A Complete Guide to Office 365 Business


What is Office 365?

Microsoft Office dates back in 1990 as a product, with its early versions that primarily included Excel, Word and PowerPoint in its discounted bundle. Office 365 has been with us since 2011, and it significantly differs from its old versions; mainly in two respects; firstly, it is available on the annual and monthly subscription license as compared to the perpetual license. Secondly, it combines a complete suite of online services, which includes business-class cloud file storage, e-mail1, along with its traditional application for the desktop.

What Online Services Does Office 365 Offer?

The exact mix of services and apps totally that comes with your Office 365 subscription totally depends on the edition that you have selected. However, the five common services that come along every business and enterprise plan include the following;

  • Exchange Online:
    Every Office 365 subscriber gets a 50 GB e-mail box for the organization with business class e-mail offerings’ along with the access to their e-mails through Outlook app, Windows browser, Mac and mobile devices. Span and Malware are the built-in features offered along with the advanced features like eDiscovery.
  • OneDrive for Business:
    With basic Office 365, you get 1 TB of personal storage on OneDrive, with sync options for every desktop platform. Business Administrators can also upgrade to unlimited storage if 1 TB is felt insufficient for their needs.
  • SharePoint Online:
    SharePoint Online allows users to share their files and documents while syncing their information in File Explorer, using the similar desktop clients setting as they are in OneDrive. Both Exchange Online and SharePoint include amazing administrative controls to refrain users from sharing information that is confidential to the organization.
  • Skype & Microsoft Team:
    Both of these platforms are remarkably collaborative in natures and cover almost similar needs, i.e. of unified communication, instant messaging, and HD video conferencing for Office 365 subscribers. However, Microsoft Teams offers a set of more modern features such as apps like Slack that are increasingly appealing to more and more organizations.
  • Additional Services:
    Some of the Office 365 services are defined and offered to a specific audience only. For instance, the Business Premium Plan for Office 365 includes a full of a range of services that are specially designed for medium and small-sized enterprises such as, Customer Relationship Management and Invoicing Tools. Yammer and Power BI Pro are now also offered as social networking services and advanced analytical tools, respectively

What Are the Desktop Services That Are Available in Office 365?

Every subscriber gets access to several Office 365 desktop apps which include Office 2016 applications for Windows 7 and all the latest releases. For macOS, the desktop apps include Word, Excel, OneNote and PowerPoint. However, Publisher and Access are available only for Windows PCs. All these apps are auto-updatable and the latest version update to your system automatically, along with the security and feature update bi-annually. For instance, all the Office 365 plan will be updated to the Office 2019 apps, when Microsoft will release them. Subscription of Office 365 is based on ‘per-user licenses’ which means that the apps can be installed and used only up to five PCs/Macs, five phone and five tablets.

Which Edition / Version is Right for You?

If you have a small business organization, there are three Office 365 plans that offer services and support for around 300 users. All the details and prices mentioned below are quoted by the updates provided by Microsoft as of October 2018.

  • Office 365 Business Essentials:
    It only includes online services and costs $5 per user per month. Online services also include OneDrive for Business and Exchange Online without any access desktop apps for Office 365. It is suitable for enterprises who have already made investments in Office desktop programs and now only want to have cloud storage and managed e-mail.
  •  Office 365 Business:
    It costs around $8.25 per user per months. It only included OneDrive for Business and Office desktop apps, while dropping most of the Online Services. It is the right choice for small businesses, who want to keep their existing Microsoft servers and need easy access to cloud storage and Office apps.

 •  Office 365 Business Premium:
It includes all desktop apps and online services.

For a large organization, the following four packages are available, and they support unlimited users.

 •  Office 365 ProPlus:
It costs for $12 per user per month, and it only includes the desktop apps along with OneDrive for business and file cloud storage. This package does not include any of the online services, e-mail and Exchange Online.

 •  Office 365 Enterprise E1:
This package costs for $8 per user per month and it includes an online version of all the Office apps and online services. However, desktop apps are not included in it. It is perfect for organizations who want to stick to a particular Office edition, but want their cloud storage and e-mail to be moved to Microsoft’s server.

•  Office 365 Enterprise E3:
It costs around $20 per user per month, and it combines a full range of desktop apps and online services, and it is one of the most preferred ones among the larger companies. It includes advanced discovery and e-mail hold features for effective dealing of litigation issues.

 •  Office 365 Enterprise E5:
This package costs $35 per user per month. It includes advanced features like eDiscovery features; however, it justifies the higher price tag with its premium enterprise-grade security features.

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