Productivity is the most valuable part of a business for it to produce results faster and better. Today’s workplace is becoming more collaborative and geared towards teamwork more than ever. Businesses thrive by implementing a smooth and easy way to communicate from one department to another.
The ability to create a more productive and efficient work environment for employees is often achieved by investing in the best productivity tool in the market. Productivity tools allow employees to work with less stress anytime and anywhere. It makes an organization agile and more competitive.
With that being said, Microsoft has come up with one of the most effective and the best productivity tools in the industry. Microsoft 365 for Business empowers the modern workplace with various product bundles they offer, which we will get to know.
What is Microsoft 365 for Business?
Microsoft 365 Business is a comprehensive and advanced productivity software program that offers multiple plans that support businesses from small to mid-sized. It was previously known as Office 365.
Microsoft 365 is a cloud-based and subscription-based service that offers users the freedom to access content anytime and anywhere. In addition, its flexible plans allow businesses to easily jump from one plan to another depending on their needs.
But Microsoft 365 is more than a world-class productivity suite. It is also known for its intelligent security property, safeguarding businesses’ valuable information and files from cyber-attacks. Therefore, businesses get the security they need across all their devices.
What is the Difference Between Office 365 and Microsoft 365?
Before we get to know more about Microsoft 365, let us point out the difference between Office 365 and Microsoft 365. These two are used interchangeably since Microsoft 365 was formerly known as Office 365. However, they are not exactly the same.
Office 365 is a cloud-based application suite that focuses mainly on business productivity tools. It has the popular Microsoft Office for Business applications such as Outlook, Word, PowerPoint, and Excel. In addition, it includes other business tools like Skype for Business, SharePoint, OneDrive, Teams, and Yammer.
Almost a year ago, Microsoft decided to change Office 365’s name to Microsoft 365. The difference between the two is the number of services in the bundle. Microsoft 365 includes all features of Office 365, Windows 10, and Enterprise Mobility with Security (EMS).
Like Office 365, Microsoft 365 has multiple plans and licenses depending on your needs.
Microsoft 365 Plans
Plans have two categories, for business purposes or personal and non-commercial reasons.
- Microsoft 365 Family
- Microsoft 365 Personal
- Business Basic
- Business Standard
- Microsoft 365 Business Premium
What are the Main Features of the Business Plan?
Excellent Cloud Storage
Included in the business plan is Microsoft’s cloud-based storage service OneDrive. OneDrive can store various files such as documents, images, videos, and more. It is used by over 85% of Fortune 500 companies. Moreover, it can even work as part of the 365 plan or as a standalone service.
OneDrive included in the business package allows users to store up to 1 TB of data in the cloud safely. It can be accessed, managed, and shared as long as there is an internet connection available.
Aside from storing files, OneDrive can be an excellent vessel for collaboration. File sharing is possible in real-time, and authorized individuals can access its content from anywhere and at any time.
You and your team can access business files and stored content using a compatible desktop, browser, or mobile device.
If you are looking for an unlimited storage plan, you can subscribe to the Enterprise E3 and E5 plans.
Communication between teams and departments is of great value to help accomplish tasks and get better results immediately. Particularly in our current situation, where most businesses or organizations have shifted from working in an office to working from home.
Microsoft made it possible with its built-in communication tools that businesses can use for collaboration.
- Skype for Business: It is quite similar to the free Skype, which is used for chat and calls, but with more advanced features. Skype for Business provides tools to send instant messages, hold video call conferences with up to 250 people at a time, screen share, record conversations, use for presentation, and can be accessed from any device.
- Microsoft Teams: It functions for instant messaging, co-authoring of documents, file sharing, project management, real-time collaboration, and AI-powered features. With Teams, users can “@” members to receive notifications directed to them and host video and phone calls. Microsoft is working on bringing Skype for Business and Teams together to make communication flow better and faster with a single application. But for now, members should use both Skype for Business and Teams together for better results.
- Yammer: It is a social network for businesses. Members can post on the company’s news feed for the entire team to get notified. It also allows users to post comments and create channels for a specific purpose. Yammer can be a tool for announcements and organizational news.
Productivity Tools in One Place
Microsoft’s award-winning productivity tools are the reason why a lot of people like Microsoft. It comes with tools that authorize sharing of mailboxes, calendars, contacts, and real-time editing of documents.
- Microsoft Exchange: It’s an email server where email clients like Outlook use to run everything from emails to calendars. Furthermore, businesses can use it to create their own independent mail system. With Exchange, calendars and tasks can be shared with the whole team so everyone can view who is available at the moment. Also, mailbox sharing is possible for the entire team to gain access to important messages.
- Microsoft SharePoint: It permits collaboration by saving and sharing documents. Furthermore, members can access saved files and edit them in real-time.
- Office Tools: Businesses can never run without the popular tools of Microsoft-Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Microsoft 365 includes these Office applications, but it is more advanced and has tools made for business use.
- Word: It comes with collaboration tools like commenting and sharing of documents without the need to create a new version every time other team members want to access it.
- PowerPoint: Businesses can create professional-looking presentations with advanced features to upgrade the look of your slideshows. In addition, users can create 3D animations, use the speech-to-text feature, and more.
- Excel: The latest version includes reporting and data visualization.
- Other Microsoft Office applications included in the business plan are Outlook, OneNote, Access, and Publisher (the last two are for PC users only).
Microsoft 365 for Business not only focuses on productivity and work efficiency. It includes multiple security layers to protect files and other valuable data of a company.
The Business Premium plan has various sophisticated security features for businesses to use and explore.
- Advanced Threat Protection (ATP): A cloud-based email filtering tool that scans and keeps emails safe from threats like malware, ransomware, and scams. When it detects unsafe links, it blocks such content.
- Multifactor Authentication (MFA): Adds a layer of protection when accessing an account. With MFA, only authorized individuals can have access.
- Windows Defender: Ensures protection from threats.
- Data Loss Prevention (DLP): Secures valuable information and only allows authorized individuals access to sensitive data.
- Message Encryption: Can use any email service and members or intended recipients can only see the message.
- BitLocker: Secures data content if a device is missing.
- ExploitGuard: Protection against ransomware attacks.
- Mobile Device Management (MDM): Manages security policies of devices. It can remotely delete and reset a mobile device’s settings and content.
- Other security technology: Provides the right to control who can access information, granting or revoking permission, and password reset.
Benefits of Microsoft Office 365
With the main features listed above, it is clear what benefits a business can get when subscribed to Microsoft 365 business plan.
- Scalable by allowing businesses to integrated applications they frequently use and change plans when needed as they grow.
- Accessible at all times with its cloud-based property. With an internet connection, files, emails, and other valuable content can be accessed. It is a beneficial tool for businesses with remote workers.
- It makes teamwork and collaboration possible with high-quality collaborative tools available. Employees have different ways to communicate projects with one another.
- Microsoft rolls out updates frequently for their users. So, the cloud-based subscription plan gives users the luxury of gaining security and other updates automatically.
- Get one of the most promising security protection for stored files, emails, and devices.
- It provides automatic backup and built-in cloud storage. Hence, providing business continuity even when a disaster occurs.
- Get 24/7 technical support from the Microsoft team and their experts.
- The subscription-based plan lets businesses pay less than a large sum for one-time payment software. Furthermore, it gives businesses the freedom to continue or discontinue the usage of the plan.
Business Plans of Microsoft 365
There are three business subscription plans of Microsoft for small to mid-sized businesses. It includes the Business Basic, Business Standard, and Business Premium. If you are looking to get all the features from advanced security to device management, we highly recommend purchasing their Business Premium plan.
Can I Get Microsoft 365 for Free?
All business plans offer a free one-month trial, but it requires users to input their credit card information. After the trial period and you forget to cancel your subscription, Microsoft will automatically charge you for the plan you have subscribed to.
There is no lifetime free version of Microsoft 365. However, you can go online to Office.com and access some office applications with limited features. You can use Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneDrive, Outlook, and Skype for free. You can only access them through a web browser and an internet connection. It is similar to G Suite free access.
Where Can I Buy Microsoft 365?
You can visit Microsoft’s official store or purchase one from a reliable reseller online. There are plenty of independent online software stores that bring Microsoft products to your local areas, such as in the US, Australia, UK, Canada, New Zealand, and more.
Microsoft has redesigned their previously known Office 365 model to meet the needs of small businesses that want to consolidate all of their tools while also incorporating improved security and storage. With an affordable price, businesses can focus more on enhancing productivity to grow as Microsoft 365 will take care of the rest.