Today: Monday, July 24, 2017, 5:35 pm (PST)

Choosing the right Office 365 plan for your small business

Posted by:

Bob Milliken

Bob Milliken

Microsoft Office 365 is the new Office.  Traditionally Microsoft delivered Office (Word, Excel and PowerPoint, etc.) on a disc for a few hundred dollars which you then installed onto your computer. Today, Office 365 Business is delivered via the Cloud as a monthly subscription for as little as $10.50 a month.

Office 365 flavours include Business, Business Premium, Enterprise E1, E3, and E5. Each of these plans offer different features and services, so choose carefully.

Business or Enterprise?  If you’re running a cloud-first business, you’ll have to decide between Office 365 Business and Enterprise. Both may have access to Office Online and OneDrive, but there are some notable differences between the plans.

For one, Office 365 Enterprise E3 and E5 plans have unlimited archive and mail storage space, while Business plans have a 50-GB storage limit and don’t provide archive access from the Outlook client.

Although it may seem like Enterprise subscriptions are superior — and in some ways they are — Business plans are perfect for smaller companies running on a tight budget. Office 365 Business and Business Premium cost $10.50 and $15.20 per user per month respectively, while E5, the biggest Enterprise plan, costs $44.20 per user per month.

As a general rule, start looking for Enterprise plans when your employee headcount exceeds 50 people and users require more storage space and solutions.

office 365E1, E3, or E5? If you do opt for Office 365 Enterprise plans, you’ll have to examine the features and choose one of three plans (E1, E3, and E5) that suits your needs

  • E1 offers basic enterprise solutions such as Outlook and Word, OneNote, PowerPoint, and Excel online for only $11.69 per user per month. Apart from this, users also get access to SharePoint Team sites, video conferencing, and Yammer for enterprise social media.
  • E3 provides all E1 features and adds data loss prevention, rights management, and encryption to ensure business security and compliance for only $28.69 per user per month.
  • E5 is a full enterprise-grade solution with all the aforementioned features plus analytics tools, advanced threat protection, flexible Skype for Business conferencing, and unified communication solutions for $44.20 per user per month.

Take-Away …

Small- and medium-sized enterprises will usually select either E1 or E3 subscriptions and decide to add third-party applications to meet cloud security and VoIP demands. But if you have the resources and prefer a fully-managed suite of Microsoft applications, E5 plans are the way to go.

Migrating to an Office 365 platform is a big step, and if you’re still undecided about which plan to opt for, contact us today. We don’t just provide Office 365, we assess your business and find the best solution that meets your budget and objectives.

Bob Milliken is the TheITguy@CascadiaSystemsGroup.com specializing in helping businesses with their IT needs. Discover how great local IT services can be 604.270.1730.

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