Microsoft’s Office 365 offerings are always changing, so it’s helpful to revisit this topic every now and then to see what’s going on. Here’s the latest …
Microsoft Teams Added to Office 365
Last month, Microsoft added “Teams” to some of the Office 365 suites. These suites include Office 365 Business Premium, Business Essentials, Enterprise E1, Enterprise E3, and Enterprise E5. Microsoft Teams is a new, cloud-based product that assists groups of individuals to work together. Here is Microsoft’s summary of what it does: “chat-based workspace, with instant access to your chats, content, people, and tools.” My department recently stated using Teams so I can speak from experience on this one. It is a useful tool that gives a team a single place to communicate, share files, keep track of tasks, and have online meetings.
You can learn more about Teams through this post by Daryl Hunter on Mirazon’s blog or through this post on Microsoft’s Office Blog. The product page for Teams on Microsoft’s website can be accessed here.
Office 365 Enterprise E4 Now in Retirement
Back in 2015, Microsoft told us that the Office 365 Enterprise E4 plan would be retired. As of April 7, 2017, the E4 plan has been retired. The E4 plan actually started phasing out almost a year ago, but now that E4 has been put out to pasture, you can’t even renew an existing subscription to it anymore.
If you are on an E4 plan, you will need to switch to another solution before your next renewal. If you want to stick with Office 365, you have four options:
Option 1: Switch to Office 365 Enterprise E5. This will increase your monthly price by $13 per user ($35 vs. $22 per user per month), but it will give you additional features that you do not have access to under the E4 plan. See here for my comparison of the E4 and E5 plans in 2015. See below for an updated feature list for E5.
Option 2: Switch to Office 365 Enterprise E3 with Skype for Business Cloud PBX Add-on. This will increase your monthly price by $6 per user, but will give you the same feature set you currently have. (You can thank Microsoft for the price increase.)
Option 3: Switch to Office 365 Enterprise E3 with a Skype for Business Plus CAL. Your monthly price will go down by $2 per month per user, but you will need to purchase a Skype for Business Plus CAL for each of your users. The price to purchase this Plus CAL is a one-time cost of $140 for the license without SA. You will probably want to keep you SA current to keep up with the latest releases in Office 365, so you’re looking at $210 for the first two years and then SA renewals of $70 every two years after that. (That would be through the Open Business program. The figures will look different if you use a different volume licensing program.)
Option 4: Switch to Office 365 Enterprise E3 by itself. This will decrease your monthly price by $2 per user ($20 vs. $22 per user per month), but you will lose the Enterprise Voice features which can enhance or even replace a PBX phone system.
Contact us if you want to discuss your options in more detail.
Currently Available Plans for Businesses
So with E4 no longer available, what Office 365 options do you have at your disposal for your business? Here is a brief comparison of the current plans:
Small & Medium Business Plans
|Feature||Office 365 Business Essentials||Office 365 Business||Office 365 Business Premium|
|Price per User per Month||$5.00||$8.25||$12.50|
|Full, Installed Office Applications on Up to 5 PCs: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Publisher, OneNote, & Access||–||X||X|
|Office Apps on Up to 5 Tablets & 5 Phones||–||X||X|
|Office Online: Online Versions of Word, Excel, & PowerPoint||X||X||X|
|OneDrive for Business||1TB||1TB||1TB|
|Exchange Online||50 GB||–||50 GB|
|Skype for Business Online||X||–||X|
|Feature||Office 365 ProPlus||Office 365 E1||Office 365 E3||Office 365 E5|
|Price per User per Month||$12.00||$8.00||$20.00||$35|
|Full, Installed Office Applications on Up to 5 PCs: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Publisher, OneNote, & Access||X||–||X||X|
|Office Apps on Up to 5 Tablets & 5 Phones||X||–||X||X|
|Office Online: Online Versions of Word, Excel, & PowerPoint||X||X||X||X|
|OneDrive for Business||1TB||1TB||Unlimited||Unlimited|
|Exchange Online||–||50 GB Inbox||Unlimited||Unlimited|
|Skype for Business Online||–||X||X||X|
|Self-service Business Intelligence in Excel||X||–||X||X|
|Enterprise Management of Apps: Group Policy, Telemetry, Shared Computer Activation||–||–||X||X|
|Advanced Data Governance||–||–||–||X|
|Advanced Threat Protection & Security Management||–||–||–||X|
|Enterprise Plan Add-on – PSTN Calling: Skype for Business||–||–||–||$24|
If you’re wondering if you should continue to go with traditional licensing of Office or take the plunge into Office 365, you should read my post here: Office 2016 vs. Office 365: Which One Should I Buy?