Office 365 small business plans changes – simplified!

Microsoft have recently announced changes to the Office 365 Small Business and Midsize plans that will result in new benefits for small business users and cost savings to those currently on the Midsize plan.

Office 365 has a variety of plans from those aimed at individuals, families, small businesses through to huge enterprise solutions. Microsoft's aim in changing the small business plans is to simplify these options and give access to more benefits at a lower price point.

These changes will be introduced from October 2014. If you are a small or midsize business with less than 300 users, are using Office 365 or thinking about doing so, then read on to understand the changes.

For brevity references to OneDrive below all refer to "OneDrive for Business" – not to be confused with "OneDrive" [consumer edition!]

Overview of existing plans

Plan

Max users

Cloud services

Software *

Office Online (web apps) included

Small Business

25

Exchange, Lync, SharePoint, OneDrive

OneDrive app only

Yes

Small Business Premium

25

Exchange, Lync, SharePoint, OneDrive

Windows, Mac, iPad, Smartphones

Yes

Midsize Business

300

Exchange, Lync, SharePoint, OneDrive

Windows, Mac, iPad, Smartphones

Yes

Overview of new plans

Plan

Max users

Cloud services

Software *

Office Online (web apps) included

Business

300

OneDrive only

Windows, Mac, iPad, Smartphones

Yes

Business Essentials

300

Exchange, Lync, SharePoint, OneDrive

OneDrive app only

Yes

Business Premium

300

Exchange, Lync, SharePoint, OneDrive

Windows, Mac, iPad, Smartphones

Yes

New plans – simplified!

Plan

All cloud services

Software *

Business

No

Yes

Business Essentials

Yes

No

Business Premium

Yes

Yes

* Available software can vary across different platforms

New flexibility

Once the new plans are introduced, it will then be possible to "mix and match" plans for different users. Previously, one had to choose a single plan family for the whole organisation, for example all Small Business, all Midsize or all Enterprise. As much as these changes largely do not affect Enterprise customers, there may be some cost savings for those customers by making use of this new flexibility.

I am planning to sign up for Office 365 – which plan should I chose?

There are a whole host of factors to consider when deciding on which Office 365 plan to choose and due to the nature of a cloud service, these factors can change regularly. For this reason, iBizify.net offers a cloud review service to discover your business needs and provide a recommendation. Visit https://ibizify.net/cloud to find out more.

The new changes do make these decisions easier. For most of our clients, Business Premium would be the natural choice but there may be cases where a mix of the new business plans may provide a better benefit / cost ratio.

I am an existing Office 365 customer – what do I need to do?

The great news is – you don't need to do anything right away. Microsoft recommend seeing your existing subscription term through (for most customers, this is an annual subscription). You will be able to choose your new path upon your subscription renewal (probably in 2015). A typical choice at that point would be as follows:

Existing Plan

New Plan

Result

Small Business

Business Essentials

New benefits

Small Business Premium

Business Premium

New benefits

Midsize Business

Business Premium

Cost savings

If you make use of Access databases within your subscription or hold Lync meetings there are other changes coming that you should be aware of.  Contact us for more information.

We strongly recommend reviewing your business needs at this point to discover the best benefits at the lowest price point. iBizify.net can help with a cloud review. Visit https://ibizify.net/cloud to find out more.

Find out more

Book a cloud review at https://ibizify.net/cloud

Learn more about Office 365 and download datasheets and other resources at https://ibizify.net/365

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