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Microsoft Is Raising Office 365 Prices By As Much As 25 Percent…And Other Small Business Tech News

By August 22, 2021No Comments

(This article originally appeared on Forbes)

Here are five things in technology that happened this past week and how they affect your business. Did you miss them?

1 – Microsoft Is Raising Office 365 Prices By As Much As 25 Percent

Microsoft this week announced the below price increases for all of its Office 365 products, effective March 1, 2022.

Microsoft 365 Business Basic is going from $5 to $6 per user per month

Microsoft 365 Business Premium is going from $20 to $22 per user per month

Office 365 E1 is going from $8 to $10 per user per month

Office 365 E3 is going from $20 to $23 per user per month

Office 365 E5 is going from $35 to $38 per user per month

Microsoft 365 E3 is going from $32 to $36 per user per month

If you do the math you’ll see that the increases range from 10 to 25 percent. That’s per user. Per month. (Source: Microsoft).

Why this is important for your business:

Who knew the supply chain crisis would affect cloud applications? It hasn’t of course. It’s just that Microsoft hasn’t raised prices in a number of years and – like all other companies in these inflationary times – feels that now is the best time to take advantage. And what are you going doing to do, migrate your entire office collaboration system to something else? Nope, you’ll pay. We all will.

2 —Mastercard is phasing out magnetic stripes on its cards starting in 2024.

Mastercard recently announced that it plans to phase out magnetic stripes on its debit and credit cards over the course of the next 10 years. With credit card companies moving in the direction of contactless payments and chips—alternatives that are more convenient and secure— Mastercard shared that it will be the first payments organization to start getting rid of the stripes which have been around for the last 60 years and will begin the transition in 2024. (Source: The Verge)

Why this is important for your business:

Say bye-bye to swiping. Mastercard’s move indicates, finally, an industry trend towards chips on cards which will ultimately lead to fully digitizing our credit cards through mobile payment apps on our smartphones. The chips are more secure. The stripe is just annoying. If you’re in the business of taking credit cards then be ready for upgrades to your point-of-sale and payment devices.

3 — Google unveils its new budget Pixel phone as it continues to build out its hardware business.

This past week Google shared information on its new budget phone, the Pixel 5a. The tech giant continues to use resources to build new devices that range in price while gradually expanding its hardware, which currently brings in less revenue than its other services like Cloud, YouTube, and Search. The Pixel 5a— which will launch on August 26th— will cost $449 and will have better battery life, be water resistant, and have a bigger screen as compared to 2020’s Pixel 4a 5G. (Source: CNBC)

Why this is important for your business:

Considering what I just paid for my Samsung S21 (you don’t want to know), this is a real bargain. I think Pixel phones are great and a very cost effective device for your workforce.

4 —Global VPN downloads soar during the first half of 2021.

Data recently released by Atlas VPN’s VPN adoption index indicated that VPN (virtual private network) downloads have shot up to 616 million during the first half of this year. Last year, the amount of VPN downloads during the first quarter was 277 million. The top ten countries responsible for the downloads did not change since 2020, with seven of them being Arab countries likely due to the fact that those countries typically roll out some of the strictest restrictions for the internet in the world. (Source: Computer Weekly)

Why this is important for your business:

Finally, I installed VPN software (TunnelBear) on all my devices and it’s about time. If you have people on the road their devices need to be equipped with VPN software as it will do much to limit your exposure to hacks and breaches. People are waking up to this fact, as evidenced by the “soaring” popularity of VPNs so far this year.

5—Biller Genie secures $3.5M for its cloud AR platform.  

Biller Genie— an AR (accounts receivable) SaaS (software-as-a-service) automation platform—announced this past week that it had raised $3.5 million. (Source: Pymnts)

Why this is important for your business:

The company’s software is cloud-based and helps small and medium-sized businesses automate payments online, present bills, and stay on top of follow up. According to the information released, the newly raised funding will help the company move closer to surpassing its objectives for growth by boosting its development and expansion goals.

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