Microsoft 365 offers a powerful array of functions and resources for businesses to leverage. What features make it such a valuable solution to this day?
For around 13 years, Microsoft 365 (originally known as Office 365) has been serving businesses to great effect. Some people even claim that it is the best business solution currently on the market – but is this true? We discussed this with some IT companies with experience using and provisioning the solution. One company we spoke to was a Microsoft Solutions Partner with experience providing IT support for Estate Agents, as well as businesses in a wide range of other industries. According to them, the value of Microsoft 365 comes from its versatility – it has been developed in such a way that it works for any industry; but it also has a number of optional add-ons that are specifically designed for certain sectors.
What is Microsoft 365?
Microsoft 365 is the culmination of Microsoft’s Office Suite. Most people will be familiar with ‘Microsoft Office’ as it used to be known – Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint. In 2010, Microsoft Office was paired with several other Microsoft products to form the cloud-based Office 365 suite. Since then, the suite has been grown and developed, and officially renamed Microsoft 365.
Plans for Businesses
Microsoft 365 comes in a range of different plans designed for businesses – and this is where the value of the suite comes. Below are some examples of how the Microsoft 365 plans vary:
Microsoft 365 for Business includes 3 tiers – Business Basic, Business Standard and Business Premium. These plans are designed for small to medium sized businesses (SMBs). According to TechQuarters, who has been providing IT support North London SMBs rely on since 2010, the Business Standard plan is the most popular among their customers, as it offers a good balance of functionality and affordability.
Microsoft 365 Enterprise includes more features and products than M365 Business, and it is designed to be more cost-effective for organisations with 300 or more users. The two main plans in this bracket are Microsoft 365 E3 and Microsoft 365 E5. There is also a plan called Microsoft 365 F3, which is designed to support frontline workers.
The nonprofit version of Microsoft 365 is identical to the plans included in both the Business tier and the Enterprise tier. The only different is the pricing. Nonprofit rates for E3 and E5 feature a discount of 70% and 60% respectively. Whereas the nonprofit versions of both Business Standard and Business Premium have a 75% discount (and Business Basic is free for nonprofits of up to 300 users).
Key Business Benefits of Microsoft 365
The versatility of Microsoft 365 is arguably one of the most attractive features that leads businesses to adopt it. However, for them to discover this versatility, it begins with them finding the many beneficial features that these plans contain. TechQuarters has over 10 years of experience providing IT support London businesses rely on, and have sold M365 to many clients in that time – according to them, these are some of the main features that sells businesses on the suite:
Enterprise Mobility + Security
This feature is included in Microsoft 365 E3 and E5. With this product, businesses get access to high quality security capabilities that can take their organisational security to new levels. For example, EMS includes a number of features for the following security disciplines:
- Identity and Access Management
- Endpoint Management
- Information Protection
- Identity-driven Security
Though it is just a single product within the Microsoft 365 ecosystem, many businesses cite Teams as there most frequently used programs. Microsoft Teams acts like a nexus point for productivity in Microsoft 365. It combines three key forms of internal business communication, and it integrates with a number of other productivity apps in the suite.