Despite unveiling Microsoft 365 way back in 2017, there is still confusion in the marketplace around the differences between Microsoft 365 and Office 365.
Have no fear dear reader, Big Green IT is here to set the record straight.
Apples & Oranges
Microsoft 365 and Office 365 are not the same thing. And while they share common elements e.g Office 365, comparing the two is not particularly useful for the IT professional.
There are several reasons why but before we get into it, let’s be clear about what’s included in these two software packages. For simplicity, we are going to focus on Microsoft business products.
What is Office 365 Business?
Office 365 is a cloud-based software that works that includes a healthy variety of Microsoft software products. You’ll be familiar with many of them like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote and Outlook.
Which Edition is Right for Your Business?
For small businesses, three Office 365 plans support up to 300 users. All prices quoted below are current as of October 2018 and assume an annual commitment. (Monthly plans without a commitment typically cost about 25 percent more.)
Office 365 Business Essentials
Includes only the online services, including Exchange Online and OneDrive for Business, without access to Office desktop apps. This plan is appropriate for organizations that want to have managed email and cloud storage but have an existing investment in Office desktop programs.
Office 365 Business
Drops most of the online services and includes only the Office desktop apps and OneDrive for Business. It’s a good choice for small businesses that want easy access to Office apps and cloud storage but don’t want to switch their email to Microsoft’s servers.
Office 365 Business Premium
Includes all of the online services and desktop apps.
Optional Office 365 Products
Everyone is familiar with the core Office apps – Word, Excel etc. But you may not be familiar with some of the other optional productivity products included with Office 365.
- Microsoft OneDrive – cloud-based storage solution. Microsoft’s answer to Box or Dropbox.
- Microsoft Flow – workflow management across applications
- Microsoft Forms – allows you to create online quizzes & questionaires through forms. Think Microsoft’s version of Google Forms or Survey Monkey.
- Microsoft Sharepoint Online – cloud-based content management and workspaces for businesses
- Microsoft Planner – task management tool
- Microsoft Power Apps – a platform to develop simple business applications for your business through drag & drop interface
- Microsoft Teams – Workplace collaboration tool that includes Chat, Task Management & Calendaring. Microsoft’s answer to Slack.
- Microsoft Yammer – a cloud based, private social network for your company.
- Microsoft StaffHub – work schedule management for “deskless” workers like restaurant staff, factory workers, bus drivers etc. Employees can use their mobile device to schedule, request time-off, trade shifts and communicate with other employees.
- Microsoft Office Delve – Allows you to manage your Office profile and documents that’s important and meaninful to you.
- Microsoft Sway – a digital storytelling app that allows you to create presentations quickly, easily and clearly.
- Microsoft Power BI – Cloud-based analytics service allows you to see your most critical business data in a single view.
What is Microsoft 365?
Microsoft 365 is a platform software bundle targeted to small & medium businesses looking for a comprehensive Microsoft-based platform and productivity solution. Yes, Microsoft 365 includes Office 365 but it includes a lot more.
Here’s the breakdown.
- Microsoft Windows 10 Pro – The successor to Windows 8.1. Windows 10 Pro brings the popular Start menu back, full-fledged Cortana, biometrics support, battery saver, the new Edge browser and much more. Pro also gives you sophisiticated productivity and privacy tools like Domain Join, Group Policy Management, Bitlocker and much more.
- Microsoft Office 365 – All the software services described above in the Office 365 section.
- Microsoft Mobility & Security – an intelligent mobility management and security platform. Helping you to protect and secure your organization. Includes identity & access management, information protection, threat protection, unified endpoint management and cloud access security broker.
Microsoft wants you think about Microsoft 365 as a natural evolution from from your current environment. Why just get Office 365 when you can get all this other Microsoft goodness for a little bit more? And this makes sense. Microsoft 365 has a lot of new features ideal for the smaller company a plug-n-play productivity platform that manages on the headaches of security in one bundled platform – plus Office 365.
To be clear, you can still migrate to only Office 365. You just won’t get all the great features of Windows 10 Pro or Enterprise Mobility & Security.
Get a free Office 365 Migration Consultation