Microsoft 365, formerly Office 365, is Microsoft's proposition for productivity, communication, collaboration and security in businesses. There are several Microsoft 365 plans for business, each designed to meet the different needs of different businesses. This article will look at an overview of Microsoft 365 for business plans and help you determine which one is right for your organisation.

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Microsoft 365 for Business

There are 4 Microsoft 365 for Business plans: Microsoft 365 Business Basic, Microsoft 365 Apps for Business, Microsoft 365 Business Standard, and Microsoft 365 Business Premium.

1. Microsoft 365 Business Basic

Microsoft 365 Business Basic provides your organisation with essential collaboration and communication capabilities. For example, you can host a single email domain with limited storage space, do video conferencing and chat, and store and share files in the cloud. In addition, Microsoft 365 Business Basic gives you access to the web version of Word, Excel and PowerPoint applications. However, the web version of these apps has fewer features than the desktop version.

Suitable Use: Microsoft 365 Business Basic is suitable for home businesses or businesses that just want email hosting and file storage. However, this program is not recommended for business use as it offers limited productivity and security functionality.

Subscription Fee: 5,10 € per user/per month (up to 300 users).

Included Services: Exchange, OneDrive, SharePoint, Microsoft Teams.

2. Microsoft 365 Apps for Business

Microsoft 365 Apps for Business plan includes only Microsoft's core productivity apps. Still, It provides limited to no collaboration and communication capabilities. For example, you will get access to the Outlook desktop application. However, it does not include email hosting and calendar services.

Suitable Use: Microsoft 365 Apps for Business plan is actually not recommended for any business as it only provides a few productivity apps and nothing else. To be a fully functional productivity, collaboration and communication channel, it is necessary to combine it with other services. This program is rarely the ideal choice.

Subscription Fee: 8,80 € per user/per month (up to 300 users).

Included Services: Outlook, OneDrive, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Publisher (PC only), Access (PC only).

3. Microsoft 365 Business Standard

Microsoft 365 Business Standard can be considered a combination of the abovementioned plans. The applications you need to work with are supported by services that enable effective communication and collaboration both internally and externally within the organisation. In addition, Microsoft 365 Business Standard includes some additional productivity features, such as the ability to work across multiple devices and some basic automation features. Microsoft 365 Business Standard does not include advanced protection and security tools. However, Microsoft Defender for Business is available as an add-on.

Suitable Use: Microsoft 365 Business Standard will provide you with everything you need to work efficiently but with limited security. A business just starting out or with a minimal IT footprint might consider Microsoft 365 Business Standard a good starting point. However, in today's cyber threat landscape, businesses with any security obligations or working with valuable data need security features beyond those included in this program.

Subscription Fee: 10,50 € per user/per month (up to 300 users).

Included Services: Outlook, OneDrive, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, SharePoint, Microsoft Teams, Exchange, Publisher (PC only), Access (PC only).

4. Microsoft 365 Business Premium

Microsoft 365 Business Premium lets you run your business securely, from anywhere. It includes everything from the programs mentioned above, as well as a number of advanced security tools and features, such as Mobile Device Management (MDM), Data Loss Prevention (DLP) and Microsoft Defender for Business. Microsoft 365 Business Premium is the most expensive Microsoft 365 plan. However, it has the best value for money, making it even more attractive. Before Microsoft 365 Business Premium, you would have to spend around €50 per user/per month to get the same level of functionality that this plan offers.

Suitable Use: When implemented correctly, Microsoft 365 Business Premium can dramatically increase your productivity. In addition, Microsoft 365 Business Premium for Business allows you to effectively protect your data and the data of your customers, partners and employees. Therefore, every business that values productivity and security needs a Microsoft 365 Business Premium subscription.

Subscription Fee: 18,60 € per user/per month (up to 300 users).

Included Services: Outlook, OneDrive, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, SharePoint, Microsoft Teams, Exchange, Publisher (PC only), Access (PC only), Intune, Microsoft Defender, Azure Information Protection, Azure AD Premium P1, Azure Virtual Desktop.

Can I change my Microsoft 365 plan?

If you have an active Microsoft 365 subscription, you have some flexibility to change your plan during the 12-month period. For example, you can upgrade your licenses to a higher-tier plan and add new licenses.

You cannot downgrade your plan or remove licenses in the middle of the term. Therefore, your IT team needs to effectively manage Microsoft 365 licenses so that everyone on your team has the level of subscription they need. As a result, you are not wasting money on unnecessary licenses.

Get Microsoft 365 for your business

Microsoft 365 for Business is not something that you can use effectively right away and without preparation. Proper implementation of Microsoft 365 for Business requires extensive planning and configuration to integrate with your IT environment and support your operational requirements. As a Microsoft partner, we regularly implement Microsoft 365 for Business and help our partners get more value from their Microsoft 365 for Business subscription.

If you are considering a Microsoft 365 project, please fill out the form on the contact page. We'll answer your questions about Microsoft 365 for Business and get your implementation started on the right track.

About the author: Christos Zacharopoulos

Christos Zacharopoulos studied Computer Networks and Security at the University of Derby in the United Kingdom and graduated with First Class Honours. He has been working in the IT field for over 20 years now. He is the CEO and Founder of OpenShop Foundation, a provider of integrated IT solutions.

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