As business evolves, so does business software. Microsoft’s recent change of its world-renown productivity suite from Office 365 to Microsoft 365 was more than just a name change. Their plans have been modified as well, and it can be confusing when deciding which is the right plan for your business.

For Part 3 of neoRhino’s Microsoft 365 – Easy as 1-2-3 series, we are going to break down each of the Microsoft 365 Business plans to help you determine which plan suits your needs the best.

Getting Started:

Microsoft 365’s Business series of plans has 4 different options: Business Basic, Business Standard, Business Premium, and Apps for Business. Each plan supports up to 300 users.

At neoRhino, we have found that the most well-rounded plan for most small to mid-size businesses is Microsoft 365 Business Premium, but each plan has its own strengths and weaknesses.

Every Microsoft 365 Business plan includes:

  • Real-time authoring and collaboration across all compatible devices
  • 1TB of OneDrive Storage per user
  • 50GB Mailbox per user
  • 99.9% Uptime Guarantee
  • M365 apps are always up to date, leaving you future-proof
  • Exchange Online Protection against malware, spam, and other threats
  • For use on up to 5 Desktop Devices and 5 Mobile Devices
  • Organization-wide password policy creation

Now let’s take a look at what is included in each plan, the cost per user, and thoughts on who would fit which particular plan.

Microsoft 365 Business Basic ($5.00/month per user*):

What apps are included?

  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Microsoft OneNote
  • Business Basic does not include M365 Desktop apps; it is only through web browser and mobile apps.

What Services are included?

  • Microsoft Exchange
  • Microsoft OneDrive
  • Microsoft SharePoint
  • Microsoft Teams

Final Thoughts:

If your team only requires the essentials and don’t mind not having the dedicated Microsoft 365 applications, then Business Basic could be a good start. It is definitely beneficial as your co-workers would still be on the same flagship programs than are most used in offices worldwide, even if it is slightly modified for web/mobile use.

However, as your business grows, you will most likely outgrow Business Basics’ capabilities fairly quickly, particularly in how it has no advanced threat protection against malware threats and that you must be connected online consistently to get the most out of your team.

Microsoft 365 Business Standard ($12.50/month per user*):

What apps are included?

  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Microsoft OneNote
  • Microsoft Publisher (PC Only)
  • Microsoft Access (PC Only)

What Services are included?

  • Microsoft Exchange (Up to 50GB mailbox per user)
  • Microsoft OneDrive (Up to 1TB per user)
  • Microsoft SharePoint
  • Microsoft Teams
  • Microsoft Bookings
  • Mile IQ

Final Thoughts:

While M365 Business Standard includes the desktop versions of the M365 app suite and a few additional apps, there are no other differences between it and Business Basic. It still is lacking the protection and device management options that are included with M365 Business Premium.

Microsoft 365 Business Premium ($20.00/month per user*):

What apps are included?

  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Microsoft OneNote
  • Microsoft Publisher (PC Only)
  • Microsoft Access (PC Only)

What Services are included?

  • Microsoft Exchange (Up to 50GB mailbox per user)
  • Microsoft OneDrive (Up to 1TB per user)
  • Microsoft SharePoint
  • Microsoft Teams
  • Microsoft Bookings
  • Mile IQ
  • Microsoft Intune
  • Microsoft Admin Information Protection

Advanced Threat Protection:

  • Protection against malware, malicious links in emails, zero-day threats, ransomware, and more
  • Remotely wipe lost or stolen devices with Intune
  • Greater control of company information with Information Rights Management across all devices
  • Includes Windows Defender Exploit Guard
  • Unlimited online mail archiving with Exchange Online Archiving
  • Set automatic Windows 10 and Microsoft 365 updates and app deployment

Final Thoughts:

Microsoft 365 Business Premium has all the tools that most small businesses need for maximum productivity, protection, and capabilities. The addition of useful tools such as Microsoft Intune and Information Rights Management can be crucial for the protection of your private data, particularly if your workforce is mobile. As your business advances, Microsoft 365 advances with your business, which makes it the strongest option.

What about Microsoft Apps for Business?

This option is available if all you want are the core Microsoft 365 apps, but you do have to be weary that this plan does not include:

  • Business email
  • Microsoft Teams
  • Device Management
  • Advanced Threat Protection.

These limitations make it difficult to recommend, especially at $8.25/month per user.*

So, what’s the bottom line?

There are a multitude of options through Microsoft 365 for your productivity needs. There are also M365 options for Enterprise users, which we will cover in our next installment. However, for businesses under 300 users, the best option for reliability, protection, and overall value is Microsoft 365 Business Premium. Here are the reasons why:

  • Business Premium contains the entire suite of Microsoft 365 apps, including desktop versions of its core applications and additional apps not found in other suites, such as Microsoft Intune and Publisher.
  • Information Rights Management is included, giving you greater control of who has access to your company’s private data and the ability to remotely erase that data from a compromised device when necessary.
  • Business Premium is the only Microsoft 365 Business plan that includes Advanced Threat Protection, which guards your organization with leading-edge protection against sophisticated cyber-threats such as phishing and ransomware.

neoRhino can help you set up the perfect Microsoft 365 plan for your business.

Our Microsoft Gold-certified technicians are here to guide you to which Microsoft 365 plan is best for your business, both in cost and capabilities. We can help you adopt and adapt to its new world of applications.

neoRhino is equipped to maximize your experience with Microsoft’s 365 family of apps so you can keep your productivity at an optimal level. If you have questions or would like to speak with one of our associates about our services, contact us or give us a call at (281) 779-4850.

* Plan Pricing is as of June 2020 and is subject to change. Contact a neoRhino Account Manager for more details on special Microsoft 365 pricing.