So many people talk about ‘Office 365’ or ‘Microsoft 365,’ but when it comes down to knowing what these actually are and what they do, most people are pretty fuzzy. First of all, it’s changed a LOT over the last few years (that’s what happens when you focus a lot of money on R&D!). Next, as Microsoft focuses on the 365 offering, they’re NOT giving much focus to legacy products, giving the clear signal of what’s to come. I’d also add that we’re in the middle of a pandemic and find ourselves at a very unique point in history where the technology tools and on-demand software have been accelerated by sheer NEED; how do we get work done when we can’t go to our offices or meet with our teams?
In early October, we presented a high-level ‘Tour’ of Microsoft 365. This webinar was a BIG hit and generated a lot of discussion. Even though we kept it to one hour, and only covered the highlights, it was a lot to take in, so we thought we’d recap. As you dig into this info, get your pen or highlighter out; you’ll be the only one in the room who actually knows what you’re talking about when it comes to Microsoft 365!
OK, here we go – There are three (3) groupings, categories that make up the suite of offerings:
Now, the first two, Business Apps (Office, to you and me) and Cloud Services are part of Office 365. This product combination has been around for a while. Think about it as the foundation of the 365 offering. I can’t think of a single client who doesn’t use Word and Excel. Many use Teams, especially since March 2020, and a growing number are using OneDrive for local documents on their mobile devices.
Microsoft 365 is the more mature product, incorporating Office 365 with the Business Security you and I need in order to safely use these software programs, and to protect our mobile devices. Take all the products from Office, add Teams and shared documents, and you absolutely need the security additions! With Microsoft 365, at a basic level, you have the necessary security. As an IT group, we’re EXTREMELY excited about these additional security products.
With so many features and options, Microsoft continues to adjust its packaging names and prices. At a high level, these tools can be grouped into three (3) buckets:
By the Service – license for the specific service you want to use; not all services are available ‘a la carte’; this is the least cost-efficient way to purchase the core services
M365 Business packages – a wide array of apps and cloud services are included; great security features; designed for small to medium businesses; biggest bang for the buck; max of 300 licenses. This is our favorite!
M/O365 Enterprise – higher service limits (read ‘more money’); no limit on licenses
When choosing the right level of licensing, we recommend you reach out to us so we can talk it through with you. There are quite a few things to consider, and we are totally prepared to walk you through the right questions, so you can get to the right licenses.
When should you consider moving to the M365 suite? What’s a good ‘trigger’ to take a look and get started? If any of these apply to you, give us a call and we can help you take a look at whether it’s time to make some changes.
We’ll break down all of these M365 tools, and even some of the more powerful add-ons, in the coming months. Watch for our webinars and newsletter articles. Before you know it, you’ll be one of the ‘experts’ on Microsoft 365 (or at least a happy user)! Ready to jump in right now? Give us a call and we’ll get you started. – CMW