Why is Office 365 Free?
If you take a close look at our SLA for cloudW Learning Platform and Website Services you will notice that Office 365 is operating with a “free license”. You may wonder if this is correct? Are Microsoft offering a “free” license? If so, how does this work for them making money? And does this mean there are no costs at all for a school?
It is true that the Office 365 license is free. Educational institutes can provide staff and students with an email address, 1Tb of OneDrive space and access to some online office applications. Why do Microsoft do this and how can they generate income?
Microsoft give the licenses away to educational establishments because they generate their income from businesses. Pricing for a similar system for a business will cost £17.60 per user, per month. It also ensures a generation of children and adults who are familiar with Microsoft Office applications. Today’s children are tomorrows business leaders and when they go to purchase a solution for their business it will be Office 365.
Does this mean there is no cost to the school?
Sadly no. The school will always have some costs. Even with a free license someone needs to set up, administer and maintain the Office 365 service. Domain names need linking, users created and removed and permissions need to be mapped. Then you need to ensure your staff are correctly trained so you are exploiting the system in the best way possible to improve your own productivity.
The school could task someone in school with this but you still need to pay for their time and training. Many schools employ professionals like eServices to do this for them. We deal with everything from a simple password reset to full training in the use of the system.
It is brilliant Microsoft provide a license for schools in the use of Office 365. If you want to find ways to use the system to make you, your staff and your pupils more productive then get in touch.
Schools also have to purchase EES licensing. This is a separate license requirement and covers Windows 10, Office 2016 and the relevant licenses for the school server. The EES license also gives your staff and pupils the right to install Office 365 apps for free on their home devices.