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Microsoft 365 vs Office 365 -What’s Your Best Option?

Microsoft 365 vs Office 365

Office 365 and Microsoft 365 are two different productivity products from the same source – Microsoft. But the features of both products, apps, solutions and the motive behind their designs are different, regardless of how similar you assume they are.

As such, it is crucial to understand the difference between Office 365 and Microsoft 365 and their benefits to know what your best option is.

What is Office 365?

Office 365 is an all-in-one subscription plan suite that is comprised of the essential business applications to ensure productivity, allowing you to access the applications online, or on your desktop, and never having to upgrade again. Office 365 contains apps such as:

  • Microsoft Word
  • PowerPoint
  • Excel
  • Outlook
  • Publisher
  • OneNote

In addition, Office 365 also contains a set of online tools such as:

  • Microsoft Exchange email for business
  • Skype for Business
  • OneDrive for Business Online storage
  • Microsoft Teams
  • SharePoint Online

Office 365 has several iterations. So, you can opt for any plan you prefer based on your needs. However, small-to-medium-sized businesses who are interested in leveraging Office 365 are required to purchase Windows 10 Pro. Also, they will need to get a security service piecemeal subscription to ensure that all their users are connected and added to the security subscription.

For instance, businesses using Office 365 can pay a small fee for each of their employees per month to host their email in the Cloud. You can do this by using the Exchange Online plan which allows you to do an Exchange on-premise server with a Cloud alternative.

Benefits of Office 365

Key Office 365 Benefits for Business

1. Remote Access

Office 365 allows users to access any file instantly including photos, videos, and emails etc. anytime and anywhere. This means you can work seamlessly anywhere since you have complete access to your business files, apps, and documents in the cloud.

Office 365 provides 1TB of OneDrive space per user and allows online file sharing with people in or outside your organization regardless of where you’re working from. Users can always be in sync with their team via multi-party HD videos and team chat in Microsoft Teams, along with shared calendars and content sharing.

2. Enhanced Security

Office 365 for business is designed with enhanced data security features that protect data against cyber threats. For example, if one of your users loses access to a signed in device, the administrator can wipe out all the Office 365 data in the lost device.

3. Seamless Collaboration

Office 365 allows users to synchronize emails, calendars and contacts for seamless collaboration. For example, SharePoint and OneDrive for Business allow users to start working on a device and continue that same work on another different device. Users also get file storage and sharing, online meetings, business voice and teamwork hub etc.

4. Simplified Communication

Skype for Business, Microsoft Teams, Outlook Groups, SharePoint and other office apps create a user-friendly and seamless collaboration environment for employees to communicate better and easily than ever before. In addition, Office 365 creates an environment for users to connect better with colleagues and customers via several communication tools from video conferencing to IM, social networking and emails.

5. Simplified Documents and File Sharing

Office 365 allows your teams to easily organize shared document libraries via SharePoint and use OneDrive for Business for storing their personal documents. Admins are given the ability to control sharing of data outside the organization to prevent data security breach.

6. Enhanced Business Intelligence

Office 365 provides users with a range of relevant insights. It helps you collect, organize, and analyze your data. You can take advantage of its user-friendly dashboards to better understand analytics and make decisions to boost employees’ performance. In addition, Office 365 is designed to simplify presentations with built-in AI enabled features that suggest images, designs, and layouts to make presentations look professionals.

7. Easy Setup and Management

Setting up Office 365 is easy. Microsoft provides a step-by-step guidance for users to easily set up and start using the product quickly. It’s easy to access the user-friendly admin center from anywhere and start managing all your services. In addition, Office 365 helps you take care of IT, so your apps are always up to date and running.  

Microsoft 365

What is Microsoft 365?

Microsoft 365 is a bundle package that contains productivity apps and solutions which include Office 365, Windows 10 and Enterprise Mobility + Security, (EM+S). Microsoft 365 was launched with two major packages: Microsoft 365 Business and Microsoft 365 Enterprise. Microsoft 365 Education was added to the list later.

Microsoft 365 Business is targeted at small-to-medium sized organizations with 300 users or less. This product provides basic security features and one Terabyte of storage. It is an effective solution for small firms who are interested in a better integrated and secure solution alongside Windows 10 Pro and all the benefits of Office 365.

Microsoft 365 Enterprise is targeted at larger businesses that are interested in a single secure platform that simplifies sharing and collaboration. It is designed with strong data security features in addition to Office 365 and Windows 10 Pro.

Microsoft 365 Education is aimed at schools and other learning institutions. The essence of Microsoft 365 Education is to boost educators’ efforts via access to collaborative and productivity solutions that learners such as students can benefit from.

Benefits of Microsoft 365


Microsoft 365 Benefits for Businesses:

1. All the Benefits of Office 365 and More!

Microsoft 365 is a complete package that includes Office 365, Microsoft 365 Business, Microsoft 365 Enterprise and Microsoft 365 Education. Once you opt for Microsoft 365, you will get all the benefits of Office 365 and all other benefits of Microsoft 365 suite.

2. Enterprise Mobility + Security

Enterprise Mobility + Security is a set of mobility and security tools that provide extra layers of security for Microsoft 365 users. The suite provides tools such as identity management and mobile device management. It simplifies the management of both personal and work devices to make sure that corporate data are secured against threats.

  • Have control over access to Microsoft cloud apps via identity-driven security
  • Maintain enterprise level security by managing mobile devices and apps. This is absolutely crucial since many employees now connect via their own personal devices.
  • Discover, classify and monitor delicate data across multiple devices, services and on-site data centers.
  • Seamless automatic updates to the latest versions of all products at no extra costs.

3. Single Console to Manage Devices and Users

Microsoft 365 is designed with a single console for managing devices and users unlike Office 365. With Microsoft 365, users can automatically install Office apps to Windows 10 PCs.

Microsoft 365 vs Office 365

Which One Is Best For You?

Office 365 is an effective business productivity solution with a range of benefits. Microsoft 365 contains all the benefits of Office 365 and a lot more. If you’re interested in getting a collaborative environment off the ground quickly, Microsoft 365 is the right suite for you. Considering the high rates of cyber threats, Microsoft 365 Enterprise Mobility + Security is crucial to add an extra layer of protection for all your organization’s data. Even more, Microsoft 365 Mobile Device Management (MDM) feature makes it more user-friendly and easier for collaboration since almost every employee in an organization has at least one smart mobile device.

With Microsoft 365, all the features and solutions are integrated right from the start. This makes it easier for users to navigate through the product seamlessly. In addition, businesses have the opportunity to save on valuable resources and time when they acquire the entire Microsoft ecosystem at once.

If you are looking for an experienced expert to help assist you through decisions around Microsoft 365 and Office 365 please feel free to reach out to schedule a call to discuss.

Errin OConnor

Errin OConnor

With over 25 years of experience in Information Technology and Management Consulting, Errin O’Connor has led hundreds of large-scale enterprise implementations from Business Intelligence, Power BI, Office 365, SharePoint, Exchange, IT Security, Azure and Hybrid Cloud efforts for over 165 Fortune 500 companies.

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