Microsoft 365 Licensing Decoded 

Have you been scratching your head trying to figure out exactly what Microsoft 365 is? Would you like to find out what's included in one of Microsoft's most significant subscription bundles? Watch our recent video to learn all this and more.

Microsoft 365 Licensing Decoded

Have you been scratching your head trying to figure out exactly what Microsoft 365 is? Would you like to find out what’s included in one of Microsoft’s most significant subscription bundles? Watch our recent video to learn all this and more.

In the modern workplace, effective communication and collaboration hold the key to productivity. And for many businesses, Microsoft 365 is the gold standard when it comes to productivity tools. Not only does Microsoft have the greatest market share, but the performance of all competing products is also typically measured against apps from the Microsoft 365 suite.

Interested in learning what offerings are behind Microsoft 365’s popularity? Check out our video below to discover the different plans available to Microsoft 365 users!

What Is Microsoft 365?

Dating back almost a decade, Microsoft 365 started life as Office 365 but has since gained a couple of handy new features. For starters, it’s licensed as an annual or monthly subscription instead of a one-time purchase. Also, along with traditional desktop apps, Microsoft 365 includes a range of online services. Microsoft 365’s subscription model allows users to easily upgrade to the latest software versions as soon as they come out. The Microsoft 365 Business and Enterprise editions provide organizations with all the collaboration and management tools they need to ensure productivity, security, and compliance.

What Are the Online Services in Microsoft 365? The precise combination of services and apps depends on the Microsoft 365 edition you choose. However, these are the core services in all business and enterprise plans:

  • Exchange Online: This email service offers each user in your organization a 50 GB mailbox and the option to access email through Outlook, among other advanced features.
  • OneDrive for Business: Each user receives 1 TB of OneDrive storage. The Files on Demand feature enables users to view and manage cloud-based storage with File Explorer.
  • SharePoint Online: This service allows teams to share files and sync information in File Explorer with the option to restrict the sharing of confidential information outside the business.
  • Microsoft Teams: This collaboration tool integrates several communication platforms such as instant messaging and HD video conferencing for all the organization’s users. The team-and-channel structure makes real-time collaboration on projects more efficient.

Which Edition Should You Choose for Your Business? Your choice of edition ultimately comes down to balancing cost against the functionality you’d like to achieve. Microsoft 365 offers three plans for small businesses (up to 300 users). Generally, monthly plans cost roughly 25% more than the prices quoted below.

Microsoft 365 Business Basic

  • $5 per user per month
  • Only includes the online features like OneDrive for Business and Exchange Online but doesn’t have the Office desktop apps

Microsoft 365 Apps for Business

  • $8.25 per user per month
  • Only includes the Office desktop apps and OneDrive for Business
  • It does not include any other online services like Exchange Online

Microsoft 365 Business Standard

  • $12.50 per user per month
  • Includes all Office apps and online services

Microsoft 365 Business Premium

  • $20 per user per month
  • Includes all the Office apps and online services
  • Also includes additional features such as advanced cyberthreat protection and Microsoft Intune device management

If your business has more than 300 users, you can still choose from three Microsoft 365 plans. The following Enterprise plans can support an unlimited number of users:

Microsoft 365 F3

  • $10 per user per month
  • Includes online versions of desktop apps and online services
  • Does not have the actual Office apps

Microsoft 365 E3

  • $32 per user per month
  • Includes the full array of Office apps and online services and a few Azure Active Directory Premium features
  • It is the most popular plan among large organizations
  • In case of litigation issues, it offers advanced email hold and discovery features
  • It does not allow organizations to integrate Teams with their existing phone system

Microsoft 365 E5

  • $57 per user per month
  • Includes enterprise-grade security features and a few advanced eDiscovery features

Need Help Choosing the Right Microsoft 365 Plan for Your Organization?

Our experienced Microsoft 365 specialists at Advantage Industries are eager to help you develop a tailored plan for your organization. We serve organizations throughout Baltimore, Washington, and Northern Virginia.

Contact us now to get started!

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Keith Heilveil

In 1999 Advantage Industries was created to protect and promote our client’s success through the use of innovative technology. Our company is a full services technology firm that provides computer network support and solutions, managed services, cybersecurity, and custom application development for small and medium businesses in the Maryland, DC, and Virginia areas.

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Tim Happel

Tim Happel

Sr. Director of Sales, PMP

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