Office 365 E5 Plan Announced

UPDATE: Since this blog post was first published, the Office 365 E5 plan has been made available for purchase. For more info about the pricing and availability of E5, check out our post covering the release.

Over the last year, Microsoft had made a series of announcements regarding new and improved services for Office 365. The biggest question following this slew of features would be incorporated into the productivity suite. Would it be as an add-on service like InTune and Dynamics? Or would they be brought into a preexisting plan? This morning at the Worldwide Partner Conference in Orlando, Florida, the company announced that these features would be available in the newest Office 365 plan: Enterprise 5.

Following suit with the previous Enterprise Plans, E5 comes with all the features of those that came before it: platforms for collaboration, communication and email, legal hold and archiving, and VOIP capability with third-party hosting. Taking things a step further, the new plan builds on these features to offer more business utility than ever before. Once released, the E5 plan will effectively replace the E4 plan, which is to be discontinued. Take a look at the newest features:

Cloud PBX and Video Conferencing

Up until now, Skype for Business (Formerly Lync Online) offered the mere capability for Voice Over IP in the form of the E4 Plan. E5 incorporates built in PSTN hosting for the platform, allowing businesses to run their phone lines directly through Skype for Business and into Office 365. Integration with the rest of the suite will offer streamlined features for calling and collaboration such as:

  • Make and receive traditional (xxx) xxx-xxxx style phone calls
  • click-to-call right from your contacts list, email, calendar and more
  • Call in conferencing for up to 10,000 users

Power BI Pro

Currently, a version of Power BI exists in the Office 365 E3 plan, offering complex analytical tools for Excel spreadsheets and other Office 365 specific datasets. The E5 plan will bring in the premium version of Microsoft’s revamped Power BI platform, which is exiting preview on July 24th. The new Power BI integrates with outside, third-party data services, giving businesses a more complete, visual representation of themselves in the market and allow them to make more informed decisions. A few of the services which work with Power BI include:

  • Google Analytics
  • Salesforce
  • GitHub
  • Marketo

For a more complete list of available services, view our blog post. 


E5 will build upon previous security functions built into the E3 plan, such as eDiscovery and rights management. A new feature included is Customer Lockbox, which grants limited, time bound access to Office 365 content for Microsoft engineers strictly for troubleshooting purposes. This feature is designed to maintain data security and privacy through the resolution of a technical issue. Other features are advanced Data Loss Prevention for Email and SharePoint/OneDrive and Safe Attachments, a malware scanner built into Exchange Online Advanced Threat Protection.

When Can I Get It?

As of the writing of this post the Office 365 E5 release date is not definite, though Microsoft pegs the timeframe to be somewhere “towards the end of the year.” The E5 Plan pricing is shrouded in more mystery, with no price established just yet. With the pricing of the soon-to-be-retired E4 plan at $22 per user per month, however, its likely that the new tier will be somewhere in the $25-40 per user per month range.


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