A guide to Microsoft 365 licences

a guide to Microsoft 365 licencing

Microsoft 365 Licensing for Businesses

Microsoft 365 is a suite of cloud-based applications for your business. Microsoft offers a wide range of subscriptions to businesses, but it is sometimes hard to tell what is suitable for your needs. In this blog post, we’ll talk through the small business offerings, what’s included in them and why you would choose one over the other.

Note that Microsoft’s licensing changes over time. The information provided here is accurate at the time of writing (15th October 2021).

Microsoft 365 Business Basic

This is Microsoft’s entry-level offering. It grants you access to:

  • Business class email services with a custom domain (@yourcompany.com)
  • Office online applications (Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint and more!)
  • 1TB (1024GB) of OneDrive storage per user
  • Access to SharePoint online
  • Full features of Microsoft Teams

There may be some jargon in there if you’re new to Microsoft 365, so here we’ll explain that a little more below. Feel free to scroll past this part if you’re already versed in the Microsoft cloud applications.

Office Online

Office applications such as Word and Excel can run in the browser. They are very similar to those you get on a desktop. There are some features that are unsupported, but light usage users can get by using these, so long as a sufficient Internet connection is in place.

OneDrive

Is effectively cloud storage like Dropbox, Box or Google Drive if you have ever used these services before. The data you store can be accessed via a web browser or through your file explorer if you have the data synchronisation client installed.

SharePoint

SharePoint is also cloud storage but with a focus on teamwork and collaboration. While you would typically use OneDrive for storing your own personal files, and ad-hoc sharing of files with others, SharePoint acts as a defined space for shared data. You could store all your shared data in one library, like a server file share. However, we encourage using the modern features of SharePoint such as sites, where you can have your own dedicated spaces for projects, departments, or teams but SharePoint does far more than file storage.

Now, this is defined, let’s look at some of Microsoft’s other offerings.

Microsoft 365 Business Standard

One step up, it includes all features from Business Basic with the addition of:

  • Desktop apps
  • Microsoft Bookings

The main difference is desktop apps. Users won’t experience the limitations of running apps like Word in a browser, they can now have it installed on their computer. In total, they can install it on up to 5 devices that the licensed user uses, such as other computers, phones or tablets.

Another feature in Standard is Microsoft Bookings. This is an online booking service that allows customers to book time with you through your website (once configured). It can then be managed through the bookings portal and your own Outlook calendar which is great for allowing people to book in your busy calendar to reduce emails to find a hole to align busy diaries.

Microsoft 365 Apps for Business

Perhaps you already have a server for your shared data, an email system you don’t want to change and all you want is the latest copy of Microsoft Office. This plan is for you, it only includes:

  • Desktop apps
  • 1TB (1024GB) of OneDrive storage per user

Summary

Here is a matrix to help you choose what small business license to buy.

LicenseDesktop AppsOnline AppsPersonal Cloud Storage (OneDrive)Shared Cloud Storage (SharePoint)Email Services (Exchange)
Microsoft 365 Business StandardXXXXX
Microsoft 365 Business Basic XXXX
Microsoft 365 Apps for Business XX  

If you have any questions, please contact us!

Toy Car on Map

Matthew’s Blog – My Busiest Week Yet!

This week was most likely the busiest I’ve ever had, especially in terms of travel and variety.

It started at 6:30am on the Monday morning, today we had a visit to one of our clients in Oban. There was no plan set for the day but we definitely wanted to give them a bit more awareness about Office 365. This is to get the staff thinking about some of the problems they currently face and how they can use the technology they’re paying for to solve them. For example, one of the main applications of interest is Microsoft’s To-Do application available on Windows desktops, iOS and Android.

Webroot Logo

Matthew’s Blog – Webroot Installs

I mentioned the anti-virus we will be offering to customers, Webroot, in the last blog post. This week I had two tasks around this, to get it installed on every computer our client has and to standardise our pricing in an Excel spreadsheet so we can give businesses a quote easily.

Our client didn’t have many computers and we didn’t have any information from their old provider about what anti-virus may already be installed. It seemed like the best approach was to remote onto each computer, check for old software, uninstall it and install the new.

Meeting Room

Matthew’s Blog – CIG Meeting

After much research, talking to others in the IT industry and discussion The Apprentice Store has decided on Webroot as the anti-virus we will be offering. This week was exciting for me, I got to see it in action.

The computer I mentioned in last week’s blog post was going to be picked up on Tuesday and I had little on my checklist to complete. I did however need to install the anti-virus and here is where I saw some of the real benefits of Webroot. Webroot allows you to deploy their software with a license key already bound to it.

Microsoft Excel Logo

Matthew’s Blog – Problem Solving

The Windows course was now over and I was back at work glad to be getting back to the usual routine of things. However I don’t know if I can describe my job at The Apprentice Store routine as there’s a lot of variation in my work, another thing I’m glad about.

The first problem I was presented with this week was in Excel. Our client was trying to link to files in SharePoint but these would open in the web browser rather than in Windows Explorer like they intended. Initially I had no idea how to solve this but was keen to get this solved for them. This one of the cool things about working in this way, the client comes to me with a problem, I either know how to fix it from past experience or have to research it.

Laptop and Stationary

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The second week of the Windows course is here, not much had changed but since I mainly talked about the course contents in the last blog post I thought I would talk about the areas outside of that a little more.

When it comes to other people on the course, there was about six of us on this one. The earlier Cyber Security course had about the same amount. There was a clear difference between how we interacted though. In the cyber course people generally kept themselves to themselves and there wasn’t much talking between one another. The instructor on this course had us create a group chat through WhatsApp.

Green Keyboard

Matthew’s Blog – Back to Glasgow!

This week was the start of the “Windows 7 Configuring and Installing and Configuring Windows 10” course. Everything was very similar to before, I was going to the same building, the same hotel and getting there the same way so I found myself looking forward to it and my nerves were kept at bay.

The first day of the course was the introductions, how the teaching was going to be laid out, what we were going to cover everything you would expect. We got given access to two official Microsoft books one on 7 and one on 10 respectively, these were online and weren’t physical copies but that didn’t bother me too much.