Shawn, I'd like to point out the pros and cons of MS Office 365.First, the 365 family of products is very confusing from a naming convention and benefits. Microsoft has brilliant people who have invested much time to create very granular plans that all have slightly different features. I believe the marketing reason behind the complexity is, so customers gradually move upstream in products as they choose to add on features.
So let's start with the concept of 365. It starts with changing from CapEx to OpEx for Microsoft Office. In it's simplest form you rent the software and always have a current version versus one-time purchase. Before O365 there were roughly three ways to purchase Microsoft Licensing:
Now Microsoft provides flexible OpEx models reducing confusion, frustration and dreaded Microsoft audits.
Office 365 come in about ten flavors and is not to be confused with the 2nd line of product called M365. More on this later.
O365 Home - https://products.office.com/en-us/compare-all-microsoft-office-products-b
O365 Business for companies up to 300 users
O365 Enterprise comes in four flavors
In short, most of our clients are on Enterprise Pro Plus or E3. It provides the most flexibility of installed software and online, helping bridge their business processes to start using the Microsoft cloud for productivity. Teams is a popular app for collaboration, it's competitor is Slack. Teams replaces Skype for a chat and video conferencing and marries document sharing and collaboration.
Now the confusing part. Microsoft also has a suite of products called M365, which are higher on the food chain that O365. The difference is M365 includes the Windows 10 Enterprise license, Azure Active Directory and a host of additional security features such as mobile management, document policy as well as PC management features for deployment and management. Companies doing business in regulated industries or sensitive security clients are using the M365 suite. It offers granular security controls, including the ability to visualize data use for data loss prevention.
A great use case for M365 is if you want to migrate from on-premise to Microsoft's Azure cloud. M365 provides Azure Active directory for your domain and Windows 10 licensing so you can upgrade a fleet of 2-year-old PCs from Windows 7 to Windows 10. Microsoft office 365 is so successful that Microsoft asked themselves the question, "why don't we licensing all of our products, including the desktop, this way? Our customers like this model." M365 delivers on this thinking by including Windows 10, Active Directory, Email, Office, and robust security.
A big value add from your IT managed service provider, or total solutions provider is a roadmap of moving to Microsoft O365/M365 models to meet your business requirements. -Greg
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