Which Microsoft 365 Solution is Right for Your Business

Which Microsoft 365 Solution is Right for Your Business

Before we delve into explaining which Microsoft 365 solution is right for your business, let’s first understand Microsoft 365 itself.

What is Microsoft 365

Microsoft 365, previously known as Office 365, is a new, upgraded and advanced product line of the very famous Microsoft Office. Microsoft Office primarily had three features bundled into one product: Word, Excel and PowerPoint. Microsoft 365 differs from this older version in two main respects: First, 365 offers a monthly or annual subscription model as opposed to the perpetual license that Office offered.  Second, 365 combines the already available desktop apps with a suite of online services which includes cloud file storage, business-class email and secure communication tools. This new product is designed to help users achieve the highest level of productivity with Office apps, cloud services and exceptional security.

Microsoft 365 Solutions

The current Microsoft 365 solutions are packaged in four ways: Home, Business, Enterprise and Education. In this guide, we cover the first three versions of Microsoft 365 that are available at the moment, comparing features of each so that you can find the right solution for your business.

Home:

The Home version of Microsoft 365 is designed for individual use and offers three packages: Family, Personal and Home & Student 2019. While all these packages include the classic features of Word, Excel and PowerPoint, Family and Personal packages have added features including OneNote, Outlook, Access and Publisher. These two also come with OneDrive and Skype.

Business:

The Business version offers powerful features to help manage business processes with ease and streamline the way work gets done with advanced tools. Moreover, it offers features to enhance productivity, improve collaboration and safeguard data and information through world-class security.

This solution comes with three packages: Business Basic, Business Standard and Business Premium. All three packages include the following features:

  • Web and mobile versions of Office apps
  • Email and calendaring
  • File storage and sharing
  • Teamwork and communication
  • Security and compliance
  • Support and deployment

Apart from that, Standard and Premium packages have some added features such as tools to build and manage the business, desktop versions of Office apps and advanced security that are not available in the Basic one. All three packages follow an annual subscription model.

Enterprise:

The Enterprise version of Microsoft 365 offers an integrated cloud platform to ensure industry-level productivity with powerful collaboration features such as Microsoft Teams. This two-faceted solution offers organizational productivity enhancement through rich insight tools for efficiency and business growth as well as empowering individual users with the most innovative productivity experiences. This version offers personal level productivity enhancement through features such as Microsoft Teams, AI in Office and mobile apps for on-the-go work. Whereas Microsoft Secure Score, Workplace Analytics and Microsoft Endpoint Manager are just a few features to help increase productivity on an organizational level.

This solution has three plans: E3, E5 and F3. These three plans differentiate each other on the basis of a plethora of features including Microsoft 365 apps, social and intranet, task management, advanced analytics, information and threat protection and security management.

Which Microsoft 365 Solution Should I Choose for My Business

Many users face the dilemma of choice when it comes to deciding which 365 solution is right for their business. Some users even go ahead and subscribe to a home or personal package because they think this would be good enough for their small business.

Moreover, even in the Business solution of Microsoft 365, you may know all the features of each package but could still end up getting a plan which does not work for your business needs. All these new name changes don’t help either. So we have detailed the different plans below, breaking them down to each one’s most essential selling feature to help you with all the confusion.

Microsoft 365 Business Basic:

With a license priced at NZ$7.60 per month plus tax with annual commitment, the Business Basic plan is designed for businesses that only need cloud-based apps and some basic Microsoft services.

The Business Basic plan includes:

  • Web and mobile versions of Office apps: Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Access and Publisher (the latter two for PC only)
  • Host email with 50GB mailbox storage and custom email domain
  • Microsoft Teams with online meeting and video conferencing capability of up to 250 users
  • A dedicated intranet through Microsoft SharePoint
  • 1TB cloud storage of OneDrive per user
  • Round the clock phone and web support from Microsoft
  • Built-in security and privacy protection

Microsoft 365 Business Standard:

Business Standard is a more comprehensive package designed for businesses that want more out of their productivity and support software.

This plan is priced at NZ$18.90 per month plus tax with annual commitment and includes the following:

  • Desktop versions of Office apps: Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Access and Publisher (the latter two for PC only)
  • Host email with 50GB mailbox storage and custom email domain
  • 1TB cloud storage of OneDrive per user
  • A dedicated intranet through Microsoft SharePoint
  • Workflow automation with Power Automate
  • Call, chat and HD video conferencing with Microsoft Teams
  • Round the clock phone and web support from Microsoft
  • One license to get fully installed Office apps on five devices: mobile, tablet, PC or Mac

Microsoft 365 Business Premium:

Business Premium is a top-tier package which offers all-in-one features with a special focus on security and cross-device usage. It is designed for businesses that use sensitive data but also want to have the flexibility of working remotely via different devices.

Business Premium is priced at NZ$ 30.20 per month plus tax with annual commitment and offers the following features to its subscribers:

  • Latest versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and more
  • Stay connected with coworkers and customers through Outlook, Exchange and Teams
  • 1TB cloud storage of OneDrive per user
  • Windows Virtual Desktop       
  • Increased security and sophisticated phishing and ransomware protection against advanced cyber threats
  • Data encryption to control access to sensitive information and to keep data from being shared accidentally through Azure Information Protection
  • Secure devices that connect to data and help keep all operating systems safe and up to date through simple setup wizard

We hope that this guide was useful in providing clarity regarding different Microsoft 365 business solutions and their packages. If you’re still feeling a bit confused about exactly how to use Microsoft 365 to boost your business productivity or which plan would be most cost effective for your business, feel free to reach out to us for support and we will help you choose exactly the right plan and solution.