A buyer’s guide to Microsoft 365

A buyer’s guide to Microsoft 365

In April 2020, Office 365 became Microsoft 365. But the move was more than just a name change for Microsoft’s suit of subscription-based enterprise software. According to the technology giant, the new name better reflects “the range of features and benefits in the subscription, to meet the unique needs of individuals and businesses.”

Whether you’re an old Office 365 user shifting to Microsoft 365 or a new customer, this guide will help you choose the Microsoft 365 offering that best fits your needs.

What is Microsoft 365?

Microsoft 365 is the overarching product that houses the latest versions of trusted Office apps, such as Word, PowerPoint, Excel and Outlook, as well as intelligent cloud services and security solutions like Azure and Intune. It currently offers plans for three categories: home, business, and enterprise. Each category is further divided into different tiers. Under Microsoft 365 for enterprise, for instance, you can either subscribe to a Microsoft 365 E3 plan or to a Microsoft 365 E5 plan.

Sounds confusing? Let’s break it down.

Microsoft 365 for home

For anyone who just needs to use the tried-and-tested Office apps, then Microsoft 365 for home should be enough. This subscription gives you access to both classic premium Office apps, extra cloud storage, and advanced data security. What’s more, you also get access to royalty-free content, including templates, stock photos, icons, and fonts. And if you ever encounter an issue with your software, you can count on readily available technical support.

Microsoft 365 for home is offered under two subscription options: Family (formerly Office 365 Home) and Personal (formerly Office 365 Personal). The Family plan costs $99.99 annually and allows six users at a time across unlimited PCs/Macs, tablets, and phones. It comes with 1TB of storage for each user for up to 6TB in total. On the other hand, the Personal plan costs $69.99 per year and only allows one user across the same devices. It offers 1TB of storage for one user.

Microsoft 365 for business

This subscription is made for small- and medium-sized businesses, and is packed with productivity solutions to help organizations grow. On top of classic and premium Office apps, it gives business owners access to Microsoft Teams, a software that facilitates better communication and collaboration among coworkers. It also includes access to email and calendaring solutions, like Outlook and Exchange.

Microsoft 365 for business has three tiers: Microsoft 365 Business Basic; Microsoft 365 Business Standard; and Microsoft 365 Business Premium.

  • Microsoft 365 Business Basic ($5 user/month) – This is best for businesses that need easy remote solutions. But while it includes access to Microsoft Teams and secure cloud storage, it doesn’t include desktop versions of Office apps.
  • Microsoft 365 Business Standard ($12 user/month) – This package is for businesses that need full remote work and collaboration tools. The subscription includes everything included in Microsoft 365 Business Basic, with additional desktop versions of Office apps for PC and Mac. It also allows email hosting with 50GB mailbox and custom domain address.
  • Microsoft 365 Business Premium ($20 user/month) – This tier has advanced cyberthreat protection and device management solutions on top of the Business Standard package offerings. It’s best for businesses that want secure remote work solutions.

Microsoft 365 for enterprise

With core security, analytical, and compliance capabilities, Microsoft 365 for enterprise plans are designed to take your business to a higher level. These subscriptions promise to connect and empower every employee with a Microsoft 365 solution that increases productivity and drives innovation.

For instance, Microsoft 365 for enterprise gives you access to Azure, Microsoft’s cloud platform with more than 200 products and cloud services that will help you solve myriad business challenges. With Azure, you can build, run, and manage applications across multiple clouds using your own choice of tools and frameworks.

One such tool is Microsoft Intune, a cloud-based service that allows intelligent mobile device management (MDM) and mobile application management (MAM). With Intune, you can control how your organization's devices are used. You can set access permissions on every mobile phone, tablet, and laptop your company has, and you can even wipe data remotely in case a device gets lost or stolen. Securing company devices has always been a priority, but now that remote working has become the norm, it has become more crucial than ever.

Get Azure, Intune, and over hundred more business solutions with either of these premium tiers:

  • Microsoft 365 E3 ($32.00 user/month) – This subscription gives full access to best-in-class apps for productivity, email and calendaring, social and intranet, work management, and device and app management. It also offers cloud, core security, compliance solutions. The only drawback is that it only provides limited threat protection, identity and access management, and information protection.
  • Microsoft 365 E5 ($57.00 user/month) – This has everything Microsoft 365 E3 has to offer, but what sets it apart is its full access to threat protection, advanced analytics, and advanced compliance tools.

There’s a Microsoft 365 plan for every business and lifestyle, and which one you choose should depend on your needs. If you’re unsure which plan is best for you, Complete Technology is here to help. Our IT consulting services will give you expert recommendation and the guidance you need to succeed. Schedule a complimentary consultation with us today. Call us at 816-256-5458, or send us a message.


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