A big challenge when growing a business is maintaining and upgrading its software. As demands on businesses processes increase, the software is often left playing catch up. Companies can end up with old and outdated versions.
Cloud-based technology has grown, and companies like Microsoft have taken advantage of offering software solutions “in the cloud”. Like Microsoft Office 365, some are maintained remotely by the software vendor, meaning businesses are up to date with the latest (and safest) versions without the need for an extensive internal IT infrastructure or IT teams.
Along with this obvious benefit, Microsoft’s 365 Business version can also offer a host of additional features to increase productivity, connect and secure your business.
What Is Microsoft 365 Business?
Microsoft 365 Business is a cloud-based all-in-one productivity suite aimed at small and medium-sized businesses. Offered on a subscription basis, customers can pay either monthly or annually. Subscriptions fees, based on a per-user model, are available with varying levels of enterprise available.
Windows 10 (OS) and Microsoft Office 365 are available, alongside Enterprise Mobility + Security (EMS). In a sense, it’s an umbrella product that allows businesses to use Office 365 and Windows 10 in a more integrated and secure way.
Office 365 includes classic apps like Word, Excel, and Powerpoint. As you would expect, these receive automatic updates and new features as they become available at no further cost to the user. Microsoft’s OneDrive provides secure cloud storage as part of Office 365. OneDrive gives users access to personal folders and shared company folders, a little like how we used to have private My Documents on our PCs and shared company folders on the network fileserver.
An attractive feature for businesses is the enhanced security that 365 Business offers. Business data is commercially valuable and often sensitive, too, usually containing personal or regulated data. Taking advantage of Microsoft’s world-class security features makes for better peace of mind. When designed and set up correctly, it can also help businesses tick another box with data-compliance.
With flexible and home working now familiar, advanced security where data stays central and safe is a big sell to modern businesses.
Communication and collaboration are also at the core of the solution. Microsoft Teams allows users to quickly and easily call, chat and share screens or presentations. Users can also share and co-author files in real-time using SharePoint. This functionality suite integrates with users calendars, allowing them to stay organised and team-focussed, even when they aren’t in the same place or even timezone.
Because Microsoft 365 is cloud-based, its features can be accessed anywhere and on any device, attractive for businesses where mobile or remote working is required. People in an organisation can access productivity tools, communicate, and collaborate anywhere, providing they have an internet connection.
Top Ten Benefits of Microsoft 365 Business?
- World-class advanced security and data-compliance options.
- Cheaper than standard software licences with the ability to pay monthly.
- Advanced productivity tools and services to get the best out of your teams.
- Access files from anywhere with secure cloud storage.
- Advanced communication and collaboration tools to connect your people.
- Automatically receive all updates and new features at no extra cost.
- No need for extensive internal IT infrastructures and teams, reducing costs further.
- Easy to scale up as your business requirements change.
- Support offered as part of your package at no additional charge.
- Tiered subscriptions so you can choose a package that fits your business best.
How Much Does Microsoft 365 Business Cost?
It depends on how many users you require and which version you need but there are three versions to choose from;
- Business Basic: £3.80 user/month.
- Business Standard: £9.40 user/month.
- Business Premium: £15.10 user/month.
All of the above subscriptions are exclusive of VAT at the prevailing rate and require a one-year annual commitment, and prices are correct as of March 2021.
Whilst still exceptionally secure solutions, Business Basic and Business Standard lack some of the advanced security features that Business Premium offers.
These include; being able to wipe data from lost or stolen devices remotely and advanced protection against sophisticated malware and ransomware. Premium also offers businesses the option to restrict functions such as copying text or forwarding emails at the user level.
Another premium feature that is not present in Business Basic and Business Standard is device management. You get an easy-to-use setup wizard that configures security and settings on other Windows 10 devices in premium. Not only this, you can use the tool to set them up on mobile Android and iOS devices too.
Device management also allows you to install Office apps on other Windows 10 devices, and there are simple tools to configure various policies and settings. These added controls make the premium solution far more manageable for bigger businesses.
It’s probably worth noting that Business Basic does not allow downloadable desktop versions of the popular Microsoft Office apps. Users will be required to use the applications in a web browser, and they will need internet access. Premium and Standard versions, however, allow users to download these on up to 5 different devices.
Which Productivity Solution Is Right For My Business?
It’s essential to consider the size and needs of your business when choosing a solution. If your business is relatively small and employs a handful of employees, then Business Basic might suffice.
If your business has more employees and deals with more sensitive data, Business Premium might be the more obvious choice, with its advanced security and device management.
The examples above are simplified, and it’s worth speaking to a Microsoft partner to discuss your requirements and options. As a Microsoft Gold Partner, Eventura has have helped lots of businesses design and deploy the right solution for their individual needs.
If you would like to speak to one of our Microsoft Office 365 specialists, please feel free to contact us and request a free callback.