Microsoft 365 Business and Enterprise Plans Explained

3 Minutes Read

Microsoft 365 Business Basic

This plan is heavily a cloud-only environment, accessing applications only on the web and with mobile. This is good if you want something lean, have limited storage, and don’t want to install applications. Your company gets access to Teams, Exchange, OneDrive, SharePoint, Word, and Excel. Microsoft 365 Business basic has the lowest price point.


Microsoft 365 Business Standard

This is the most common plan for small businesses seeking tools for remote and hybrid work environments. Business Standard comes with all the traditional office applications, along with SharePoint, Microsoft Teams, and Exchange. Publisher and Access are available for PC. You will receive applications that require installation but after done, will improve performance and are available even without an active internet connection.


Microsoft 365 Business Premium

You get the applications and features that come with Business Standard, in addition to Microsoft Intune and mobile device management (MDM).

Having Intune and MDM does have mobile capabilities, so you can manage your PC and Windows 10 from certain mobile devices. Intune lets you restrict access and create policies to limit usage. Business Premium also adds Azure information protection.


Microsoft 365 Apps

Apps are the simplest of the Microsoft 365 business plans. You get office applications and OneDrive. The Microsoft Office applications are installed locally.

You don’t get the actual email address that comes with Microsoft Exchange, so you could still use Outlook to check emails connected elsewhere. A typical use case for this is when you use G-Suite, but you still prefer to use Microsoft 365 Applications.


Microsoft 365 Enterprise Plans

If you want Microsoft Sway or Yammer, your organization has to go with a Microsoft 365 Enterprise plan.

Business plans only allow a maximum user count of 300, after that, you would transition to the enterprise.


Microsoft 365 E3

First, enterprise-level plans gain access to applications that don’t come with the previously mentioned business plans. Enterprise-specific applications like Azure Active Directory or Windows Stream improve productivity and allow for ease of collaboration.

Information Protection Premium 1 helps you proactively protect your data, employees, and private customer information.


Microsoft 365 E5

With E5, your organization gains access to Microsoft 365 Advanced Threat Protection and Advanced Compliance. Additional features include Microsoft E-Discovery, Customer Lockbox, Events Data Governance, and service encryption with customer key. Another significant upgrade is Azure Information Protection P2, which grants you software development capabilities through a software development kit (SDK).


Microsoft 365 F3

The primary benefit of Microsoft 365 F3 is Azure Active Directory P1, Microsoft Teams, and Advanced Threat Analytics. It provides your business with the ability to operate entirely on the cloud at the scale of an enterprise level.


Microsoft 365 Licensing Details

For both Business and Enterprise editions of Microsoft 365, each user gains access to Office on up to 5 PCs/Mac devices, 5 tablets, and 5 phones.

When purchased, you have to specify licenses (users), typically based on employee count. Keep in mind that Business plans have a maximum of 300 users. Your organization can have more than one subscription, and you can assign different licenses to different employees. But a user can only have one type of license at a time. Executives can have an E3 subscription, while data entry specialists get Business Standard. John Smith from IT can’t have both an F3 and a Business Apps Subscription.

Even if a lower-level user doesn’t have access, they can view and edit files. Business plan subscriptions can be paid for on a monthly or annual basis, while Enterprise plans will be annual commitments.


Microsoft 365 vs. G Suite: Which Is Better?

Since G-Suite is limited to the cloud, it can be simpler and easier to manage than Microsoft 365 in certain aspects. In most cases, G-Suite is also more cost-effective, though Microsoft gives more at Business Premium. It’s at that level Microsoft 365 becomes more robust, providing mobile device management capabilities with Intune.

While G-Suite has advanced over the years, it’s still primarily a suite of productivity applications. Google has outside services that handle cloud infrastructure and compliance needs. 

Why did Office 365 change to Microsoft 365 Business? It grew beyond a set of office applications. G-Suite is moving in that direction with products like G-Suite Enterprise but is still centered around the cloud and its security. Many businesses end up using Microsoft 365 because devices are already running on Microsoft Windows 10, so it makes sense.


Is Microsoft 365 Right for Your Business?

Commprise is here to help you gain clarity. With our Managed IT Services, we’ll help you find out which solutions and services will be best suited to serve your company. And whether you decide to go with Microsoft 365 or G-Suite, we’ll be able to manage your preferred productivity suite and the services that go with it.