Are you like many businesses who have adopted the Cloud? Have you transitioned your Microsoft Office deployment to Office 365 ProPlus? Transitioning to a Cloud model for specific things often comes with a change in how we do things as IT organizations. Moving to Office 365 ProPlus helps organizations with Office patching, by automating the management of the Office patching cycles. Users are now notified by a little button when there is an updated version. Once the button is clicked, BAM! Office remains updated for the IT department. The user has more devices on which they would like Office installed? VOILA! They simply download Office from the Office 365 portal. These are some examples of how the Cloud can simplify your everyday tasks.
What happens to an IT department when Microsoft decides you no longer need access to an older version of Office through the Office 365 portal? Now, I am sure you are ready for the latest version of Office. You have tested all of your line of business (LOB) applications, right? For many organizations, the LOB application provider dictates which version of Office is supported. Or, it will require the organization to upgrade to the latest version of the LOB software to support a newer (but not the newest) version of Office. I know many applications related to the legal and construction industries that are usually two versions of Office behind the support standard. What about other applications? Have you tested them with your business processes to verify compatibility with the latest version of Office?
If the situation described sounds all too familiar, you need to prepare a plan. Microsoft has announced that support for the 2013 version of Office ProPlus ends February 28, 2017. Users who are running the 2013 version of Office 365 ProPlus after February 28, 2017, will have to upgrade to the latest version of Office 365 ProPlus to continue to receive support from Microsoft. According to Microsoft Support, the following will apply after February 28, 2017:
- The 2013 version of Office 365 ProPlus (32 and 64-bit) and all language packs will no longer be available for installation from the Office 365 Admin Center.
- The 2013 version of the Office Deployment Tool will no longer be supported and will no longer be available from the Microsoft Download Center.
- Microsoft will not release any feature updates for this version of the product.
- Microsoft will no longer provide support for this version of the product through Customer Service and Support (CSS) or Microsoft Premier Support.
- Microsoft will continue to release critical and important security updates for this version of the product until April 10, 2018. See the following Microsoft website: Security Bulletin Severity Rating System
- Microsoft will not provide notification before implementing potentially disruptive changes that may result in a service interruption for users of the 2013 version of Office 365 ProPlus. See the following Microsoft website: Microsoft Online Services Support Lifecycle Policy.
Organizations that have not transitioned Office licensing to the Office 365 ProPlus model and are continuing to deploy the Office 2013 Professional Plus, Professional, and Standard editions can reference the following Microsoft website:
If you would like to further discuss details around Office 365 ProPlus in your environment, assistance with planning for this upgrade, or testing of your applications, a member of our team can be reached at (317) 664-7600.