New Office 365 business plans
On the 1st of October, Microsoft introduced three new Office subscription plans that will eventually replace the current Office 365 Small Business plans. The new offerings will be called Office 365 Business, Office 365 Business Essentials, and Office 365 Business Premium. These new plans are designed to give customers more value and greater flexibility.
Here’s a rundown:
● Office 365 Business – This plan includes the full set of locally installable Office applications (Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, OneNote and Publisher), with 1TB of OneDrive for Business cloud storage. Subscriptions are tied to individual users and each user is allowed to install the Office suite on up to five PCs or Macs. Android and iOS devices can also be used to access Office documents and apps.
Note that this new plan doesn’t include Exchange, Lync or SharePoint online which are being offered in Office 365 ProPlus. It’s just the software (plus storage) sold as a subscription. Cost: $8.25 user/month = $99 per year
● Office 365 Business Essentials – This includes email (50GB cloud-hosted) and calendaring via Exchange Online; online meetings, instant messaging and video conferencing via Lync Online; team collaboration via SharePoint Online; web-based Office Online apps, and 1TB of OneDrive for Business cloud storage.
This new plan is almost similar to the current Office 365 Small Business plan, except Microsoft has added private social networking via Yammer and support for on-premises Active Directory synchronisation for single sign-on.
As an online-only offering, this plan doesn’t include any downloadable Office desktop apps. Cost: $5 user/month = $60 per year
● Office 365 Business Premium – This features the full set of locally installable Office applications for up to 5 PCs and/or Macs per user; Exchange Online; Lync Online; SharePoint Online; Yammer enterprise social-networking; and 1TB of OneDrive for Business cloud storage. Cost: $12.50 user/month = $150 per year.
The new pricing structure of Office 365 business plans offers many advantages for SMEs such as:
1. Small businesses that don’t really need Office 365’s online collaboration features will have the option of getting just the desktop Office software. This saves them $4.25 user/month compared to the cost of the current Office 365 Small Business Premium plan.
2. Small businesses that only want cloud collaboration tools will pay the same as they do for their current Office 365 Small Business subscriptions, but they will get the added benefit of Yammer and Active Directory integration.
3. Larger businesses will get a price cut. The current Office 365 Midsized Business plan costs $15 user/month, whilst the new Office 365 Business will offer all of the same features for $12.50 user/month.
4. The current Office 365 plans are capped at 25 seats, requiring customers to switch to the pricier Midsized Business plan, however these three new plans are capped at 300 seats – the same limit as the current Midsized Business plan. This allows customers to grow their staff organically without having to deal with sudden price increases and the hassle of changing plans.
Customers who are currently using any of the Office 365 Small Business plans won’t be forced to switch to the new plans right away. Instead, they will be given the option to move just specific users to the new plans. This way the switch can be made gradually, giving customers enough time to adjust and assess which plan works for their organisation.
Check this link to compare all Office 365 for business plans.