There is a wide range of Microsoft plans available, but selecting the right one for your business can be confusing. Firstly there are two plan types, Business and Enterprise. Business plans are limited to 300 users so they should suit most New Zealand businesses.
Within the business plans, there are three bundles:
Business Basic – $8 per month
This is similar to Google Apps, you get access to all the Microsoft 365 Office features but only on the browser and mobile phone apps. It’s an ideal choice for people that share a computer and don’t need the fully featured versions of Office.
Business Standard – $18 per month
The most popular plan, includes everything in the Business Basic plan plus the Office programs (Outlook / Word / Excel etc) to install on your computer. This is ideal for office workers who are heavy users of Outlook, Word and Excel.
Business Premium – $30 per month
This is the new combo on the block and includes everything in Business Standard plus a few additional features focused on security and computer management
Key additions are:
Intune – Stand Alone $12 per month as an add on
Used to manage and secure PCs and Phones, ie send updates and ensure they are up to date with updates/patches
Azure Active Directory Premium P1 – $12 per month as an add on
Stronger control on identity and who can do what. Key benefits are, the ability to control who can create Teams, and conditional access for 365, ie if you are in the office you don’t get an MFA prompt, but if you are anywhere else it does.
Azure Information Protection Premium P1 – $12 per month as an add on
Stronger SPAM filtering and scanning of attachments for viruses.
Ability to run Office on a Virtual Machine
Microsoft allows Office to be installed on a virtual machine, You would normally need to purchase a more expensive license to do this.
Microsoft Defender (TBC)
This is a virus protection tool, available in the preview and will be included with Business Premium.
Is Business Premium worth the upgrade?
Just like a fast food combo, the total is always cheaper than the individual items. But.. Do you need the large fires and the ice cream?
If you are already purchasing virus protection or other services elsewhere then the upgrade should be worth it if you want to move to the Microsoft versions.
Azure Active Directory and Information Protection provide productivity benefits for users so they get fewer SPAM and interruptions with 2FA prompts. While Intune when set up correctly will make setting up new PCs and managing existing ones quicker saving you time and money.
Pricing is in NZD on 1 Jan 2022 and is subject to change.