As a small business you probably will have used at least some of the core Microsoft Office products like Excel, Word and Outlook. A few years back, however, Microsoft decided to move Office into the cloud and it was rebranded as Office 365; a suite of integrated applications and services that aim to improve your productivity.
More recently, Microsoft introduced Microsoft 365, a bundle of existing products under one license which is aimed at businesses and includes Office 365. It’s no wonder that it can sometimes be confusing deciding which product is the best fit for your business.
Office 365 is a cloud-based suite of applications and services centred around business productivity. It includes some apps you’re probably already familiar with like Microsoft Outlook, Word, PowerPoint and Excel.
Depending on the plan you get, subscriptions also include apps and services like:
- Teams (replacing Skype for Business)
And much, much more, along with robust productivity, collaboration, and security features.
Office 365 is a monthly, per-user subscription. There are a variety of plans to choose from depending on your specific needs. Prices range from £3.80 + VAT per user per month up to £30.80 + VAT per user per month. Plans can be mixed and matched in your business, and you can change plans at any time.
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Microsoft 365 is a bundle of services that includes Office 365. It also includes Windows 10 Enterprise, Enterprise Mobility + Security (EMS), and machine learning.
Like Office 365, there are multiple plans to choose from depending on your needs with Microsoft 365 Business starts at £15.10 + VAT per user per month.
The services included in Microsoft 365 are also available as separate licenses. If you can’t find a plan that fits your needs, you can still achieve close to the same results by buying licenses for all the components (though you may miss out on some of the machine learning benefits).
Deciding What is Right for Your Business
Deciding whether you should get Office 365 or Microsoft 365 for your business can be a little tricky. If you’re already using all the separate pieces, then switching over to the combined Microsoft 365 license is an easy yes.
If you’re not already using all the separate components of Microsoft 365, it can be a little tricky to figure out if it’s worth it and if so, which plan to get.
The first question to ask yourself is, do you need everything included in Microsoft 365? Microsoft 365 is a bundle of already existing services, so if you don’t need everything in it, you may be better off buying what you need separately.
If you do need everything in Microsoft 365, the next step is to choose a specific license (or licenses – like Office 365, you can mix and match plans). You can compare licenses on Microsofts website, or a Microsoft Partner like Pharian can also help you choose which license is the best fit.
Supporting Your Transition
Unless you’re starting from scratch, moving to either Office 365 or Microsoft 365 isn’t going to be an instant flip of the switch. There are setup and migration requirements involved for both.
There will be both time and costs associated with this. Some or all of it can likely be done outside of business hours, however, to minimise business disruption.
If you’re technically savvy (or have a good IT person on staff), you may be able to handle this internally. If not, your best bet is to work with a Microsoft Partner, like Pharian, who has experience with migrating businesses to Office 365, implementing EMS and setting up machines with Windows 10 Enterprise.
Not sure which plan works best for you? Give Pharian a call or use our Contact Form to arrange a call back. We’ll help you figure it out.