The biggest and best offering in Office 365 just got bigger and better! Last week at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference, Microsoft announced that before the end of the year they will be releasing a new enterprise bundle: Office 365 Enterprise E5. This new E5 bundle will replace the E4 bundle, which is currently the highest-tier package available. Pricing for the E5 bundle has not been announced yet.
Here is the relevant section of Microsoft’s blog post announcement:
“E5 will encompass the core value of the modern productivity and collaboration capabilities Office 365 provides today, as well as significant new capabilities including Skype for Business services for real-time communication such as Cloud PBX and PSTN Conferencing, new analytics features like Power BI Pro and Delve Organizational Analytics, and new advanced security features such as eDiscovery, Customer Lockbox, Data Loss Protection (DLP) and Advanced Threat Protection (ATP).”
Honestly, I’m a little confused about a couple of things. eDiscovery was already a feature in Office 365 E3 and E4, so I’m not sure why it is being called a “new advanced security feature.” And it is unclear if “Data Loss Protection” is the same thing as the “Data Loss Prevention” which is also already a feature of E3 and E4. Some clarification on those matters would be helpful.
Be that as it may, let’s unpack this thing. I wanted to wrap my head around what exactly is being changed in the Office 365 Enterprise bundles. Unfortunately, that’s not an easy thing to do. The feature comparison chart that Microsoft provides does not include the features of the E4 bundle. And on the other end of the spectrum, there is an extremely detailed comparison chart on the TechNet website, but it lists about a thousand features of E1, E3, E4, and several other bundles… Way too much information. So, I decided to make my own chart.
The chart below lists the current pricing and features of the three enterprise bundles available today (E1, E3, and E4) as well as my educated guess about the new bundle (E5) that will be released before the end of the year:
|Feature||Office 365 E1||Office 365 E3||Office 365 E4||Office 365 E5|
|Current Price per User per Month||$8.00||$20.00||$22.00||Unknown|
|Availability||Now||Now||Now, but phasing out||Available by end of year|
|Full, Installed Office ApplicationsWord, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Publisher, OneNote, & Access||–||X||X||X|
|Office on PCs, Tablets, & Phones||–||X||X||X|
|Email and Calendars50GB Inbox Per User||X||X||X||X|
|Instant Messaging & Skype ConnectivityS4B App; S4B Stand. CAL Equivalence; S4B Ent. CAL Equivalence||X||X||X||X|
|1TB File Storage and SharingOneDrive for Business||X||X||X||X|
|Team Intranet Sites||X||X||X||X|
|Corporate Social NetworkYammer||X||X||X||X|
Online Versions of Word, Excel, & PowerPoint
|Search and Discovery||X||X||X||X|
|Corporate Video Portal||X||X||X||X|
|Apps for Office and SharePoint||X||X||X||X|
|Document & Email Access ControlLegal Hold, Rights Management, & Data Loss Prevention||–||X||X||X|
|Enterprise Management of Apps
Group Policy, Telemetry, Shared Computer Activation
|Voicemail Integration (Unified Messaging)||–||X||X||X|
|Advanced Compliance ToolseDiscovery Center||–||X||X||X|
|Self-service Business Intelligence in Excel||–||X||X||X|
|Enterprise Voiceenhancement or replacement for PBX phone system; S4B Plus CAL Equivalence.||–||–||X||X|
|Real-Time CommunicationCloud PBX & PSTN Conferencing||–||–||–||X|
Power BI Pro & Delve Organization Analytics
|Advanced Security FeaturesCustomer Lockbox, Data Loss Protection (DLP), & Advanced Threat Protection (ATP)||–||–||–||X|
|Up to Date||X||X||X||X|
|Active Directory Integration||X||X||X||X|
(Please note that this chart is provided on a “best effort” basis and Mirazon makes no guarantees about its accuracy at the current time or in the future.)
Painting in broad strokes, here is what you get with each package:
- With E1, you get online versions of some key Office programs, an email account, some basic functionality with Skype for Business (including the equivalent permissions of a Skype for Business Standard CAL and Enterprise CAL), 1 TB of storage space with OneDrive for Business, and access to Yammer.
- With E3, you add the permission to install a full version of Office on up to 5 devices, permission to use the iPad/iPhone and Android Office apps for business use (see here and here for more details on that), and some features related to security, compliance, and business intelligence.
- With E4, you add the equivalent permissions of a Skype for Business Plus CAL.
- With the upcoming E5, Microsoft is sweeting the deal for their highest paying customers by adding additional features related to Skype for Business, more powerful analytic tools, and stronger security features.
More details on each of these features can be found on the product description pages of each of the current bundles, which were the primary sources for the information listed in the chart.
- Full description of E1: https://products.office.com/en-us/business/office-365-enterprise-e1-business-software
- Full description of E3: https://products.office.com/en-us/business/office-365-enterprise-e3-business-software
- Full description of E4: https://products.office.com/en-us/business/office-365-enterprise-e4-business-software