From our conversations with Hostway customers, we’ve learned the benefits of Office 365 are not clear to everyone. Here’s our perspective on how Office 365 helps companies, as well as tips for choosing the most cost-effective and valuable plans for your organization.
How Can My Organization Benefit?
With such a wide range of applications, Office 365 gives organizations an easy way to standardize business tools. When thinking of switching to Office 365, ask yourself: Are there other applications we can replace? Some of the most common swaps we see customers make are:
- Replacing expensive conference calling apps like GoToMeeting with Skype for Business
- Removing internal chat systems from the corporate IT team’s plate and replacing them with Teams
- Replacing a legacy internal Wiki with hosted SharePoint
- Nixing cloud storage services like Dropbox in favor of OneDrive.
All of these applications provide great features and performance, but the benefit of having them all on the same platform is that when they are fully integrated, communication becomes more efficient. Consolidating applications on Office 365 can also provide a significant cost savings, both in terms of software and hardware and the associated management overhead involved in maintaining those systems. The savings are even larger if you have an Office 365 provider like Hostway that provides 24×7 support services and flexible monthly subscription plans.
Separately, moving from on-premise Exchange to Office 365 saves you the cost of Exchange licenses and operational expenses, such as:
- Rack space
- Infrastructure maintenance
It also saves you the trouble of patching operating systems and staying current with updates.
What are the Different Options?
Office 365 licenses are divided into Business and Enterprise groups. At Hostway, we offer three different plans in each group.
- Business Essentials includes the latest version Exchange email and the online version
- Business comes with online and desktop versions of the Office application suite
- Business Premium comes with Exchange email and the online, desktop ,and mobile versions of the Office application suite
- Enterprise E1 is the enterprise version of the Business Essentials option, with a notable broadcast option for large meetings.
- Enterprise ProPlus supports virtualization and comes with the online and desktop versions of the Office application suite
- Enterprise E3 includes Microsoft’s most robust Exchange Mailbox with an Enterprise Office application suite and provides advanced security and management tools
Office 365 also includes a range of add-ons, such as security features, audio conferencing, and front-line staff support.
The core differences between the plans include:
- Access to online and downloadable applications
- Access via mobile apps
- Policy-based rules and encryption with Azure Rights Management
- Policy configurations and enforcement for regulatory compliance
Built-In Customization for Your Organization
One single plan is unlikely to meet all the needs of your entire organization. A big advantage of Office 365 is that you can purchase the most cost-effective plans for everyone in your organization. Many businesses think they need to buy a single plan for the whole organization. Instead, they can get the best value by mixing and matching based on the user’s needs.
Business Premium includes almost everything a user could need. Instead of purchasing it for all users, analyze the needs of each one to determine their workload and mobile access requirements. For example, in some organizations, many individuals don’t need to travel and work from their desktop. Giving most users access to Business Essentials allows them to sit down at any work station in the company and access the tools they need online via Office 365. For other users, however, Business Premium may be a better choice because they need to be available and work while traveling or at home via their mobile phones, or tablets, or laptops.
For example, say your organization had 300 people; you could give 230 individual contributors Business Essentials at $6 each, 50 middle managers on Business Premium at $15 each, and 20 executives on Enterprise E3 at $20 each per month. You effectively save $41,640 annually compared to having the whole company on the plan senior executives need.
One of the differences between Enterprise and Business plans as created by Microsoft is the size of the organization, with Business plans created for businesses with under 300 people and Enterprise plans for organizations with over 300 employees. Although some companies treat it as such, this doesn’t mean the license purchased should be determined based on a business’ size. In reality, you can order from any of the plans based on the features that you actually need. This means that whether you have 100 employees or 600 employees, you can mix and match Business Essentials with E3—or any combination of Office 365 plans from Hostway.
Leverage Hostway’s Experience as a Partner, Provider and Customer of Microsoft
Don’t do it alone. Hostway has more than 15 years of Microsoft experience and has helped organizations of all sizes adopt Office 365. From migrating all existing user data, to choosing the optimal configuration of account types, to providing consultative support 24x7x365 – our team of experts can make the move seamless for your employees. All of this for the same exact rate that Microsoft charges – there is no premium for our services, and unlike Microsoft, we don’t require an annual commitment.
Our team of experts will work to understand your organization’s unique requirements and configure an Office 365 solution that meets those needs in the most cost-effective way possible. Our team can even migrate all your existing email, calendars, and contacts over to Office 365 to make the transition seamless for your users. To consult a Hostway expert and discover a solution that meets your unique requirements, call us today at 1-888-545-8591.