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Comparing Office 365 Plans - Being Ready Now and In the Future

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Office 365 makes business run smoothly.

Regardless of size communication and data collaboration are two must haves for any business.But how do you choose the right plan?

Let's find out. Collaboration is essential to running a successful business. Being able to work with your team to continuously improve your product or service and the way in which it is delivered to your customers is the key growth.

You’ve hired the right people. They bring innovation to the table. But the table is just the beginning. You team needs to be able to take their talents and ideas from the drawing board and make them a reality.

How do you empower collaboration?

With most modern office communication happening online through email and file sharing, it’s important to have a software that allows your employees to exchange information efficiently and securely. Microsoft Office 365 is one of the most widely-used providers, and with good reason; it allows businesses both large and small to seamlessly integrate their Office applications such as Word, Exchange and Outlook with online productivity services through a cloud-based service.

Whether working remotely or from the workplace, users can access email, host video conferencing, share files, and utilize additional storage – essentially creating a virtual, well, office.

Office 365 offers multiple plan options, there are two tailored specifically for businesses – Office 365 Business, designed for smaller organizations, and Office 365 Enterprise, for larger corporations, however, the decision is not always as simple as selecting the suggested option based on the size of your organization. Both services come at a price, and it’s important to choose the option best for your needs.

So, how do you choose between Business and Enterprise?

Office 365 Plan Comparison TWT Group Image

Start with the basics - how big is your organization?

Yes, we just said it’s not as easy as choosing the option suggested for your business size, but it is still an important factor. Office 365 Business limits the number of users to 300, whereas the number of users for a single Enterprise account is unlimited. This may seem like a no-brainer, especially if your business is a start-up or small business, but Office 365 is an investment for the future. So, consider what the future holds – do you see your organization growing rapidly within one or two years? How much cloud-based storage do you foresee your team needing? The Business license is limited to only 50 GB of storage with the option of adding more at an additional price, so while you may have significantly less users than the license allows for, your storage needs may increase quicker than you expect.

What is essential for your team when it comes to communicating?

Just like running out of online storage space, your team, while they might be small, may utilize some features more than others. And, depending on your organization’s needs, the Business platform may be limiting. For example: Office 365 Enterprise offers Exchange and SharePoint online, but Office 365 Business does not. It’s also important to note that there are different types of Business and Enterprise options that offer different services. While Office 365 Business doesn’t offer Exchange and SharePoint online, Office 365 Business Essentials does but does not offer Office applications.

Growing? Check out our previous Cloud Solutions Series blog on making conference calls less painful.

Enterprise is not always be the best option, as your team may use some services more than others, so you find yourself paying more for a license you don’t use to it's full potential. In that case, you might consider a Business license and pay for additional add-ons.

How (and where) does your team work?

The days of the brick-and-mortar office are over. Sure, it’s ideal to have a home base which employees can work from, where discussing plans and logistics is as easy as popping your head over your desktop. But, times are changing, and telecommuting is becoming increasingly more popular. Consider when and where the members of your team prefer to get work done, as this is an integral factor when choosing an Office 365 option for your business. If most of the work is done daily at the office, then your business may not require as many cloud-based options as some of the Business and Enterprise platforms offer.

What’s your budget?

Of course, all of the factors listed above are dependent on one thing: what kind of budget do you have for a cloud-based provider? Considering all of your organization’s communication and collaboration needs, what kind of return on investment do you envision when comparing Business and Enterprise licenses? If your business would benefit from an Enterprise account but you decide on a Business account, it could hurt your bottom line in the long run. You don’t need us to tell you that in order to be financially successful, your business needs to minimize overhead costs while still being secure, reliable, and positioned for growth. Always ensure you provide your team with the tools they need to do their job the best they can.

Office 365 offers a helpful comparison of their services online, but discussing the options with your team – the people who will be using the service – is crucial. The above is a great guideline to get that conversation started

If you’re still unsure of which option is best for your organization, or simply want to learn more about the benefits of Office 365 and how it can help a business achieve its goals, feel free to reach out.

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Topics: Enterprise, microsoft, Office 365, Business, Licensing