Which Office 365 plan is right for you?

Office 365 is growing in popularity by the day. Recently many companies have leveraged the cloud capabilities of Office 365 to keep their business going while being able to work from home. Office 365 provides cloud-hosted email, file sharing, team messaging, phone platforms, and much more within its plans. I want to go over some of Office 365 plans that we find most popular. There are a lot of them out there and it does become confusing sometimes to decipher what is right for your company.

The first determiner for which plan is best for you is simple. The question to ask is, do you need encryption and security within your email system. Many companies that must abide by HIPAA, PCI, FINRA, and SOX are required to have encryption on their emails. If this applies to your company, you will need to look at the Enterprise “E” class licenses. They are below in a general break down.

E1 – Locally installed Office applications are not included. You will have the full cloud suite of Office programs and a fully functional, secure email system.

E3 – This plan does include a locally installed copy of Office and all the benefits of E1. This is one of the more popular plans that we see requested.

E5 – Includes all the benefits of the E3 license plus advanced compliance, information protection, threat protection, and the starting point to use Office 365 as your phone system. This plan is used for those with high security requirements.

If you do not need encryption one of the below plans would be best for your company.

Microsoft 365 Apps – If you only want to purchase a locally installed version of Office and do not need an email system you would choose this option. This is Microsoft’s new way to sell Office to end-users.

Microsoft 365 Business basic – You will have the hosted email system, OneDrive, and collaboration applications with this option. It does not include a local copy of Office.

Microsoft 365 Business Standard – This option is like the E3 plan, except it does not include the encryption or rights protection. You get your email system, OneDrive, and the local copy of Office.

There are additional plans out there. Non-Profits can apply for special licenses at a discounted rate. There are plans for home use as well. I hope this gives a good breakdown of the different licenses to help you on your path to Office 365.

Article submitted by Jacob M., Engineer III

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