One of the core benefits of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) is that it allows businesses to pay a monthly fee for the things they need, instead of having to worry about the less predictable expenses of one-time purchases and upgrades. Microsoft Office 365 merges the benefits of subscription-based software and full cloud enablement with traditional desktop productivity. However, given the large number of different plans available, it’s not always easy to determine which is most suitable for your organization. Here’s an overview of the options to help you decide:
The entry-level Office 365 plan provides business-class email and access to online versions of the core productivity apps such as Word, Excel, and Outlook. However, it forgoes desktop editions of these apps, which means you need to be online to use them. Furthermore, the web versions aren’t as feature-rich as their desktop counterparts. Costing $5 per user per month, it’s by far the cheapest version, and it comes with online storage with OneDrive, SharePoint, Teams, and Exchange.
Office 365 Business is the “default” plan for most business users as it allows cloud file storage and sharing and access to desktop versions of Office applications. However, while it includes OneDrive online storage, it doesn’t include Exchange or any additional collaboration tools beyond those that are part of Word, Excel, Access, Outlook, and PowerPoint. This option is ideal for businesses that aren’t looking for a new email solution but need desktop productivity solutions that aren’t entirely reliant on internet connectivity to function. This option costs $8.25 per user per month.
The premium package combines all the features and abilities of the Business and Business Essentials package to include both cloud- and desktop-based versions of all the core Office productivity apps, plus cloud email hosting, online storage, and collaboration. It also includes a wide range of other features for streamlining everyday back office routines. This is the most suitable plan for businesses seeking integrated desktop productivity, enterprise-grade email, and online collaboration. It costs $12.50 per user per month.
One of the most important considerations when choosing an Office 365 plan is the number of users you have. Regular business editions have a limit of 300 users, which means you’ll need to upgrade to an Enterprise plan if you want more. For the most part, the Enterprise plans are the same as their corresponding Business plans, albeit without any limit to the number of user accounts you can have. Plans start at $12 per user per month, with the most expensive plan being Enterprise E5, which costs $35 per user per month.
Microsoft also offers Office 365 subscription plans tailored to the needs of specific sectors, such as education, government, and nonprofit. Other sectors with specialized needs, such as legal or healthcare, don’t have industry-specific plans available, but they may need features provided only by certain plans. For example, law firms may prefer an Enterprise E3 subscription with the Advanced Compliance add-on or Enterprise E5, which includes it. If your organization has any specific compliance requirements, it’s important to factor these into your purchase decision.
For the few businesses that aren’t yet ready to migrate to the cloud, Microsoft still offers Office as a one-time purchase. The current edition is Microsoft Office 2019 and commands a one-time purchase of $249.99 for the Business edition. However, it’s important to remember that this edition doesn’t include any automatic new feature updates or web-based versions of the core applications. It also forgoes many other features that are important to most businesses, such as email, calendaring, online storage, mobile versions, and extra security features.
Still not sure which Office 365 plan to go for? As authorized resellers, Spectrumwise provides tailored Office 365 plans with robust security and round-the-clock technical support. Call us today to learn more.