Where Office 365 used to be Microsoft's biggest product, their focus has now turned to Microsoft 365 - their relatively new offering combining their popular bundles. Like Office 365, Microsoft 365 comes in different versions - with one Business edition and two Enterprise editions. In this article we compare the three.
Note: This article was originally published 1 April 2018 but has been updated.
Updated June 2019 to include the addition of Conditional Access within Microsoft 365 Business.
What is Microsoft 365?
Microsoft 365 combines Office 365, Windows 10 and Enterprise Mobility + Security (EMS) providing selected offerings of each suite into three different packages: Business, E3 and E5. These combinations, give organisations access to a range of powerful productivity and security solutions and at a more cost-effective price than purchasing these products separately.
The Enterprise versions correlate nicely to their relevant suite versions:
- Microsoft 365 E3 = The E3 version of Office 365, EMS and Windows 10
- Microsoft 365 E5 = The E5 version of Office 365, EMS and Windows 10
Microsoft 365 Business, however, is a little more confusing. It contains Office 365 Business Premium and then a selection of features from Windows 10 and EMS with less functionality and fewer applications.
Microsoft 365 pricing
Microsoft 365 Business costs £15.10 per user per month, Microsoft E3 costs £28.10 per user per month and Microsoft 365 E5 costs £48.90 per user per month. Microsoft 365 Business has a maximum of 300 users - but you can mix and match Business and Enterprise licences like you can with Office 365 - and there is no limit for Enterprise.
Microsoft 365 Business vs Enterprise
As well as being able to purchase the three different Microsoft 365 versions, Microsoft have also released new security and compliance add-ons. These can only be added onto Microsoft 365 E3 and are aimed at companies that want to gain the advanced security and compliance tools within Microsoft 365 E5, but are not ready to make the leap in cost or do not require the Telephony and Power BI Pro licences included in E5. These two add-ons are Identity & Threat Protection, which includes all the Advanced Threat Protection suites and costs £9.00 per user per month, and Information Protection & Compliance, which includes O365 Advanced Compliance and Azure Information Protection and costs £7.50 per user per month. Find out more about these in our article "Why the new Microsoft 365 security offering is a game changer."
Why Microsoft 365?
Many organisations are now using and enjoying the benefits of Office 365, which is packed with various applications to help staff work and with new apps being added regularly (such as Teams and Planner). With Microsoft 365, you get all your Office 365 features and functionality but then also enjoy Windows 10 and EMS features in a more cost effective package — providing complementary security tools to Office 365 to improve organisational security, which is obviously a very hot topic.
Our main reasons why we recommend upgrading to Microsoft 365 include:
Unparalleled security scale - The main reason why Microsoft 365 has some of the best security products on the market is their sheer scale of telemetry that feeds into their tools - and their investment in their continual development. Microsoft have over 3,500 security professionals working on these products, which are all built on their Intelligent Security Graph. This underlying platform receives a massive 6.5 trillion signals daily - so if a new threat is picked up from one of those emails, Microsoft’s products can learn to detect it as a threat and block it in real-time.
Value - Microsoft 365 saves you up to 25% in licensing costs, so if you’re already paying for Office 365 then you can upgrade to gain access to Windows 10 and a great set of security and mobility tools within EMS for a greatly reduced cost over buying them separately.
End of Windows 7 Support - Extended support for Windows 7 will end in 2020, which means that you will no longer receive security updates and leaves you exposed to cyber threats. If you are running Windows 7 (which is apparently still used by around 45% of organisations) then you will be considering upgrading to Windows 10, which is included with Microsoft 365 - giving you a better discount and access to a lot of other valuable products.
One integrated solution - As most organisations use Office 365, it makes sense to keep your security tools and operating system within the Microsoft stack. Historically some organisations might use different vendors to spread risk but this adds complexity, reduces integration and therefore also limits insights and speed. By using Microsoft 365 all your solutions perfectly integrate and feed data into one another, making one very simple, integrated toolset that is extremely efficient, quick to react and produces a holistic overview.
Download our Microsoft 365 Enterprise Guide
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If you wish to discuss Microsoft 365 licensing and features or would like to have a demo, then please contact us.