How to Choose the Right Office 365 Plan For Your Business

Agreed it is difficult to choose the right option, rather the best option, for your business from the multiple choices available for Office 365 Plans. If you explore, you may come across, over half a dozen licenses to choose from in addition to add-ons and Microsoft 365.  It is indeed too vast to decide even if you are used to dealing with it on a daily basis.

No need to get bogged down. Stay flexi enough to change plans as per its merits and your convenience. Switch to a different license, if the plan you have chosen does not suit your business pattern.

A Microsoft Partner who deals with Office 365 would also help in getting you the right plan based on your budget and needs. Additionally, the technical nitty-gritty of migration and procuring licenses will be handled by him.

The following are some of the appropriate plan for your business to choose from:

  1. Analyze Your Current System:

Check the current operating systems of your computers, the software etc. Ensure whether they are compatible with Office 365 or get them suitably upgraded now; though there may not be much of a problem as Office 365 is cloud–based.  However, caution; you may face some challenges if your plan includes desktop versions of Office programs viz. Outlook, Word, PowerPoint, Excel.

However, before you migrate to Office 365 you have to determine what programs you wish to move.  Some business organizations start afresh but most move their existing files and emails to Office 365.

  1. Analyze Your Needs:

Evaluate your needs before you move to Office 365 though you may have some idea about this productivity software of Microsoft. FAQs that your stakeholders in your organization or yourself might ask are:

  • Are we going to increase our productivity? Entering into more collaboration?
  • Increase the functioning in our organization in addition to sending emails, create presentations or store files? What more?
  • What are the critical areas of business that will affect post migration?
  • What are the specific compliance needs?
  • So on and so forth, all related to migrating to Office 365

Incidentally, it is difficult to be specific as the needs and requirements of everyone in the company are different according to their job profile. It may be worthwhile to get inputs from every department in order to get the best match of Office 365 Plan that effectively suits them in the long run.

  1. Budget Organizing:

It is imperative that even much before selecting plans the allocation of funds for migrating to Office 365 needs to be considered.  Licensing fees, migration charges downloading etc. have to be taken into account rather realistically.

The billing system of Office 365 licenses are usually charged on a per-user month or yearly basis. When switching and cancelling licenses there is less flexibility in terms of fee levied. All the pros and cons of various charges must be taken in consideration like over all licensing cost to the company, per employee, per department etc.

A certain amount can be saved if an in-house IT person installs Office 365 as migration does not come for free. However, majority of the companies feel contended and secured working with an experienced Microsoft Partner to offer the task of migration.  The cost of migration varies from case to case in terms of size of data, number of employees etc.

  1. Pick & Compare Plans:

You are spoilt for choice as there are many options; it is indeed confusing to compare plans and select the appropriate plan for your organization.  You can disregard those plans that exceed your budget and even reduce the options. For example, the Business Plans such as Business Essential, Business and Business Premium can be reduced if you have more than 300 users.

Still confused?  Leave it to the Microsoft Partner to explain the commercial aspects and viability.

Check out the plans now for comparisons. Microsoft provides a few different places for comparisons in detail with clarity; five of the most popular plans are given here.

Business Plans

Enterprise Plans

Plans by included programs

Other plans are first line workers, nonprofits, education and government

List down your needs of the plans in order to get closer that befits your company. However, it is unlikely that any one fits exactly the way you want.  Options would be to go with the plan or plans that offer everything you need if certain programs are extra that you may not need but easier to manage with a little extra cost. You may even opt for a lower level plan and purchase add-ons licenses as per your needs.

While cybersecurity is a basis requirement, you need to upgrade OS to Windows 10 where you have the options to look at Microsoft 365 plans, which also includes Office 365, what more;  Enterprise Mobility with Security and Windows 10. Incidentally, not every Office 365 plan has a corresponding Microsoft 365 Plan

  1. Review & Reevaluate:

Once you have migrated to Office 365 and using it full throttle, to ensure your employees are on the right plans, you may want to reevaluate your licenses.

Your administrator can check the usage statistics in relation to the programs your employees are using.  Get regular update and feed back from your team about the programs they are operating.

By assessing the feed back, you may find that some team members are not using a particular program.  They can be moved to a lower plan thereby saving some money.

Office 365 Plan may seem a bit hard to comprehend but with the help of an experienced Microsoft Partner, it is a breeze.