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Office 365 E4 Suite Discontinued, What You Need to Know

Office 365 E4 Suite Discontinued, What You Need to Know

The Microsoft Office 365 E4 suite will no longer be available for purchase after June 30th, the end of Microsoft’s current Fiscal Year. So just what does this mean for you? Well, it depends, but one constant is that you will need to plan for change and how you will license your new employees.

Users who are currently on the E4 Plan via an EA can upgrade to E5 and get the extra benefits and features of the full E5 Suite, which include Power BI Pro, Advanced Threat Protection, Customer LockBox, among others. These customers can also choose to stay on the E4 Plan….for now. Since the E4 Plan is no longer available for purchase, when these customers come due for their anniversary payments, they will at that time need to purchase the E5 Plan as that will be the transition path from E4. For customers who have anniversary payments coming due on July 1st, they will need to plan for that sooner than a customer who is not due until next May.

Microsoft has also made upgrading to E5 seamless and attractive with their E5 Upgrade Promo (available through June 30th):

  • Current E3, E4 and Enterprise Cloud Suite customers are eligible
  • Existing EA/EAS O365 customers (minimum 250 seats)
  • 15% discount on O265 Add-on and Step-up SKUs

e5 upgrade chart

But what about new employees who these customers have not hired yet? What Plan should they get for these new users? There are options that the customer would need to choose from and plan for. The easiest plan for a customer who already has an infrastructure that is being moved from E4 to E5 would be to simply purchase the E5 Plan for his new employees. This would result in a single plan to manage for all users. Since they would be standardized there would be no guessing which user is on which plan and gets which benefits.

The other option for new users would be to purchase the E3 Plan, which would then give you two options if you were to later decide you want to upgrade these users to the E5 features and benefits. Option 1 here would be to purchase the Skype for Business CALs for those features. Option 2 would be to purchase the “Step Up” sku which would upgrade them from E3 to E5. Again, standardizing would be easiest as the IT Department would know that everyone would be on E5, and not left to figure out who is on E5 and who is on E3 and with or without the extra purchased CALs.

E5 is an excellent plan, including all of the features of the Office 365 suite, including the ability for the customers to incorporate telephony into their environment instead of a traditional PBX. It is also designed for the customer who would like to have a hybrid environment of on-premise and in the cloud.

For a detailed description of what is included with the Office 365 suites, please visit

Another great feature of the Office 365 E-Plans is that they also include user CALs for Exchange, SharePoint, Skype for Business (formerly Lync), so this is a great tool to discuss with customers who may be planning on premise right now but also planning on a move to the cloud since they would not need to purchase standalone on-premise CALs for these products. Here is a chart of what CALs are covered by the various Office 365 Plans:

e4 chart
The plans listed above are the only current Office 365 licenses with “on premises access rights.”  Other Office 365 Plans, such as the Small/Midsize Business and Kiosk Plans do not have the same use rights.

  • You are responsible for licensing the on-premises server instances under their traditional license models. For example, if you have 4 instances of SharePoint Server running on-premises, you will need to have 4 licenses for SharePoint Server, as well as the underlying Windows Server licenses and applicable Windows Server CALs.
  • Due to software license dependency, your Office 365 licensed users are still required to be licensed with underlying and supporting products – such as Windows and/or SQL Server CALs.
  • Your Office 365 User SLs (as covered above) can be used to access your licensed servers deployed on third party shared servers/datacenters via License Mobility through Software Assurance.
  • “On-premises access rights” work for current versions of the above server products, as well as earlier versions (licensed or via downgrade rights)

Customers will also have the option of adding Cloud PBX to existing E1, E3 and E4 suites as an Add-on option in eligible Geographies.

e4 chart

Don’t forget, that the E3 and E5 plans would also include full install versions of Office Pro Plus for your knowledge workers, who would be able to install their Office on up to 5 devices per user. This means that one Office 365 license can cover a worker’s desktop, laptop, tablet, smartphone, and still be able to cover that 5th device that they may also be using.

For more information reach out to your dedicated Account Executive or email our team of experts at




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