Connection
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Microsoft Edition

JULY 20, 2021

Top of Mind:

Inspire 2021: Windows 365, Dynamic 365 in Teams, and More
Inspire 2021: Windows 365, Dynamic 365 in Teams, and More

This week at Inspire 2021, Microsoft revealed new products, feature enhancements, and offers for your Microsoft technology stack. Windows 365 Enterprise and Business—an exciting announcement which Microsoft describes as the cloud PC—will be available starting August 2, 2021.

Microsoft also announced Dynamics 365 and Teams integration—which does not require Dynamics 365 licensing. Key Azure announcements from Inspire included Azure SQL availability (starting July 30 as an Azure Arc-enabled resource) and the continuation of free Windows/SQL Server 2008/2008 R2 Extended Security on Azure.

Learn more by reading Microsoft’s announcement.

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The Right Device Makes a Difference
The Right Device Makes a Difference

In a recent blog post, we explained why meeting and calling continue to be the primary medium for employees to connect, collaborate, and get work done. We also explained why enterprise and small businesses are increasingly choosing Microsoft Teams as their platform for communications. Evaluating meeting and calling devices—and optimizing them for Microsoft Teams across various scenarios—has become a priority for companies adopting Teams.

An effective meeting and calling strategy must start with the primary device that your employees use to access Teams. Does it support the desktop version of Teams? Can it provide optimal performance for all types of Teams workloads in all work scenarios? Nowadays, your employees may require a device with high-quality built-in cameras and beamforming microphones, Wi-Fi 6 and 5G LTE support, and—most importantly—higher memory.

The good news is that the upcoming native integration of Teams for Windows 11 will have a new architecture that reduces memory utilization. In addition, Windows 11 will support hybrid scenarios from a security, deployment, and device management standpoint. In a hybrid work world where Microsoft Teams runs at its best, a device that runs Windows 11 is going to be a must.

Connection can help you optimize your current Windows 10 device pool for hybrid work and Teams. Check out these resources and services to learn more.
Microsoft Modern Work and Security Services
Modern Device Management
Blog post: Reimagine Hybrid Work with the New Windows 11

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New to Teams: Breakout Rooms and More
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Microsoft recently announced General Availability Teams Breakout Rooms—a widely awaited feature. It will be a gamechanger if you rely on Microsoft Teams for training, brainstorming, or interactive sessions in virtual events. Only the meeting organizer can set up Breakout Rooms, and the feature is only available on the desktop version of Teams at the moment. If you don’t see Breakout Rooms in your app, make sure your Teams tenant has the latest updates installed.

Microsoft is also rolling out Together Mode Scenes for Teams, featuring a dashing winter wonderland theme that is perfect for your year-end virtual Holiday party.
 Learn More 
New to Teams: Breakout Rooms and More
#

Microsoft recently announced General Availability Teams Breakout Rooms—a widely awaited feature. It will be a gamechanger if you rely on Microsoft Teams for training, brainstorming, or interactive sessions in virtual events. Only the meeting organizer can set up Breakout Rooms, and the feature is only available on the desktop version of Teams at the moment. If you don’t see Breakout Rooms in your app, make sure your Teams tenant has the latest updates installed.

Microsoft is also rolling out Together Mode Scenes for Teams, featuring a dashing winter wonderland theme that is perfect for your year-end virtual Holiday party.
 Learn More 
New to Teams: Breakout Rooms and More
#

Microsoft recently announced General Availability Teams Breakout Rooms—a widely awaited feature. It will be a gamechanger if you rely on Microsoft Teams for training, brainstorming, or interactive sessions in virtual events. Only the meeting organizer can set up Breakout Rooms, and the feature is only available on the desktop version of Teams at the moment. If you don’t see Breakout Rooms in your app, make sure your Teams tenant has the latest updates installed.

Microsoft is also rolling out Together Mode Scenes for Teams, featuring a dashing winter wonderland theme that is perfect for your year-end virtual Holiday party.
 Learn More 

New and Expiring Offers

Cloud Migration Promos for Dynamics 365 On-premises Customers

Cloud Migration Promos for Dynamics 365 On-premises Customers

Cloud migration promotion offers are available for customers who want to migrate from expiring on-premises version of Dynamics 365 (Dynamics AX, CRM, Government partner, NAV, subscription licenses, and more) to the cloud. The new offer includes:
  • 40% discount for Dynamics 365 Online Services with a three-year subscription, providing price predictability during migration to the cloud.
  • Dual-access rights (concurrent on-premises and cloud use), supporting user access prior to on-premises solution sunset when cloud migration is complete.
The new promo will also replace the current migration offer expiring July 31, 2021. The new offer will run August 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022.

To learn more, reach out to your Account Manager.
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Azure Virtual Desktop Promo for External Users

Azure Virtual Desktop Promo for External Users

Microsoft is now offering an Azure Virtual Desktop promo that includes free access to Azure Virtual Desktop for streaming first- and third-party applications to external users. This deal expires December 31, 2021. Starting January 1, 2022, monthly pricing for access will be $5.50 per user, per month (app only) or $10 per user, per month (app and desktop).
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Extended: Power Apps Promotional Pricing and New Pricing

Extended: Power Apps Promotional Pricing and New Pricing

Power Apps promotional pricing is available for EA, EAS, and CSP customers:
  • $3 per user/app/month (originally $10) with a minimum purchase of 200 licenses
  • $12 per user/month (originally $40) with a minimum purchase of 5,000 licenses
This offer expires September 30, 2021.
 Learn More 
Ending Soon: Azure Synapse Analytics Savings

Ending Soon: Azure Synapse Analytics Savings

Microsoft is offering free quantities of Synapse Spark (up to $20 per month) and Synapse Serverless SQL (up to $50 per month) for Azure Synapse Analytics customers. This offer will expire on July 31, 2021.

Contact your Account Manager today for more information.
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IMPORTANT PRODUCT UPDATES

Price Increase Coming to Open License Program

Microsoft has announced price increases for some government-level SKUs in the Open License Program (formerly known as Microsoft Open Business), effective immediately. As a reminder, this program will be retiring on January 1, 2022. We advise you to begin renewing licenses into CSP or MPSA.

To learn more, reach out to your Account Manager.
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Reminder: New Software Return Policy for CSP Customers

Effective June 1, 2021, the return period for software purchased in CSP, as stated in the Microsoft Partner Agreement (MPA), will change from 60 to 30 days from the order date. This means Connection, as your CSP partner, will have to submit the return request to Microsoft on your behalf within 30 days of the initial order date. The new rule will be applied to both perpetual and subscription licenses bought through CSP.

Speak with your Account Manager to learn more.
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Reminder: Intune and EMS E3 Price Increase

During the last 18 months, Microsoft has been adding a bunch of new management and security capabilities to Intune and Enterprise Management and Security (EMS)—with more features coming soon. Given the new capabilities, Microsoft is increasing their prices effective July 1, 2021. The stand alone version of Intune will increase from $6 to $8 per month, per user. EMS E3 will increase from $9 to $11  per month, per user. The price for Microsoft 365 E3 will not change.

Contact your Account Manager to learn more.
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Reminder: Skype for Business Online EOL

Skype for Business Online is sunsetting on July 31, 2021. If you haven’t already moved to Teams, you will be scheduled for an assisted upgrade that will begin in August. Check out Microsoft’s article and our blog to learn more about this important change and how to upgrade.
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Project Plan 1 License Gets New Power Platform Capabilities

Microsoft announced that in Project Plan 1, Project for the Web now comes with new PowerPlatform capabilities. With Project Plan 1, you can automatically send emails when members of your team have a task due that week. You can also build custom reports, dashboards, or portals with either Power BI or Power Apps with Project Plan 1 now. Check out the announcement for the complete list of Power Platform features coming to Project Plan 1.
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Dynamics 365 Business Central New Database Capacity Price

Starting June, Microsoft is rolling out new database capacity pricing for Dynamics Business Central Customers. According to Microsoft, this will reduce the database capacity price for Dynamics 365 Business Central. Reach out to your Account Manager to learn more.
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Intelligent Order Management SKU for Dynamics 365 Commerce Supply chain Management

Starting in June, Microsoft is rolling out Intelligent Order Management to Dynamics 365 Commerce and Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management customers through seeded capacity. This will be offered as a tenant-based standalone as well. Reach out to your Account Manager to learn more.
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New Power Apps Volume Licensing Tier Available for CSP and EA Customers

Starting in June, Microsoft is introducing new Power Apps Volume Licensing Tier Available for CSP and EA customers. Reach out to your Account Manager to learn more.
 Learn More 

FEATURED BLOG

Microsoft Viva Delivers a Better Way to Manage Work
Blog Post

Discover the employee experience benefits of Microsoft Viva in a hybrid work context. You’ll also learn the features coming to each Viva module, availability, and pricing.
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Nervous After the HAFNIUM Attacks? It’s Time to Fight Back.
Blog Post

Read this blog to learn how cloud-based apps help ensure your data remains secure, strategies for better protection, and how our Microsoft Customer Success Team can help you turn challenges into successful outcomes.
Read Now

Nervous After the HAFNIUM Attacks? It’s Time to Fight Back.
Blog Post

Read this blog to learn how cloud-based apps help ensure your data remains secure, strategies for better protection, and how our Microsoft Customer Success Team can help you turn challenges into successful outcomes.
Read Now

FEATURED CONTENT

Whether you are new to Azure or an existing Azure customer, the Getting Started with Azure eBook will provide you with useful insights on utilizing your current Microsoft investments to save more in Azure.
Learn More

Whether you are new to Azure or an existing Azure customer, the Getting Started with Azure eBook will provide you with useful insights on utilizing your current Microsoft investments to save more in Azure.
Learn More

Whether you are new to Azure or an existing Azure customer, the Getting Started with Azure eBook will provide you with useful insights on utilizing your current Microsoft investments to save more in Azure.
Learn More

FREE Azure Migration

Get your free Microsoft Azure Migration +$1000 in Azure Credits, plus a 1‑Month Managed Services Trial
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