Late September 2018 Microsoft introduced the ‘Microsoft 365 F1’ (M365 F1) bundle. With the introduction of this licensing bundle Microsoft is reaching out to a new potential user group which Microsoft positions as ‘Firstline Workers’. It’s a combined offering including Office 365 F1 (formally known as K1), Windows 10 Enterprise and Enterprise Mobility + Security. In this article we highlight the basics, the pro’s and con’s and share some of our experiences from the engagements with our clients.

Introduction to Microsoft 365 F1

In essence Microsoft has built four primary user based licensing bundles for many of its core productivity- (e.g. Exchange, SharePoint, Skype/Teams) and security (e.g. Azure Information Protection, Azure Identity Protection, Advanced Threat Protection) solutions:

  • M365 Business: Positioned to facilitate mid-market sized clients
  • M365 Education: Bundle and use rights specifically designed for Education clients
  • M365 Enterprise: Aimed at clients with >300 users and up to 100.000’s that need access full (E3) or premium (E5) productivity and security features of O365, Enterprise Mobility and Security Suite and the Windows Client OS
  • M365 F1: Designed for ’FirstLine workers’ which were not addressed yet that only require “light” productivity and security features of O365, Enterprise Mobility and Security Suite and the Windows Client OS

Microsoft 365 F1 Use Cases

Microsoft introduced a new profile type named ‘Firstline Workers’. So, what does this actually mean? From our client engagements we have observed that these types of users are referred to as Point-of-Sale-, Call Center-, Field-, Factory-, Hospitality- or Construction workers. These users typically do not require a full featured Office suite or Windows Client OS but do required access to email and important corporate portals, for example the availability of their pay check, or access to Human Resource portals. The F1 bundle also provides some basic but necessary Cloud security features to avoid risk and malicious behaviour.

Microsoft 365 F1: What’s included and what’s not

Key things to consider when contracting Microsoft 365 F1

The Microsoft 365 F1 bundle offers an attractive priced light feature set for users that do not require the full Cloud, Productivity, desktop or security functionality. Alternative or additional products might be required for certain usage scenario’s (e.g. Security, Desktop Virtualisation / VDI, Hybrid Environment).

If there is an additional requirement, extension offerings (add-on’s or step-up’s) are available for M365 F1 subscribers. If there are multiple additional requirements, a higher-level subscription could make more sense. Therefore, a proper check of the user requirements, not only for the Cloud and Productivity features but also from a security and on-premise/desktop usage perspective is advised to contract the best fitting and most efficient subscription for your users.

The Microsoft 365 E3 and/or E5 suites do provide additional security, productivity and use rights missing in F1 such as Office 365 Pro Plus, right to access on-premise Exchange Server, SharePoint Server, Skype for Business Server, advanced security features (differs between E3 and E5). Please leave a comment if you would like to read an article specifically about Microsoft 365 E3 and/or Microsoft 365 E5.

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