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!

Matthew’s Blog – Meeting the Clients

The main event for this week was a session on Office 365 for the client that we most recently did an Office 365 migration for. I was quite heavily involved with this migration so I was looking forward to meeting all the people I had spoken with on the phone for the last couple months.

Office 365This client was based down in Edinburgh and we were heading down on the Wednesday morning, I had some time in the week before my course to prepare but David had also given me Monday and Tuesday as well. About half way through Monday, I thought I wouldn’t need to do any more. I felt I had gathered all the information they needed to know and could present it.

Matthew’s Blog – Phishing and Footprinting

I mentioned that we went to meet a client in Elgin last week, they were interested in getting Vicky to do a free penetration test on their network. I assumed that the work she would do for this would just go over my head but I was glad to find something I was familiar with. Phishing emails. For those who aren’t familiar, it’s basically a scam email claiming that you’ve won money in a competition or some other kind of scenario but in reality, they have some kind of malicious intent. What we were going to do was a bit different than the generic “You’ve won £5000!”, we were going to do a targeted phishing email with our client from Elgin as the target.

Office 365

Airan’s Blog – Office 365

The Benefits of Office 365

This article is all about Microsoft Office 365 and why more and more businesses are paying for it’s services/apps and why I think it’s beneficial. I’ll give examples on why, based on my experience using it and knowledge of it. I’m currently with The Apprentice Store where I’m doing work experience and getting a feel for some things in IT and all it has it offer. After being involved and observing the process of migrating a business to Office 365 I’m fully convinced and now hopefully I can make people reading this more convinced on the service.

Inverness Kart Raceway

Matthew’s Blog – The Week of our First Migration

This week the Office 365 cutover migration I mentioned in an earlier blog post was taking place so that’s what most of my work was oriented around. So, for the first part of this week I was using a lot of Excel.

It quickly became clear to me, even though I had respect for Excel, that there is so much more to it. David taught me how to use PivotTables and lookups so that the data our client received could be interpreted within minutes rather than hours. We also wrote some Visual Basic code that scanned down a spreadsheet filled with Names, Usernames and passwords and sent an email to them.  I had always considered Excel a pretty boring piece of software used for finances and graphs but sending almost 100 emails in a matter of seconds? That’s actually pretty cool.

Microsoft Office 365

Matthew’s Blog – Office 365 Migration

This week we were focusing on data normalisation and preparing for an Office 365 migration, which is essentially taking their existing email system and putting it into the cloud. Oh yeah, Airan has got a PC to work on too however certain parts of the taskbar are frozen so we also had the task of troubleshooting this.

So, the data normalisation, we were working on the Apprentice Store database. I was still struggling with the whole concept of normalisation so a lot of time was spent simply just practising this. I did try to implement what I had learned into Access and I was semi-successful.

North Highland Radio

Matthew’s Blog – Radio Star

Day 1 – But it’s a Tuesday

Coming back from the holidays I was still slightly overwhelmed and somewhat worried at the fact that I was going to get exposed to even more information. I’ve really started to realise now that some of these concepts you only really need an awareness of and there will come a point in time where you’ll learn it. Today was like most other days, a lot of reading and learning and a couple client meetings. One of which was about penetration testing, an area that interests me. Turns out it’s not as common as I thought. It’d be rare for us to carry something like this out but it does seem like a good bit of fun.