on their own. Instead of having to wait for IT to initiate the service and provision licenses, now users can sign up online through their school-assigned email address. Alternatively, existing O365 Education tenants can sign up for auto-account creation and/or auto-assignment of O365 ProPlus licenses to users for easier enablement.

Similar to Student Advantage, O365 ProPlus benefits don’t give users perpetual rights to the O365 ProPlus benefit licenses. Individuals lose access upon graduation or departure from the school, and must enroll in other available consumer or commercial offers to continue use.

For more information about enrolling in the O365 ProPlus benefit program, contact your SHI representative.

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