I posted a while ago with the provocative title Project Lite: Without Project Online it is as much use as a chocolate teapot – and time to remind everyone that Project Essentials is that same chocolate teapot – you need to have Project Online Professional and/or Project Online Premium to give you the Project Online PWA site – otherwise there is nothing for your team members (the only allowable users of Project Essentials licenses) to be members of…
I raise this now as we have seen some customers confused by the new licenses that were introduce just over a year ago. The Message Center post read like this:
Project Online and Project for Office 365 subscriptions are changing
On August 15, 2016, we introduced new plans for Project Online and Project for Office 365 customers. The new plans are similar but not identical to your current plan. [How does this affect me?] Our records indicate you are on one of the following plans which are affected: Project Lite Project Online Project for Office 365 Project Online with Project for Office 365 [What do I need to do to prepare for this change?] Between now and December 31st, 2016, you don’t need to do anything. You can continue to add seats, get updates, and renew your existing plan until then. On your first renewal date following December 31st, 2016, you’ll need to select a different Project Online plan. To find out more about the new Project Online plans and how they’ll affect your organization, click Additional Information.
Completed Action By:
The support article for this item is here https://support.office.com/en-us/article/Important-information-for-Project-Online-customers-about-plan-changes-496aafdd-9f62-4daf-8d2e-0e700925c6b2?ui=en-US&rs=en-US&ad=US and I also did a blog post to explain it https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/brismith/2017/01/20/project-online-how-to-handle-the-sku-changes/.
It appears that some customers were confused and did not follow the right path in renewing their Project Online or Project Online with Project Pro for Office 365 and instead just renewed everything with the cheapest option – Project Essentials. This does not give you a Project Online capability on its own. You need to purchase at least one Project Online Premium or Professional license to keep your PWA alive – and realistically you may need more of each to cover the usage of the product planned for your users such as project managers, portfolio managers, resource managers and administrators.
We are reviewing the messaging to see if we could be any clearer – but please take care when switching to the new skus.