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Microsoft 365 – The enterprise cloud suite with teeth

Published date: 19/10/2017 11:36


For all their technical and creative wherewithal, it has to be said that Microsoft sometimes struggle with one area: product follow-through. They create genius products and packages, but then forget to let the customer know about them, which is why today we’re going to be discussing Microsoft 365… And it might sound vaguely familiar to some of you, because we’ve sort of been here before with Secure Productive Enterprise (SPE). But, while there are significant similarities, 365 has extra bite. 

So, what is Microsoft 365?

Take all of the essential elements that make up Office 365 – Word, Excel, OneDrive cloud storage, PowerPoint, OneNote, the full works – add in Enterprise Mobility + Security for comprehensive identity, access and device management, then tie it all together with Windows 10 Enterprise for full access management across a company’s entire network. That, in essence, is it: an all-encompassing business suite for the on-demand generation… But obviously there’s more to it than that.

With six plans available, Microsoft 365 can be tailored to a company’s needs. In this quick overview, we’ll be looking at the most popular options: Business, E3 and E5. Though if you have any requirements with the A3, A5 and F1 packages then our ever-helpful Cloud team will be able to assist you.

For the business customer it’s a simple choice: Microsoft 365 Business Edition delivers Office 365 Premium Business services, Windows 10 E3 and selected EMS services, including Active Directory and Microsoft Intune. This is a package for the smaller business with a more controlled budget, and yet it still delivers everything an SMB might need. When it comes to Enterprise, however, things get a little more complicated.

With two plans available – Microsoft 365 Enterprise Edition E3 and E5 – potential enterprise customers have an important decision to make. Both of these plans come with the expected array of programmes: the full suite of Office apps, Exchange Plan 2, SharePoint Plan 2, Skype for Business Plan 2, and RDS functionality. However, the E5 edition gains some added extras: Skype for Business Cloud PBX, Customer Lockbox – which is an additional private area of cloud storage – Delve Analytics, Power BI Pro, and Advanced Threat Protection. The thing to remember though, is that while on the surface the difference seems fairly vast, E3 customers can actually purchase four of those five additional features as mix and match bolt-ons, so it’s possible to create a bespoke package based around your individual client’s needs. Advanced Threat Protection is the exception to that rule. 

That’s not where the decision-making ends though; there are additional differences between the E3 and E5 EMS packages, mainly in terms of control. While both packages comprise Intune, Azure Information Protection, and Active Directory Premium, E3 runs on Plan 1, while E5 runs on Plan 2, which basically means that you have less work to do if you’re running E5, as E3 requires more manual input. For more in-depth information, check out our webinar. 

It’s too much of a simplification to say that there’s a Microsoft 365 package for every customer, but it’s not too far off the truth. Your job is to determine what it is that your customers want from their software for their business, then to tailor the package accordingly. That way lies happy customers, and happy customers mean a successful business. For more information about Microsoft 365, get in touch with Cloud team by emailing cloud@westcoast.co.uk or calling 0333 003 1701.

 

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