How you can move your clients to Microsoft 365 Business Premium — for free

Dominic Kirby, Director of Cloud Services, Pax8
Move clients to Microsoft 365 Business Premium

As a managed service provider (MSP), the best way to earn the loyalty of your customers is to consistently seek new ways to keep their data safe and to ensure their business runs as efficiently as possible. When they see this, they’ll keep coming to you for business, over and over again. Luckily, there’s a clear and direct path to building that trust, which is facilitating their migration to Microsoft 365 Business Premium. Unfortunately, this move can be costly for some small- to medium-sized business (SMB) clients. That’s why Pax8 is thrilled to announce a new program through Pax8 Professional Services that offers funding to help transition your clients to Microsoft 365 Business Premium.

In this blog, we’ll delve into why your clients should move to Microsoft 365 Business Premium, how the funding works, and what the other benefits of the program are. And make sure to review our guide for a step-by-step walkthrough of the process.

What are the differences between Microsoft 365 and Microsoft 365 Business Premium?

Microsoft 365 Business Premium is designed specifically for SMBs. It includes all the same apps and services as Microsoft 365 Business Standard and adds advanced security features your clients need to help keep their data secure.

Some of the main differences between the two are that Business Premium offers Intune and Azure Information Protection. Microsoft Intune is a cloud-based service that provides mobile device management and mobile application management, while Azure Information Protection powers greater collaboration with more protection that includes encryption and restricted access. Business Premium also includes Advanced Threat Protection to help prevent threats from malware, viruses, and spyware.

Why you should encourage your clients to upgrade to Business Premium

It’s no secret that cyber incidents are on the rise, and one of the key reasons is that organizations aren’t adequately protecting their identities. According to Microsoft, there were 83 million identity-related attacks between November 26, 2021, and December 31, 2021, alone. Microsoft also reported that between July 1, 2021, and June 30, 2022, they blocked 37 billion email threats and 34.7 billion identity threats, to offer an idea of the magnitude of this problem.

As such, Microsoft 365 Business Premium is best positioned for SMBs that are more aware of and concerned with their cybersecurity posture. This is especially true if they have remote employees and if they regularly work with sensitive customer data. Business Premium enables phishing-resistant features that protect your clients from these types of attacks, such as multi-factor authentication (MFA) with conditional access and phishing-resistant passwordless authentication, with optional geofencing to only allow access from a country or countries of choice.

These added features are especially helpful against threats that may arise because of bring-your-own-device (BYOD). For clients who have remote workers, those employees may use their own “endpoints,” such as phones and tablets, to access business data, exposing these potentially unprotected endpoints to attacks.

Business Premium helps protect against that threat by introducing features such as mobile application management in Intune for iOS and Android, which applies protection policies to core Microsoft applications such as Teams, OneDrive, Outlook, and SharePoint, no matter where they’re accessed. It also provides conditional access, which helps protect these endpoints because users can only access data from protected apps, like Microsoft Outlook, Teams, and Office. It also enables secure collaboration with Microsoft Defender, which protects against common threats like malicious attachments, links, and user impersonation over Microsoft apps such as Outlook, Teams, and OneDrive.

Many of these security features are even becoming mandated by Microsoft, as the company recently announced it would automatically enable stricter secure default settings such as requiring MFA on all existing Azure Active Directory tenants. Though administrators can turn these defaults off, that’s not recommended as strong MFA prevents 99.9% of account compromise attacks, according to Microsoft, so doing so would make your business less defensible.

Instead of allowing these automatic settings to take hold, upgrading your clients to Business Premium and Entra ID P1 (formerly Azure AD) offers more granular control over implementing these policies. Features such as conditional access allow for precise application and management of security policies that closely fit your clients’ needs.

Ultimately, implementing Microsoft 365 Business Premium helps you achieve three things:

1. Improve your clients’ cybersecurity posture

2. Increase trust between you and your clients

3. Unlock a suite of integrated security services to build a holistic security strategy

Helping your clients achieve CIS Controls

Using Microsoft 365 Business Premium is also one of the easiest ways to help your clients hit the recommendations put forth in the CIS Critical Security Controls framework, which is a set of simplified best practices that enhance an organization’s cybersecurity defenses. It’s especially important to use this framework to help clients comply with industry regulations they may be beholden to, such as HIPAA and GDPR.

The framework is broken down into 18 controls, each of which has various safeguards. The features of Business Premium map to these controls quite well — for instance, MFA with conditional access helps reach several tenets of CIS Control 6, which calls for access control management. While the entire framework presents a strong goal to strive for, implementing Business Premium is a great place to start.

Challenges of migrating to Microsoft 365 Business Premium

Migrating your clients to Microsoft 365 Business Premium can be a daunting task, presenting numerous challenges.

1. It’s a time-consuming process. Taking the time to implement new policies will have an impact on your time, and introduce user changes that must be well orchestrated.

2. Your team may lack the necessary technical expertise. You need the right knowledge base in place to ensure a smooth migration.

3. Migration projects can be expensive. There are often unforeseen costs, affecting your clients’ budget.

4. Your clients may face business disruption. You want to minimize any downtime during the transition to maintain your clients’ trust and satisfaction.

Leveraging Professional Services

Having served MSPs and their clients for more than a decade, we understand these challenges and are committed to helping you navigate them with minimal cost and effort with Pax8 Professional Services. Our team can simplify the migration process in the following ways:

Expert support

Professional Services provides you with a team of experts who are well-versed in Microsoft 365 Business Premium migration and can handle the process efficiently. We provide guides to help you and your clients make the transition as smoothly as possible.

Streamlined process

Our professionals have developed a streamlined migration process that minimizes disruptions to your clients. This means less downtime and a stress-free transition.

Cost coverage

We provide funding options to upgrade your clients to Business Premium when using Pax8 Professional Services. This free or discounted option is subsidized by Microsoft and delivered on your behalf by Pax8 Professional Services — while still being branded to your business.

Ability to replicate

Once you’ve completed one transition to Microsoft 365 Business Premium, you can open the floodgates to the rest of your client base. We can help you take this solution and duplicate it — so you open even more opportunities for upsell and cross-sell.

Getting started

Moving your clients to Microsoft 365 Business Premium doesn’t have to be a headache. Pax8 Professional Services helps you simplify the process, reduce costs, and ensure a seamless transition. Take a look at our step-by-step guide to find out how you can help move your clients over.

Ready to get started or just want to learn more about this offer? Get in touch with Pax8 Professional Services, and we’ll help you get your transition to Business Premium off the ground.

Get Business Premium with Professional Services