What you must know about Microsoft 365 for frontline workers

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More news on the way for Microsoft users: A new Microsoft 365 plan for frontline workers is now available.

The new offering – named Microsoft 365 F1 – is an entry-level suite with a low price point to give your frontline workforce access to the apps and tools they need to be productive, from wherever they log on.

You likely have some questions. For starters, what comes in this new suite, who will be affected by these changes, and doesn’t a Microsoft 365 F1 suite already exist?

Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. We’ll answer these questions and more.

What is in the new Microsoft 365 F1 offering?

The new Microsoft 365 F1 suite gives organizations more flexibility in how they deliver core productivity needs, intelligent security, and identity management for all workers.

The suite includes the following:

  • EMS E3
  • Microsoft Teams
  • SharePoint Online Plan 1
  • Yammer Enterprise
  • Read-only access to Office files via Office for the Web and Office Mobile

Isn’t there already a Microsoft 365 F1 Suite?


In October 2017, Microsoft introduced the Microsoft 365 F1 suite that includes Office 365 F1, EMS E3, and Windows E3 with restricted use rights.

Now Microsoft has renamed that original Microsoft 365 F1 suite to Microsoft 365 F3.

If you’re currently licensed for this suite, you may have already noticed the name change on License Summary and Reservation elections in the Volume Licensing Service Center (VLSC) portal. This change took place on March 12.

In addition to the name change in the portal, you may have noticed Microsoft 365 F0. This was added in March as a placeholder for what is now known as the new Microsoft 365 F1.

I have an EA or EAS with Microsoft 365 F1. What do I do?

If you have Microsoft 365 F1 on your Enterprise Agreement (EA) or Enterprise Agreement Subscription Agreement (EAS), continue to purchase the original Microsoft 365 F1 SKU locked in on your Customer Price Sheet (CPS) for the remainder of your enrollment term.

Since the portal has been updated with the name change, license reservations should be made under the new naming convention of Microsoft 365 F3. The reservation reconciliation, however, will be made with the SKU that is locked in on the CPS.

Who is affected by these changes?

All commercial, government, and nonprofit customers will be affected by this change. Academic customers are excluded.

What’s included in the Microsoft 365 frontline offerings?

There are differences in what’s being offered in the new Microsoft 365 F1 suite and renamed Microsoft 365 F3 suite.

The below chart compares the new F1 and F3 suites.

Image source: Microsoft

Things to remember

The addition of this new suite for frontline workers has already gone into effect, so it’s important to be aware of the name changes.

A Microsoft 365 Frontline Suite may only be licensed for a user that meets the guidelines of a frontline worker. As a reminder, frontline workers are members of the workforce that don’t have dedicated computing devices. For Microsoft, this means devices used for work with a 10.1-inch screen or larger that are used by a worker for more than 60% of the user’s total work time during a 90-day period.

If you have any questions about the new Microsoft 365 F1 offering, contact your SHI account executive. If you already have a Microsoft 365 or Office 365 agreement, learn more about SHI’s 365 Cost Optimization Services.