Don’t let the different Office 365 versions prevent you from migrating to the cloud and taking advantage of a wide array of tools to help streamline and grow your business.

If you’re interested in signing up for Office 365, the different options can be intimidating. There are four main Office 365 products for you to choose from – Office 365 Essentials, Office 365 Business, Office 365 Business Premium, and Microsoft 365 Business. While these four plans may sound similar in name alone, they’re quite different in terms of what they include as well as their cost.

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Office 365 plans can be flexible depending on your needs

While we’ll explain the four primary Office 365 products in more detail below, it’s also important to understand that you’re never stuck in a certain plan. One of the primary advantages of a platform like Office 365 is its flexibility. You can choose a plan that works for you and your team now, but upgrade or downgrade in the future if your needs change. There is a Switch Plans button located in the admin center where you can see your options when it comes to changing Office 365 plans.

What Office 365 products are offered by Microsoft?

Below is a basic overview of the four different Office 365 plans so that you can decide which option is best for your organization.

Office 365 Business Essentials

Office 365 Business Essentials is Microsoft’s most bare-bones Office 365 plan. This version only offers web-based versions of Word, Excel, Outlook, OneDrive, Skype for Business, and PowerPoint. Users do have access to business-class email, but desktop versions of the popular Office applications are not included. Business Essentials is great for organizations that are looking to keep costs down but still have access to web-based versions of the most popular Office applications as well as collaboration tools such as Microsoft Teams, SharePoint, and even Yammer.

Office 365 Business

With Office 365 Business, users have access to desktop versions of popular Office applications such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote, Publisher, OneDrive for Business, and Access. The big differentiator regarding Office 365 Business is that email is not included with this plan.

Office 365 Business Premium

Office 365 Business Premium combines the features of Office 365 Business Essentials with Office 365 Business to give you a full-fledged productivity suite. Users have access to Office 365 desktop and web-based apps, as well as enterprise-grade cloud-based email. Users also have access to additional cloud-based apps including Bookings, an online scheduling service, and Connections, an email marketing tool.

Microsoft 365 Business

Microsoft 365 Business was first introduced in October 2017 and includes all the features of Office 365 Business Premium, but it also includes additional IT security and mobile device security management features. In addition, users have immediate access to Windows 10 and Windows Defender once they become subscribers.

This is Microsoft’s most comprehensive product offering in that you receive access to all the popular desktop and web-based Office applications, business-class email, as well as access to Windows 10 and a wide array of security tools to ensure your team stays protected in terms of desktop and mobile devices.

Which version of Office 365 is right for your business?

Picking an Office 365 product can be difficult and can often only be done after performing a detailed audit of exactly what you need. By working with a Microsoft Partner like MessageOps, we can help you analyze your current needs and propose an Office 365 version that fits your needs right now. To learn more about any of the Office 365 subscription options detailed here, feel free to reach out to our team.