As I was thinking of composing this blog post all that was coming to mind was Maps of Meaning by Jordan B Peterson, his apparently weighty tome explaining the ‘architecture of belief’. I’ve heard it referenced a lot, but confess I’ve never read it myself however the parallels are perhaps somewhat helpful when it comes to breaking down the solutions inside the ever growing M365 Suite of products!
For a while now I’ve been relying on the work of my colleague Aaron Dinnage when it comes to visually representing the components of Microsoft 365 Education solutions through the use of his brilliant website m365maps.com. Of course, he has created maps for all the various offerings but in my role I’m most interested in the Education solutions which you can find here:
As always, I encourage you to check the website directly through the links above and Aaron does a terrific job of keeping them up to date as the products change, but for a quick visual reference how they stand today:
M365 Education (Full):
If you think that is a bit of an eye chart, well, what can I say? M365 is a massive suite of tools but the awesome part is that Aaron’s images are all SVG so you can zoom infinitely to see what you need. For example, if you were most interested in understanding the A5 security workloads that come in the Enterprise Mobility and Security Suite (EMS) of M365 you could zoom and see something like this:
The ability to see the various versions of M365 (A1/A3/A5) by the vertical columns is helpful, but this is made easier to understand by the referencing the main product areas (Office365, Enterprise Mobility & Security, Windows 10) by horizontal rows.
Given M365 Education has some additional products such as Minecraft: Education Edition and Student Use Benefits (SUB) bundled into the suite, these are referenced on the side:
The reference to Student Use Benefits is particularly helpful, because currently Microsoft will bundle licenses for students at no cost when all faculty (Education Qualified Users) are licensed appropriately – this is at a 1:15 or 1:40 ratio depending on the specific product.
M365 Student Use Benefits
Whilst Student Use Benefits are pretty much across all products in M365 A3, this is definitely not the case for the more advanced workloads in M365 A5, so it’s important to understand which products students will get access to when an education institute chooses to upgrade to M365 A5 (or the subcomponents of it).
Other Tools in M365 Maps
There are a few hidden tools in M365 Maps that Aaron has created and the one I like most is being able to select and highlight sub components – note I’ve turned this on and highlighted two O365 A1 and O365 Cloud App Security in yellow below:
Additionally, you can download PDF or SVG versions of the map – super helpful!
Last, but certainly not least, there is a Feature Matrix that looks like one of the more traditional eye charts Microsoft can create. Again, you can select for any version of M365 but my screenshot below includes only the Education products (or click here for direct link to Education Feature Matrix)
The Matrix above is similar to the Microsoft Docs page for Education Services and Features chart you can see here.
I love this tool and trust that posting about it here will help you as well and a big credit to Aaron for his great work!