In order for organizations to thrive, the people within must be able to collaborate, communicate and create efficiently from wherever they are. This makes productivity tools that make work simple and seamless so vital to the success of any business.
Microsoft 365 is the ultimate productivity suite and contains tools like Word, Exchange, Excel, SharePoint, Teams, and more. Microsoft 365 is cloud-based, so you can get the full experience on any device, as long as you have an internet connection.
When searching for the appropriate Microsoft 365 license for their users, some organizations find the beginning of the process to be the most daunting part. How do you know which one is right for your company? Should you choose Enterprise E3, or Business Standard? What are the differences between Business Standard and Enterprise E5? Which apps and services come with each license?
Let’s take an in-depth look at Microsoft 365 and how to get the most from your investment.
Benefits of Microsoft 365
Business efficiency is without a doubt critical. Any firm can be more effective and competitive in the industry when employees and businesses can cooperate seamlessly. Any person can complete his or her job from anywhere, whether on a mobile device or at a central location, using productivity tools. This leads to companies that are agile and able to expand successfully.
Microsoft 365 is a cost-effective productivity cloud platform that combines all the tools you need in one location. Future-proofing your business while increasing efficiency will help you save money on an enterprise-level platform.
Secure cloud storage
Microsoft 365 is an extremely secure environment, with robust security measures in place, like two-factor authentication, which prevents unauthorized individuals from accessing your files if they manage to get on your device. Security threats are detected and eliminated immediately, particularly in industries where sensitive information is handled.
Microsoft 365 gives users tools to centralize and simplify communication across Teams, Skype and Outlook. Skype for Business and Teams allows video-conferencing anywhere in the world, so you can always collaborate and communicate no matter how far or how much of a difference in time there is. Teams gives you the ability to co-author documents, collaborate across departments, and ‘at’ people so they are notified of comments that are targeted at them. Teams is a great tool to use to stay in constant and immediate contact with people and teams, wherever they are and at whatever time.
The cost of your Microsoft 365 licenses, like a subscription, depends on the level of functionality your business requires. The price of each license is determined by the level of the enterprise. The quantity of licenses you purchase is predetermined by the breadth of applications and items available to customers at different business levels. You pay a fixed amount for each user per month, which makes planning your IT budget for the year a breeze. You don’t have to worry about unexpected or additional costs and you can choose to upgrade your license quantity at any time, in the case of staff expansion or reduction. This means you are never over-licensed and there is no wasteful IT spending as a result.
No matter what happens to your physical devices, your email, files, and data are safely stored in the cloud thanks to files stored in the cloud and regularly backed up. In the event of a disaster at the office, your organization can continue to operate as normal thanks to files stored in the cloud and regularly backed up. Exchange also has recovery features that allow individual emails or even entire inboxes to be restored if necessary. No matter what happens, you can conduct business as usual if you’re using Microsoft 365.
All the important apps, like Word, Excel, and Outlook, are available without the need to install any software. You will always have access to the latest version without having to worry about buying new software; upgrades happen automatically and behind the scenes.
Collaborative tools in Microsoft 365 let you share email accounts, calendars, contacts, and documents in real time. Sharing calendars in Exchange allows you to see who is available when, therefore making it possible to arrange meetings that accommodate all parties, for the first time. A shared mailbox allows multiple people to access the same mailbox and receive filtered messages. Multiple users can edit documents stored in SharePoint in real-time, making co-authoring quick and simple.
A quick overview of Microsoft 365 licenses
Microsoft 365 is available through different licensing models and programs to meet your business needs. These user subscription licenses are offereed on a per-user basis.
There are two main types of Microsoft 365 licenses for businesses:
- Business plans – limited to 300 users, for smaller businesses
- Enterprise plans – with no user or feature limitations, for larger organizations
Microsoft 365 Business
- Basic offers web and online versions of Word, Excel, OneNote and PowerPoint. Includes Exchange, OneDrive, SharePoint, Teams, and Outlook. Best for businesses that need easy, remote solutions that are secure.
- Standard offers all collaboration and communication services, as well as desktop productivity apps. Best for businesses that need full remote productivity and collaboration tools, secure cloud storage, and premium Office apps.
- Premium offers all the features of the previous two plans plus advanced cybersecurity protection and device management. Best for businesses that need remote and secure work solutions.
Microsoft 365 Enterprise
- E1 offers web versions of Office applications, OneDrive, SharePoint, StaffHub and Planner, and Teams. E1 is web-based only so good for businesses that don’t want to install applications onto devices.
- E3 extends E1 with data analytics, additional security features, and Office client. This license is good for businesses looking for businesses that are productivity apps combined with core security and compliance capabilities.
- E5 is the all-in-one productivity suite, which adds Microsoft Defender, Azure Information Protection, Power BI Pro, Advanced DLP, and user activity monitoring. Businesses that want all the apps, with advanced security, compliance and analytical capabilities will benefit from E5.
Which plan is the best for my business?
Choosing the appropriate Microsoft 365 version is a significant step. However, keep in mind that you are never restricted to the licenses you select to begin with. You may downgrade or upgrade, and you may also include various licenses for the varying needs of your employees. If your business has less than 300 users, then the Business subscriptions are a good place to start. If there are more than 300 users, the Enterprise licenses are more likely to suit your needs. The type of plan you go with will depend greatly on the needs of your business. There are different services available, so think carefully about what your employees will need and go from there.
Start your Microsoft 365 journey with the experts
Microsoft 365 is a comprehensive set of services and applications that delivers the complete technology experience companies need for enhanced productivity and collaboration. Choosing the right license and plan for your business requires consideration for both your business needs and that of your employees. To get the most from your Microsoft 365 investment, contact ION247 managed IT services today.