Find out Which Office 365 Plan Will Work Best for Your Small Organization
As a professional, you’ve probably used Microsoft Office tools such as Word, PowerPoint, and Excel at some point in your life. Microsoft Office is the oldest and the most reliable suite of computer programs in the world.
What began as a one-time-payment service has evolved into an umbrella of multiple online Office products called Office 365. Rolled out in 2011, Office 365 offers traditional desktop apps like Word, PowerPoint, and Excel along with online services such as email and cloud file storage as a monthly or annual subscription.
Office 365 is available for both, small businesses (300 or fewer users) and large enterprises. Microsoft offers different Office 365 plans with similar names, making it challenging to choose the right one, especially if you are a tech novice. As a leading provider of cloud computing services in Genève, we are here to help you select the right Office 365 plan.
In this post, we will talk about the various Office 365 plans for small businesses only.
1. Office 365 Business Essentials
- Corporate Cost: CHF 4.90 user/month (with an annual commitment)
- Non-Profit Cost: CHF 0.00 user/month
The cheapest plan offered by Microsoft, Office 365 Business Essentials includes only online services. You will get access to the following apps:
- Exchange – Used for building and hosting custom company emails with 50 GB mailbox for each user. You can also use the calendar.
- OneDrive – One TB of OneDrive storage for saving your work.
- SharePoint – Used for creating internal websites and sharing files.
- Teams – Used for real-time communication with your team members. You can host meetings and video calls for up to 250 people.
The biggest drawback is that there no desktop versions of Outlook, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. However, you do get online versions of the same. In other words, your employees will need to be online to access these features. You will get 24/7 phone and online support and a 99.9% uptime guarantee like the rest of the Office 365 plans.
This starter plan is suitable for your business if you need to collaborate, share, and track your work online. Office 365 Business Essentials is similar to Google’s G Suite.
2. Office 365 Business
- Corporate Cost: CHF 10.20 user/month (with an annual commitment)
- Non-Profit Cost: – (does not exist)
Office 365 Business is a balanced plan by Microsoft that offers both, online services and desktop apps including Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, and Access. You get fully-installed and always up-to-date versions of these apps.
Each user will be able to install these apps on up to five mobile devices and five computers. Multiple users can work on the same document simultaneously using these apps, allowing real-time collaboration.
Unlike the Business Essentials Plan, however, you don’t get three of the online services including Exchange, SharePoint, and Teams. So, you won’t be able to host online meetings and video conferences through Teams or share files and build custom internal websites via SharePoint.
You can use your current email through the Outlook email client, but you won’t be able to set up and host custom company emails. You also won’t get Exchange Online Protection to protect your emails from spam, malware, and other threats.
24/7 phone and online support and a 99.9% uptime guarantee are included in this plan. Office 365 Business is suitable for your small business if you want to use Office Apps without having to buy the desktop versions at an additional cost.
3. Office 365 Business Premium
- Corporate Cost: CHF 12.30 user/month (with an annual commitment)
- Non-Profit Cost: CHF 3.00 user/month (with an annual commitment)
Office 365 Business Premium is the perfect blend of Office 365 Business Essentials and Office 365 Business. This third and final Office 365 plan comes with all online and offline Office features, giving you the most bang for your buck.
But that’s not all!
Microsoft also offers extra tools and services to help grow your business further. Outlook Customer Manager allows you to collect vital customer data, functioning as a lightweight CRM. With the help of Microsoft Bookings, you can schedule and manage appointments with your customers. On the other hand, Microsoft Invoicing helps you take care of your billings while MileIQ allows you to track the mileage in real-time.
As you can see, Office 365 Business Premium is suitable for small B2C businesses such as contractors, dentists, accountants, movers, delivery companies, stylists, nutritionists, and even lawyers, where direct interaction with customers is a key factor. If you are one of these businesses, shelling out $12.50 user/month should be well worth it.
4. Microsoft 365 Business
- Corporate Cost: CHF 19.70 user/month (with an annual commitment)
- Non-Profit Cost: CHF 4.90 user/month (with an annual commitment)
Microsoft 365 Business is a comprehensive package that includes all the features of Business Premium plus advanced device management and security. It also allows you to upgrade to Windows 10 Pro from Windows 7, 8 or and 8.1 Pro. The purpose of this package is to provide a complete set of services for small business owners under one umbrella.
Microsoft 365 Business allows you to create newsletters and monitor referrals using an email marketing tool called Connections. The Invoicing app lets you create custom invoices that also sync with QuickBooks.
The advanced security features include data loss protection, email encryption, malicious threat analytics and management, mobile device management, multi-factor authentication, and exchange online protection for email. It also includes ransomware and phishing protection. You can easily protect your business from suspicious links, corrupt files, anonymous emails, and hidden malware.
So, will it be Microsoft 365 Business or Office 365 Business Essentials for you? Your choice should depend on your business goals, daily tasks, need for security, the scale of operations, number of employees, and budget. Hopefully, knowing the key features of all four Office 365 plans for small businesses will help you make an informed decision. If you still need help, connect with us to evaluate your IT needs and get the right Office 365 solution.