Microsoft 365 E5 Compliance suite changes: What’s new, and how do you purchase?

 In Cloud, Microsoft, Software, Volume Licensing

Attention Microsoft users, we have some news: Microsoft is repackaging the Microsoft 365 E5 Compliance suite – its cloud compliance offer – and introducing new mini suite offers effective April 1, 2020.

The Microsoft 365 E5 Compliance suite is considered an add-on service to the Microsoft 365 E3 suite. The bundle currently consists of:

  • Azure Information Protection Plan 2
  • O365 Advanced Compliance – Customer Key, Customer Lockbox, Advanced eDiscovery, Advanced Data Governance, Privileged Access Management, Advanced Message Encryption, Information Barriers, and DLP for Teams.

So, what’s changing, what are the new suite offers, are there any purchase prerequisites, and is licensing guidance available? We’ll answer all these questions and more.

Let’s dive in.

What changes and new suites are coming to Microsoft 365 E5 Compliance?

The current Microsoft 365 E5 Compliance suite will be enhanced with new value-add services. These services include:

  • Advanced Audit
  • Insider Risk Management
  • Communication Compliance
  • Cloud DLP
  • Machine Learning-Based Classification
  • Records Management

Microsoft will also introduce three new Microsoft 365 Compliance add-on mini suites. Each suite includes sub-set components of Microsoft 365 E5 Compliance to solve specific customer needs. The new suites are called:

  • Microsoft 365 E5 eDiscovery and Audit
  • Microsoft 365 E5 Insider Risk Management
  • Microsoft 365 E5 Information Protection and Governance

Are there changes to current standalone parts of Microsoft 365 E5 Compliance?

Yes.

Starting April 1, 2020, current standalone Azure Information Protection Plan 2 and Office 365 Advanced Compliance plans will be discontinued for new customers.

If you’re an existing customer, you may renew licenses while a future cutoff date is set. However, to gain the new value-add services, you will need Microsoft 365 E5 Compliance or the new Microsoft 365 Compliance mini suite offers.

The following is a summary of the changes, as well as the included offers:

What are the prerequisites to purchasing Microsoft 365 E5 Compliance or the new mini suites?

Since the new offerings will be classified as an add-on service, each of these suites will require an underlying qualifying license.

The below chart provides a summary of the qualifying license(s) to each add-on offer.

The date is fast approaching: Make sure you have all your facts straight

Like most of Microsoft’s security and compliance services, the enhanced Microsoft 365 Compliance suites are tenant-level services. This means, once activated, the services are made available for all users within the tenant whether the users are licensed for the service or not. Because of this, it can be difficult to avoid compliance concerns in this model.

Therefore, it’s important to understand the implications of tenant-level licensing requirements. To limit the availability of the service to only licensed users, make sure you take a look at the administration tools and instructions by service.

Remember, general availability of these new plans begin April 1, 2020. So, there’s no time to wait.

If you want to learn more about Microsoft 365 E5 Compliance changes and the new mini suites, contact your SHI account executive.

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