Microsoft Office 365

Microsoft has been listening to both their customers and their partners to make choosing the right solution for the small business a lot easier.  They have thrown out all the complicated options, that to be honest sometimes baffled us all, and implemented a simpler Office 365 plan structure.

For the small business there are now 3 main options, these are “Business Essentials”, “Business” and “Business Premium”.  These all have their Enterprise equivalents that offer more services that might be of use to the small business but for this blog I am going to concentrate on the small business offerings.

So you’re looking at Office 365 for your company and don’t know what to go with?

Setting your business requirements is very important to ensure that you choose a Office 365 solution that ticks all your boxes.  Hold on though! this is where Microsoft have pulled a blinder, with the new Office 365 offerings it is now possible to “mix and match”.  This means that if 90% of your user base fits perfectly into one of the new Office 365 offerings.  The remaining 10% might have a particular requirement for a service that is provided by a different Office 365 plan or you can purchase single subscriptions for individual applications.  Total flexibility.

So lets have a look at these plans.  All the new business plans come with 1Tb of OneDrive for Business storage per user.  They are also have a maximum user limit of 300, if you need more seats then the enterprise plans are unlimited.  Remember that all your data that is held in Office 365 is safe, secure and always available.  Just moving a small part of your infrastructure to Office 365 could save your business money and provide a robust solution with out the reliance on on-premise hardware or multiple third party vendors.

Business Essentials

This is the cheapest of the business plans and is aimed at business that already have existing and current Microsoft office products but want to take advantage of having an Exchange Online (enterprise class email and calendars with 50Gb mailbox size), SharePoint Online, OneDrive for Business, Skype for business and online Office applications.  This is a great solution if you want to dip your toe into Office365, when you are comfortable then you can upgrade to one of the other plans to provide your business with a complete solution.

Business

The “Business” plan is very similar to the personal Office 365 plans that you can purchase.  The plan doesn’t offer any of the online services like enterprise email, SharePoint, Skype for Business.  What you do get is the full Microsoft Office application suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote and Publisher for both PC, Macs and tablets/phones) and 1Tb of OneDrive for Business storage.  This plan is ideal for businesses that don’t want the full online experience of Office 365 but require the latest Microsoft Office products.  Remember that this is a subscription service and as such you will get the latest versions of the Microsoft Office applications when they are upgraded so you don’t need to pay out for new licenses for new versions.  This helps with software budgets and ensures that your staff are on the latest software for both productivity and security.

Business Premium

This is the most expensive plan in the small business plans but only by 80p! now for this extra eighty pence you get a complete business solution which we think is very good value!  This plan incorporates everything from “Business Essentials” and “Business” into one plan.  So you get enterprise email, SharePoint Online, Skype for Business, OneDrive for Business and online office applications.  In addition you get the full Microsoft Office Suite license to run on PC, Macs and tablet/phones.  This package is for the small business that wants to move to the cloud and take control of software costs in one easy payment.

With the new flexible options that Microsoft has now initiated it is possible to pick and choose parts of these plans to suit your business needs, you may want to move your email to a enterprise grade mail system but already have licenses for Microsoft Office 2010 and haven’t got the budget to upgrade this financial year.  Next year you can simply upgrade the subscription to “Business Premium” and incorporate those Microsoft Office license costs into the Office365 subscription budget and be assured that you’ll now always remain up-to-date with no additional software cost.

Corinium Technology are here to help the small business plan and implement Office 365 into their business.  To see the Office 365 features in more details be sure to check out our services page here.  Take advantage of our free consultation offering to ask the questions that the web can’t answer, details can be found here.