Office 365 Pro Plus – New Tools & Improvements

Friday 12th May 2017

Improvements to the Office 365 ProPlus update model

As of September 2017, Microsoft will be aligning the Office 365 ProPlus and Windows 10 update models. This change will make managing updates for both Office and Windows easier for customers using the Secure Productive Enterprise.

Microsoft will make the following changes to the Office 365 ProPlus update model:

  • Two updates a year. Reduction of the Office 365 ProPlus update from three to two times a year, with semi-annual feature updates to Windows 10 and Office 365 ProPlus targeted for March and September.
  • 18 months of support. Extend the support period for Office 365 ProPlus semi-annual updates from 12 to 18 months (starting from first release) so IT professionals can choose to update once or twice a year.
  • System Center Configuration Manager support. System Center Configuration Manager will support this new aligned update model for Office 365 ProPlus and Windows 10, making it easier to deploy and update the two products together.

Read the upcoming changes in more detail here.

New tools and programs to manage Office 365 ProPlus application compatibility

When moving to a new version of Office, one of the biggest concerns customers have is around application compatibility. Office add-ins and VBA solutions are usually vital to the running of key business processes, and application compatibility is an essential consideration in both upgrades and updates.

There have been four new announcements from Microsoft which will help customers manage Office 365 ProPlus application compatibility.

  • Upgrade assessment tools. Microsoft has in preview new tools that will catalogue the add-ins and VBA solutions in use in your organization, identify potential issues with the upgrade to Office 365 ProPlus, and recommend steps for remediation.
  • Application compatibility testing. For each new Office 365 ProPlus release, Microsoft will perform compatibility testing of the most common third-party add-ins, identify potential issues, and take steps to remediate.
  • Office 365 ProPlus monitoring services. Microsoft will provide new services to monitor your ProPlus deployment and provide visibility into the usage and stability of apps and add-ins.
  • Reporting, tracking and resolving issues. Improvements to existing services for reporting, tracking and resolving application compatibility issues—and partner with customers and ISVs to find the best approach to remediation.

You can learn more about the upgrade assessment tools here, and more will follow on the application compatibility testing program, the new Office 365 ProPlus monitoring services and the new service for reporting, tracking and resolving issues in the coming months.

The full announcement can be found here.

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