A new suite of Microsoft 365, known as Microsoft 365 F1, has recently been launched at Ignite 2017, the annual Microsoft conference for IT professionals and software developers. During the event in Orlando, significant announcements of new technology were made, including the introduction of new software bundles for the Microsoft 365 suite.
One key addition includes Microsoft 365 F1, where F1 stands for frontline workers. As the name suggests, this new product serves a user base largely overlooked in previous software developments. This includes people acting as the first point of contact between a company and its customers, thus playing important roles in representing individual businesses. They include desk-less employees such as factory production staff, restaurants employees, truck drivers, and other manual workers.
According to Bryan Goode, General Manager of Microsoft Office 365, the 365 F1 product is designed to empower staff who:
"…form the backbone of many of the world's largest industries, and without them, the ambitions of many organisations could not be brought to life".
Prior to this, usage of Microsoft 365 has been widespread among the management level and so-called knowledge workers, who generally perform daily duties using designated desktop workstations. By rolling out Microsoft 365 F1, Microsoft breaks into the huge market segment containing 80% of the global workforce, while improving business productivity by facilitating effective digital transformations of the customer-facing side of workplaces.
Microsoft 365’s design revolves around the idea of providing an integrated solution to users by incorporate Office 365, Windows 10, and other services into a bundle, with variations depending on the specific plan selected by customers. The recent introduction of Microsoft F1 is in addition to two other new Microsoft 365 subscriptions launched earlier this year in July - Microsoft 365 Enterprise aimed at big scale organisations and Microsoft 365 Business designed for smaller scale businesses.
The new Microsoft 365 F1 includes Microsoft Office 365, Windows 10, Enterprise Mobility + Security, and an enhanced mobile-friendly Microsoft Staffhub which is designed to help frontline workers digitally manage a typical workday. Staffhub allows workers to arrange work schedules and swap shifts, and will soon include the functionality of clocking on and off from work. This increases its appeal to workers who previously lacked such remote digital support in their daily work. Users will also have access to Microsoft Teams, the chat-based workspace focusing on real-time team collaboration.
In addition to the Microsoft 365 F1 software, Microsoft 365-powered devices from major brands including HP, Lenovo and Fujitsu were also introduced. These forms of hardware, while offering self-service deployment and simple device management, are reasonably priced and therefore affordable for companies to supply them in potentially large numbers to frontline workers. The prices of these entry-level devices start at $275 (c. £208).
Microsoft is constantly improving the tiers of its service bundles to meet the forever changing needs of customers. For a better understanding on how Microsoft 365 F1 can be integrated into your business, contact WM Reply today – we would be glad to provide tailored solutions to your business needs.