If you’ve been reading our blog, then you are probably aware of the fact that we at Share IT are big fans of Microsoft and their products. But, let’s be frank: even though we genuinely like Microsoft, we know that the company is not perfect. From customers’ viewpoint, one of the biggest issues about Microsoft is how they differentiate their products and offers.
For most of the Microsoft products, there are way too many pricing plans to choose from and the line between them is really thin. In most cases, the “business” version of the majority of their products is basically the same as the “personal” version of the same product, but it has a few additional features.
However, there are cases when it’s far more complicated than that. The differences between the separate versions are so big that it might seem like you’re dealing with two completely different products.
Such is the case with Office 365.
When you land on the official Microsoft Office 365 website and start reviewing different pricing plans, you will notice there is a Personal, Home, and Business version of Office 365 you can buy.
All of these major plans have additionals plans within them. For instance, there’s an Office 365 Business, an Office 365 Business Premium, and an Office 365 Business Essentials offer located under the same menu. If you’re not really certain what you need, the Office 365 website won’t really help you make the right decision.
Yep, it’s a bit confusing and overwhelming.
Sure, you can see the full list of the features that go with each plan. But practice has shown that for most people that’s not really enough information.
It’s impossible to count how many times have some of our personal and professional acquaintances asked us to help them choose the right Office 365 plan.
So, in order to help more people successfully understand what kind of Office 365 package best suits their needs, we have decided to dedicate a post on our blog to explaining the differences between available Office 365 offerings.
Since most people who will be reading this article are probably business people looking to find the best plan for their team and company, we won’t discuss the differences between the Personal and the Home Office 365 packages. It’s not really relevant to our audience and current discussion. What we will explain here is what separates the Home from the Business plans of Office 365.
So, without further ado, let’s dig in.
The Home version of Office 365 is less expensive than the Business version, so most smaller companies are tempted to go for it to save some money.
For $99.99 a year, you get an Office 365 Home subscription that is tied to your Microsoft account and gives you access to the full suite of Office desktop programs, such as Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote.
In addition to all of this, with this type of subscription, you’re automatically given a free 1TB OneDrive cloud storage and 50GB of ad-free Outlook mailbox.
Even though the subscription is tied to a single account, the Home Office 365 subscription can be used by more than a single account.
You’re given the option to award access to five different Microsoft accounts. Each of them will get an option to install all of the Office desktop apps that are part of your subscription package.
Also, the accounts that you decide to share your subscription with will get their own 1TB OneDrive allotment and an upgraded mailbox.
Not bad, right?
As we already said above, Office 365 Business has several plans to offer. Most of them may look the same, but they’re not. In many ways, the basic plan looks a lot like Office 365 Home, except it’s designed for commercial use. With the Office 365 Business deal, you can add 300 different accounts to your subscription and enable them to install and use the software across their devices.
The Premium plan is the offer that most clients go for because it gives them access to Exchange servers, SharePoint, OneDrive for Business, Microsoft Teams, and Yammer.
Premium subscriptions come with 50 GB of email storage. Plus, with this type of deal, you are given a green light to install the software on up to five different devices.
The premium subscription is mostly used by clients who:
If you run a small company that employs up to four people, The Home version of Office 365 could work for you. It is best suited for companies that already have a business email address and are simply looking for a convenient way to use Office desktop apps.
However, if you are a bigger company with more demanding needs and requirements, you should opt for a different subscription plan.
With the Home subscription, you won’t have access to an Exchange server (for email addresses at your website domain), SharePoint (internal company website), or Microsoft Teams (for team communication and collaboration) that you get with the Business plans.
Also, it’s important to mention that the Home subscription comes with a limit regarding how many integrations you can have with a single domain.
The Office 365 for Business subscription is basically designed to help you carry out most of your management and administrative tasks. It gives you the option of integrating with other services including active directory, wipe data mobile, Information rights management, Enterprise mobility suite, OneDrive for business, and more.
As you can see when you visit the site, different Business plans offer different features. If you want access to enterprise-level email and SharePoint, but you don’t really need access to most Microsoft apps, you can go with Office 365 Business Essentials subscription. This particular deal comes with OneDrive for Business, Skype for Business, Microsoft Teams, and Yammer.
Even though both Home and Business deals have almost similar features in applications and storage, there’s a clear difference between these two types of plans.
For starters, if you care about accessibility control and it’s important for you to control the management of the organization’s account, that’s a good enough reason to go for the Business subscription. You see, each Office 365 for Home subscription is managed by a single user, while the Business subscription is owned by an organization. This allows the company to assign administrator roles to more than a single user within the organization.
Another key difference is that the Business plans (Premium, to be more precise) come with the Exchange Online email that is tied to one or more custom domains associated with your business. You are given the ability to create email aliases for a single email address. This helps you present your business like a bigger organization that it really is, plus it gives your customers the chance to easily come into contact with you.
Business plans also include come far superior security features. Multi-factor authentication, self-service password reset and alerts for security issues such as possible breaches - these are just some of the main features that you don’t get with a Home subscription.
Thank you for taking the time to read our latest article in its entirety. As you can see from everything written above, different Office deals are meant for different usages. If you have something more than a plain service that employees more than 5 people - go for one of the Business options. Sure, they cost more, but they come with far better perks.