Microsoft Office 365: Which plan should you choose?

Many companies are now switching over to Office 365. Perhaps you are thinking about making the switch. If so, there are a few items that you should be aware of. The first of which is that is that many companies choose the wrong plan when purchasing Office 365. Microsoft has made many changes and it can be difficult to keep up with them all. As it stands today, most plans allow for fully installed Office application that you would expect such as, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Publisher and OneNote on up to 5 PC's or Macs, per user. A basic deciding question is do you have under or over 300 users? That will help guide you to the Office Business Plans or the Office Enterprise Plans. However, if you are under 300 users, that does not mean you cannot opt for the Enterprise plans. Certain plans have more functionality and many businesses, like ours, need the full suite that the Enterprise E3 plan offers.

That said, there are other things to consider. There is a 25 MB attachment limit that to some companies who currently own and host an Exchange server the limit decrease may be debilitating. End-users have the ability to test the limits of your IT environment and the attachment size limitation has been a sore spot for some unaware companies. The next issue is that many companies choose the wrong plan when purchasing Office 365. Some plans do not include Microsoft Office 2013 where others do. And then some do not include Hosted Microsoft Exchange (E-Mail) but you do get Microsoft Office 2013. The value is there if you are a company that uses Office and also Hosted Microsoft Exchange. If your company does use both products and you do not anticipate your company ever growing beyond 300 end-users, then Office 365 Business Premium at $12.50 per client a month is a great deal. If you are using a Terminal Server then you must upgrade to Office 365 Enterprise E3 as its licensing is the only one that will work in Terminal Server (Remote Desktop). This license also supports unlimited users so if you have a larger company it is the correct choice at $20.00 per user a month. It also includes Microsoft Access whereas the Office 365 Business Premium does not. These plans both require an Annual commitment, otherwise there is a slight price increase to pay month to month. If all you need is email as you already have Microsoft Office 2010 or higher, then Office 365 Business Essentials is a great deal at $5.00 per month. Once again, if you have more than 300 end-users you will need to move up to Office 365 Enterprise E1 as it does support unlimited users. There are several plans to choose from and determining which one is the right one for your business is important.

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