Bits & Bytes

The BitTitan Blog for Service Providers

Grady Gausman

How Office 2019 Price Hikes Open the Door for Office 365 Migrations

This post has good news and bad news. Let’s get the bad out of the way first.

Microsoft is raising the commercial price of its perpetually-licensed Office 2019 suite. A 10 percent increase, to be exact, that will take effect October 1. On-prem Office 2019 isn’t the only instance of the jump in price, either. Windows Server 2019 and productivity servers including Exchange, SharePoint and Project Server costs will also climb 10 percent, as will Client Access Licenses (CALs) that enable personal computers to connect and access information on Microsoft servers, and Enterprise CAL and Core CAL suites.

Price also isn’t the only change coming from this announcement. Office’s typical support lifecycle of five years mainstream support, five years extended has been shortened to only two years of extended for Office 2019. In addition, Microsoft will only support Office 2019 on Windows 10, not Windows 7.

Official messaging from Microsoft paints the price hike as a way to “create more consistency and transparency across purchasing channels.” Others in the industry, including Microsoft Directions Research VP Wes Miller, note the (not so) subtle push from on-prem, perpetually-licensed options to a cloud-based subscription model like Office or Microsoft 365.

Microsoft also benefits from a lack of serious competition in the productivity suite arena. Google is a distant second, with Office 365 adoption and growth rates outpacing G Suite. Microsoft is the 800-lb gorilla in this space. They aren’t losing customers anytime soon. And price hike here doesn’t push people towards a different vendor – just a different plan.

As Miller mentioned above, the price increases from Microsoft are meant to make cloud skeptics and organizations with large on-premises footprints take another look at moving to the cloud. Turns out, that push could be good news for you, their trusted managed service provider.


Never a Better Time to Migrate

Even for your customers who cling to their on-prem infrastructure, the writing is on the wall: at least some of their workloads should be transitioned to the cloud. This price hike from Microsoft represents an externally influenced opportunity to approach heavy on-prem customers with a thorough, well-documented migration plan designed to modernize their business and save money in the process.

A couple benefits emerge straight away here. For starters, you look like experts holding a crystal ball: the exact reason these businesses pay for your services. You’ve spotted something down the road that will cost them more and you’re coming with a solution that will save them money, not to mention the scalability and flexibility they will get by moving their infrastructure to the cloud. They know they’ll have to move at some point. Make the case there’s never been a better time than now.

It’s also good news for your business: migrations are a significant source of project-based revenue with better-than-average margins. With a tool like MigrationWiz, you can help your customers save money by moving to the cloud while bundling services around the Office 365 subscription sale to generate more revenue for your MSP.


Maximize Revenue with the User Migration Bundle

In order to really save your customers money from rising on-prem Office costs, you need to be conscious of the price tag on the migration project itself. If it’s too high, your customers won’t bite on the move and simply eat higher Office 2019 costs, which doesn’t equate to more money in your pocket. Additionally, you as the service provider have a vested interest in making sure the migration project goes smoothly. If it doesn’t, you face financial losses through additional time and support on the project, plus losses in human capital if you botch the project and lose customer emails, data, etc. That’s why choosing a trusted solution for this project is critical – one that will ensure all your customers’ data makes it to the cloud, and one that allows you the greatest margins per user.

BitTitan’s MigrationWiz checks both these boxes. Our User Migration Bundle (UMB) is a single license that offers the ability to move a user’s mailbox, documents, and personal archives from Source to Destination anytime during a 12-month period for $15 flat. This allows you the option of one big migration project in which you move everything, or a phased approach based on type of workload (mail v. documents), management level (C-suite v. entry-level accounts), or other factors that make the most business sense. For most customers, you’ll need to move more than just their mailbox. Why buy multiple licenses and decrease your margins when you can get an all-inclusive license AND use the industry’s leading cloud migration tool?

Besides up-front licensing costs, the other way to maximize revenue is simply to spend less time on the project. A UMB license also includes DeploymentPro, BitTitan’s automatic Outlook configuration tool, to help your team save a significant amount of time and effort flipping Outlook profiles post-migration. Not only can you install via Group Policy and guide users through configuration remotely, it also enables you to track customers through installation and configuration. No more manual set-ups or “every user for themselves.” And no more surprise post-migration labor costs for your techs.

Savvy MSPs will see this change from Microsoft as an opportunity to approach their customers with a sound cloud migration strategy. Contact Us today or visit our on-demand webinar library to learn more about how MigrationWiz can help increase the profitability of your migration projects.


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