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By: Marketing Team on June 14th, 2022

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What’s the Right Microsoft Office 365 Plan for My Business?

Microsoft 365

Have you ever experienced buying an expensive tool for your business only to realize it's not what you need? More than just annoyance, purchasing the wrong tool for your business is a waste of hard-earned revenue. 

And it's no different when getting your Microsoft Office 365 Plan. Get the wrong one, and you'll end up using the wrong set of tools in your entire year of subscription, or you can purchase another one at an additional cost. 

Getting to know what type of license that’s best suited for your business is essential in making the most of your technology. Each Microsoft Office 365 Plan is not a one size fits all subscription. Each comes with a specific set of software for a particular team size, needs, and budget. 

We understand that choosing a suitable plan for your business is not easy. It can be cumbersome and time-consuming. There are so many plans out there, and there are so many details to review, which can add to your confusion. 

Here at Intelligent Technical Solutions (ITS), we help hundreds of businesses create a seamless IT experience by providing next-gen software. We are also committed to helping you make wise decisions about your IT needs by sharing our knowledge about technology. 

This article will tackle the different types of Microsoft Office 365 Plans and their inclusions. Hopefully, this guide can help you decide which plans best fit your business. 

Microsoft Office 365 Business and Enterprise Plans 

comparison of microsoft office 365 plans

First, let's identify the two major categories of Microsoft 365 licenses, the Business and Enterprise plans. The former was created for the needs of small to medium-sized businesses (SMB), while the latter addresses the necessities of big companies. These plans stem into three levels of services with each offering a unique set of programs and applications for different businesses. 

Microsoft 365 Business Plans 

As stated earlier, this suite is designed for SMBs with under 300 users. It comes in three affordable plans that offer basic office functionality suitable for most small and medium businesses. 

Business Basic 

As the name suggests, this is the most basic plan in the Business category. It offers secure cloud storage services and online versions of Office applications. It is best suited for businesses with employees who require easy remote solutions. 

License 

Premium Office Apps Included 

Secured Cloud Services 

Features 

Microsoft 365 BUSINESS BASIC 

 

$6 / User / Month 

Web and mobile versions of: 

  • Outlook 
  • Word 
  • PowerPoint 
  • OneNote 
  • Excel 

 

  • Teams 
  • Exchange 
  • OneDrive 
  • SharePoint 
  • Host email with a 50 GB mailbox and custom email domain. 
  • Create a hub for teamwork with Microsoft Teams. 
  • Store and share files with 1 TB of OneDrive cloud storage per use r 
  • Round-the-clock phone and web support from Microsoft. 
  • Facilitate online meetings and video conferencing for up to 300 users. 
  • Compatible with Windows 10, Windows 8.1, Windows 7 Service Pack 1, and the two most recent versions of macOS. 

 

Business Standard 

This plan offers complete remote work and collaboration tools like Microsoft Teams, secure cloud storage, and business email. What's excellent about Business Standard is that it provides premium Office applications across different devices. 

This plan is ideal for businesses that don't want the complete online experience of Microsoft Office 365 but require their latest Office products. 

License 

Premium Office Apps Included 

Secured Cloud Services 

Features 

Microsoft 365 BUSINESS STANDARD 

 

$12.50 / User / Month 

Web, mobile, and desktop versions of: 

  • Outlook 
  • Word 
  • PowerPoint 
  • OneNote 
  • Excel 
  • Publisher (PC only) 

Access (PC only) 

 

  • Teams 
  • Exchange 
  • OneDrive 
  • SharePoint 
  • Get desktop versions of Office apps, including Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote (plus Access and Publisher for PC only). 
  • Host email with a 50 GB mailbox and custom email domain. 
  • Create a hub for teamwork to connect people using Microsoft Teams. 
  • Store and share files with 1 TB of OneDrive cloud storage per user. 
  • Use one license to cover fully installed Office apps on five mobile devices, five tablets, and five PCs or Macs per user. 
  • Get help anytime with around-the-clock phone and web support from Microsoft. 

 

Business Premium 

This is the top-tier subscription under the Business category. This plan is suited for businesses who want the complete Microsoft Office 365 experience without breaking the bank. This plan offers everything included in Business Standard, plus advanced cyber threat protection and device management. You also get to run full Microsoft Office Suite on PCs, Mac, and mobile devices with the latest software. 

License 

Premium Office Apps Included 

Secured Cloud Services 

Features 

Microsoft 365 BUSINESS PREMIUM 

 

$22 / User / Month 

Web, mobile, and desktop versions of: 

  • Outlook 
  • Word 
  • PowerPoint 
  • OneNote 
  • Excel 
  • Publisher (PC only) 
  • Access (PC only) 

 

  • Teams 
  • Exchange 
  • OneDrive 
  • SharePoint 
  • Intune 
  • Azure Information Protection 
  • Updates with the latest versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and more. 
  • Connect with customers and coworkers using Outlook, Exchange, and Teams. 
  • 1 TB of cloud storage on OneDrive per user. 
  • Sophisticated phishing and ransomware protection. 
  • Control access to sensitive information using encryption capabilities 
  • Secure devices that connect to your data and help keep iOS, Android, Windows, and Mac devices safe and up to date. 
  • Compatible with Windows 11, Windows 10 Pro and Windows 365. (Some management features are not supported in Windows Home.) 

 

The Microsoft 365 Business plan offers the entire Office 365 suite, cloud programs, and security system to get your business up and running. It's also important to note that Business Plans are limited to 300 users only. 

If your team has more than 300 users, you may want to consider getting an Enterprise plan instead. It provides more extensive storage, a comprehensive threat protection program, and unlimited user capacity.  

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Office 365 Enterprise Plans

Microsoft 365 Enterprise is the bigger brother of the Business Plan. It incorporates both local and cloud-based apps to streamline the collaboration and production processes of big corporations. 

The Enterprise plan offers excellent apps and services like Office 365 ProPlus, Office apps, a full suite of online services for email, and many more. It also has a lot to offer when defending your programs, such as Microsoft Advanced Threat Analytics, Device Guard, Credential Guard, App Locker, Enterprise Data Protection, etc. 

Same as the Business plan, Enterprise comes in three different offerings, which are the following: 

Office 365 E1 

E1 is Enterprise's most basic plan. It includes web-based apps like Excel and Outlook integrated with cloud services like OneDrive and Teams that enable productivity from anywhere. 

License 

Premium Office Apps Included 

Secured Cloud Services 

Features 

Office 365 E1 

$10 / User / Month 

Web and mobile versions of: 

  • Outlook 
  • Word 
  • PowerPoint 
  • OneNote 
  • Excel 

 

  • Teams 
  • Exchange 
  • OneDrive 
  • SharePoint 
  • The latest web-based Office apps and business services. Office desktop apps not included. 
  • Email, file storage and sharing, meetings, and instant messaging. 
  • Five layers of security and monitoring help keep your data safe. 
  • 99.9% financially backed uptime guarantee. 

 

Office 365 E3 

E3 is the upgraded version of E1. It is a cloud-based suite of productivity apps and services with information protection and compliance capabilities. Unlike E1, this plan allows users to install Office applications on their PCs. It also includes helpful apps like Publisher and Access, plus stringent security and compliance programs. 

License 

Premium Office Apps Included 

Secured Cloud Services 

Features 

Office 365 E3 

$23 / User / Month 

Web, mobile, and desktop versions of: 

  • Outlook 
  • Word 
  • PowerPoint 
  • OneNote 
  • Excel 
  • Publisher (PC only) 
  • Access (PC only) 
  • Teams 
  • Exchange 
  • OneDrive 
  • SharePoint 
  • Intune 
  • Azure Information Protection 
  • Install Office for mobile on up to five PCs or Macs, five tablets, and five phones per user. 
  • Protect information with message encryption, rights management, and data loss prevention for email and files. 
  • Safeguard corporate data by allowing more secure access to company resources and enabling safe sharing of sensitive information inside and outside your organization. 
  • Facilitate legal compliance and email archiving with eDiscovery and mailbox hold. 

Office 365 E5 

This is the top-of-the-line plan in the Enterprise category. It possesses all the features of Office 365 E3 with the addition of sophisticated security, analytics, and voice computing capabilities.  

License 

Premium Office Apps Included 

Secured Cloud Services 

Features 

Office 365 E5 

$38 / User / Month 

Web, mobile, and desktop versions of: 

  • Outlook 
  • Word 
  • PowerPoint 
  • OneNote 
  • Excel 
  • Publisher (PC only) 
  • Access (PC only) 
  • Teams 
  • Exchange 
  • OneDrive 
  • SharePoint 
  • Intune 
  • Azure Information Protection 
  • Install Office for mobile on up to five PCs or Macs, five tablets, and five phones per user.2 
  • Make, receive, and transfer business calls from anywhere, using any device. 
  • Make informed decisions with data analytics and visualization. 
  • Safeguard your organization against malicious threats posed by email messages, links (URLs), and collaboration tools. 
  • Assess your compliance risks, govern and protect sensitive data, and effectively respond to regulatory requirements. 

Though Enterprise plans were created for big businesses, SMBs are not discouraged from buying them, especially if it suits their needs. In fact, many small companies choose it over the business plan due to its Active Directory integration, storage capacity, and security and compliance tools. But, you must be willing to pay more to get these extra perks. 

List of things to consider in selecting your Microsoft 365 Plan

Things to Consider in Selecting Your Plan 

Purchasing the right plan for your team shouldn’t be hard, but you shouldn’t be careless when doing so. It would be best to consider several factors before finalizing your purchase to avoid incurring costly mistakes. Here are some of them: 

Cost 

Pricing is one of the most significant differences between the two plans. While both Business and Enterprise features may look the same, the former comes at a lower price tag. The price for the Business Plans ranges from $6 to $22, while the Enterprise Plans are offered at a higher rate ranging from $10 to $38.  

Opt for the basic plans if you’re running on a tight budget but want to use the Microsoft Office 365 suite. If budget is not an issue, consider subscribing to the premium plans. 

Commitment 

Business Basic and Business Standard Plans are available in a month-to-month subscription. If you’re the kind who doesn’t like being tied into a contract, then you may want to opt for these plans. However, this type of subscription yields additional fees of up to $2 in your monthly payment. Another thing to consider is the additional cost an MSP may impose on the management and support they provide with the subscription. 

Meanwhile, the Business Premium and Enterprise Plans require an annual commitment. It means you’ll be locked into at least 1-year contract. Canceling your subscription before the end of your agreement will result in cancellation fees. 

Number of Users 

The maximum number of users allowed for business plans is 300; this is more than enough for most small and medium businesses. If your team has that number of employees or less, you may want to consider getting a business plan. 

But if your business has more than 300 employees and each requires access to Microsoft 365 programs, then opt for the Enterprise Plans instead, as unlimited users can use it. 

Features 

Most features between the same tier of Business and Enterprise are the same (e.g., Business Standard vs. Office 365 E3), while the features among different tiers are significantly different. Basic plans have lesser Office app accessibility, space capacities, and security and compliance tools than standard and premium plans. 

We suggest reviewing the features of each Business and Enterprise plan to see what best suits your team. You don’t want to spend so much on the premium plan only to use the basic programs available in the basic package. 

Threat Protection 

Whether you’re a small business or a big company, the security of your programs should be one of your top priorities. Enterprise plan has a lot to offer in threat protection like- Microsoft Advanced Threat Analytics, Device Guard, Credential Guard, App Locker, Enterprise Data Protection, etc. Meanwhile, Business plans come only with the Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) program. 

Ready to Choose the Right Microsoft Office 365 Plans for Your Business? 

With so many options offered in the market, choosing the right type of Microsoft Office 365 Plan for your business can be challenging. However, it’s better to take your time reviewing each plan rather than impulsively getting one and regretting it later. 

Remember, Business plans are suited for small and medium companies. It offers most Office applications that SMBs need. Its user capacity and security measures are limited compared to Enterprise, but its price and commitment terms make up for it. 

Meanwhile, Enterprise plans are best for large companies with big demands. It offers the full suite of applications and programs of Microsoft Office 365 plus additional security and compliance tools. Its offerings do come at a price and an annual agreement with Microsoft. 

In addition, both Business and Enterprise plans have 3three tier services. Each of them offers a unique set of applications and programs that can meet your needs and budget. 

Here at ITS, we help businesses make smart decisions on their IT needs by sharing our knowledge about technology.  

Learn more about how Microsoft Office 365 can help your business by reading our article entitled How Microsoft 365 can improve your process documentation?

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