In July, Microsoft detailed how they are going to change the plans for Office 365 small and midsize business (SMB). Now these new plans are going into effect. The new plans separate offline tools from online tools into two plans and offer a third plan with both. In July, Microsoft offered the transition plan from the old SMB plans to the new ones. The three new plans offer a more realistic approach for SMBs to begin using Office 365.
Let’s say ‘Business A’ is a small or midsize business. If Business A is already using an online email service and is happy with it, then there is no reason for them to pay for and set up new email for their employees. Business A just needs productivity software such as Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Publisher, and Access. While using these Office programs, Business A also would like the files to be backed up to OneDrive for security and portability. Business A should use Office 365 Business which runs for $8.25 per user, per month.
Business B is a small or midsize business with a different problem. Business B needs to get all of their employees on the same page. They need an email service and tools which enable collaboration on documents. Business B also needs advanced communication tools via video, audio or text. Business B should use Office 365 Business Essentials. This plan offers them online tools for their team to work together and communicate. This plan runs for $5.00 per user, per month.
Lastly, Business C is yet another small or midsize business. Business C needs everything. They need desktop programs, email, collaborating and communication tools, and online storage. Business C may be also trying to consolidate their IT into a more manageable and cohesive package. With Office 365 Business Premium, Business C can create documents on their PCs using powerful desktop programs, then share the document with colleagues online. Using Lync and email, they can communicate, screenshare, and work together. All of this is provided with a single per user cost, which makes IT simpler and easier to manage. This plan runs for $12.50 per user, per month.Further reading: Microsoft, Office 365, SMB