Microsoft Office 365 Licensing offers a flexible way to purchase the office suite of tools to meet the needs of different users’ groups. This means there are differences in the way it can be licensed, purchased and used within an SME or large Enterprise.  Traditionally, on premise Office suites are a one-time, per device-based license purchase that provided the classic applications such as Word, Excel, and PowerPoint for use on a single PC or Mac.  Just install, wait for it to load, and the user was up and running. However, these ‘out of the box’ versions don’t usually have any further updates or a way of getting an updated version without additional purchases either with a new version or Software Assurance purchase.

The Microsoft Office 365 online services were introduced on 28th June 2011 and quickly available across their Office ranges for home and student, business usersand scaling up to Enterprise customers.  A User Subscription License (User SL) offers the fore mentioned Office applications, as with the device based licenses, but has several plans that are designed for different user-based scenarios, giving a broader range of additional features that encourage and support productivity, collaboration and flexible working.

Office 365 licensing plans

Office 365 licensing for business is divided into two types plans: Office 365 Business provides the familiar products at a low scale business level and minimal need, a comparison to the full features of this side of the offering can be found here. For Enterprise level customers there is Office 365 EnterpriseHere is where we will have a deeper look of the offerings from Microsoft.  

Office 365 Enterprise Plans 

Office 365 Pro Plus 

Office 365 ProPlus is the always up-to-date suite of desktop apps that included Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Outlook, and Teams. 

As a user-based license, you can deploy Office 365 Pro Plus on up to five devices giving flexibility across PCs or Macs, tablets, and mobile devices, allowing users to work how they want. And with 1 TB of OneDrive cloud storage, they can access and collaborate on their files from anywhere with an internet connection. 

Office 365 F1 

Office 365 F1 is designed to enable Firstline Workers to do their best work and provides easy-to-use tools and services to help theeasily create, update, and manage schedules and tasks, as well as communicate and work together and receive company news and announcements.  

F1 comes with limited Teams functionality and low OneDrive storage capacity, currently 2GB. 

Office 365 E1 

The Office 365 E1 is the least feature rich version of the Enterprise plans. It comprises of online versions only. You get web/browser versions of Word, Excel, Outlook and OneNoteThis is ideal for small business customers or users who only perform minor editing of Office documents. Exchange online comes with 50 GB and OneDrive has a substantial 1TB of capacity, users also have full access to all the Office 365 apps such as Teams, Power Apps and Delve. 

Office 365 E3 

Office 365 E3 comes with everything included in E1 but with an increased Exchange Online capacity of 100GB plus a OneDrive 5TB of storage if there are more than five users on the subscription with the option additional storage if needed. Under five users receive 1TB each. 

Office 365 E5 

Office 365 E5 comes with everything in E3 plan but with additional and advanced securityanalytics and phone system and audio-conferencing features. 

The security element is Advanced Threat Protection (ATP)This safeguards your organisation and users against threats in email messages, links (URLs) and collaboration tools, it includesThreat protection policiesReportsThreat investigation and response capabilities and Automated investigation and response capabilities. 

Power BI is a powerful analytics tool that connects users to a broad range of live data through easy-to-use dashboards, provides interactive reports, and delivers compelling visualizations that bring data to life. See more about Power BI enablement  

Phone system allows you to replace on-premise / traditional landline system. And audio conferencing allows up to 250 users to attend via Teams, skype and dial in from their phones if internet connection is limited or the meeting is audio only. 

What next? 

By now you hopefully have an understanding of the Office 365 Enterprise Plans features and functionalityso whats the next step?  A good place to start is to count the number of users and group them together by the type of Office 365 Enterprise Plan that suits their requirements.  Mixing and matching is a perfect strategy which allows greater flexibility for an organisation than offered by device-based Office licensing.  And as Office 365 is purchased on a subscription basis you can always up or down grade your users licenses. 

At Trustmarque our team of licensing experts backed by our in-house Microsoft Licensing Sales Specialists can help you navigate the maze of user profiling and build a plan for the User Subscription Licenses that would be needed.  Enterprise customers have options when it comes to how they subscriptions are purchased, speak to us to find out more.