When Microsoft released their new set of O365 Business Plans, it opened Office365 up to a whole lot of new users due to the low price and increased functionality of said plans. The ability to mix the new plans with Enterprise plans didn’t hurt either and we saw a huge increase in the number of Office365 sales.
The only downside was that users who had previously bought Midsize Business through open license, (ie the first people using Office365 through Open License) could not use these new plans. Lots of end users are still using O365 Midsize Business, as well as the old Small Business and Small Business Premium plans, and unfortunately, despite the announcement that there would be a transition path in place on October 1st 2015, there will not be.
The official word from Microsoft is:
We said that you would begin moving to these new plans on October 1st, 2015. We've moved this date to December 1st 2015, after the release of Office 2016, because the renewal experience will be best for users who have the latest version of Office.
Until December 1, 2015, you will be unaffected and able to add seats, receive all relevant updates, and renew your existing Office 365 plan. After December 1, 2015, you will need to select one of the new plans at your next renewal date.
So my reading of this is, they havent figured out how to move from the Midsize and Small Business platforms to the new platform. This is a major inconvenience for some users who held off renewing in September (due in Oct) hoping to be able to move to a new plan when the transition path is available. As well as for users who bought one of the new plans before the price increase thinking that they could be used in October. They now cannot be used until December. Forcing them to renew to their current plan for another year!!
On the FAQ page on the Office support site, there is a question asked that I am not sure about the answer to:
What if I have multiple subscriptions?
Starting December 1, 2015, multiple subscriptions will renew into one of the new plans. For example, a customer with 50 licenses in Office 365 Small Business, and another 50 licenses in Office 365 Small Business Premium, will renew to a single subscription with 100 licenses in Office 365 Business Premium.
Why are the users on small business being forced into Business Premium? The equivalent plan is Business Essentials, so why is Office Desktop being forced on them! I doubt I will get an answer to this question but if I do, I'll update the post!
For users who want to move to a new plan before December 1st, there are not really any supported options. There is a Switch Plan Wizard, but if the user has more than one plan on their subscription, the wizard will not work until after December 1st.