For years, Microsoft has been enabling business owners to find the most efficient ways to run their organizations in the digital age. Microsoft 365, or M365, is a comprehensive suite of cloud-based software tools that offers best-in-class communication, design, and data management applications, complemented by intelligent cloud services and advanced security features.
Formerly known as Office 365 (which now refers to the platform that hosts Microsoft’s applications), the M365 suite allows businesses to access their data from anywhere, collaborate seamlessly in real-time, conduct virtual meetings, and leverage a myriad of pre-designed templates for effective communication and business management. In this article, we will go over the core Microsoft 365 Business plans tailored for SMBs and midmarket businesses, and how SWK Technologies can provide support as a certified Microsoft Gold Partner and managed service provider (MSP):
Microsoft 365 Business Plans that Work for You
Table 1 – image sourced from microsoft.com
Microsoft offers several plans for different user categories, with two main types available to for-profit businesses:
- Microsoft 365 Business – These plans are tailored more for SMBs and midmarket companies, allowing for up to 300 simultaneous users (or “seats”)
- Microsoft 365 Enterprise – Enterprise plans from Microsoft are designed for larger companies and feature an unlimited user count, albeit with a higher per user cost than for their corresponding Microsoft 365 Business plan
The table below breaks down the primary M365 Business and Enterprise plans and their pricing:
|Per User Monthly Cost*
|Microsoft 365 Apps for Business
|Microsoft 365 Business Basic
|Microsoft 365 Business Standard
|Microsoft 365 Business Premium
|Plan User Monthly Cost*
|Office 365 E1
|Office 365 E3
|Office 365 E5
|Microsoft 365 F3
|Microsoft 365 E3
|Microsoft 365 E5
|Microsoft 365 Apps for Enterprise
There are also two additional M365 Enterprise plans for frontline workers (Microsoft 365 F1 and Microsoft 365 F3), as well as four Government plans and five Nonprofit plans. In this article, we will focus on the four M365 Business plans and the benefits they deliver for small and mid-sized businesses.
Microsoft 365 Apps for Business
If you just need the fundamental tools for personal or core business needs, Microsoft 365 Apps for Business can be a perfect fit. This plan grants access to useful applications such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and OneDrive, ensuring that users have the tools required to increase productivity. With M365 Apps, users not only benefit from the familiar suite of office applications but also gain access to anytime phone or web support and ample cloud storage. M365 Apps for Business is a well-suited option for individual users or small businesses with straightforward requirements, who don’t need the other benefits present in the more comprehensive plans. Whether you’re creating documents, working on spreadsheets, or organizing your emails, Microsoft 365 Apps provides an essential toolkit to operate your business.
Microsoft 365 Business Basic
The Microsoft 365 Business Basic is ideal for small businesses, as includes the same set of tools offered in M365 Apps and additional services to help facilitate smooth operations. With user management capabilities for up to 300 employees, this plan provides custom business email solutions and enables businesses to maintain a professional communication environment with Microsoft Teams. The inclusion of Microsoft Teams enhances collaboration within the organization, fostering seamless communication among team members. Other cloud services like Microsoft Exchange, OneDrive, and SharePoint ensure efficient data storage and sharing. Additionally, the plan extends accessibility through web and mobile apps for Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook. It’s important to note that the M365 basic plan does not include desktop apps for the web and mobile applications, making it well-suited for organizations with a focus on cloud-based functionality.
Microsoft 365 Business Standard
Microsoft 365 Business Standard is perfect for growing companies and builds upon the solid foundation present in the Basic plan. M365 Business standard encompasses all the elements of the Basic package, including user management, custom business email, and access to Microsoft Teams. However, the Business Standard plan also allows desktop access to popular applications like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook, providing users with a versatile and comprehensive suite of tools. Additionally, the Business Standard plan introduces webinars with attendee registration and reporting, enhancing communication and engagement. You also gain access to a collaborative workspace with Microsoft Loop and video editing tools with Clipchamp, further elevating the potential for creativity and collaboration within your organization.
Microsoft 365 Business Premium
Being the most comprehensive offering on this list, Microsoft 365 Business Premium encompasses all the features of the Basic and Standard plans while introducing advanced capabilities tailored for medium-sized to enterprise-level businesses. Business Premium not only provides desktop access to essential applications like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook but also incorporates advanced identity and access management for your organization. The inclusion of enhanced cybersecurity threat protection, covering viruses and phishing attacks, will fortify your security posture against common tactics used by hackers. M365 Business Premium includes enterprise-grade device and endpoint protection, ensuring a robust defense against evolving cybersecurity threats that could appear at a moment’s notice. Microsoft 365 Business Premium is tailored for larger enterprises and emerges as the optimal choice for businesses seeking a holistic solution that combines productivity, security, and scalability.
SWK Technologies is a Microsoft Gold Partner
SWK Technologies is a Microsoft Gold Partner, which means that we are able to provide several value-added managed services for your Microsoft 365 installation, including:
- Securing you a discount on your Microsoft 365 licensing costs
- Handle your M365 license management and renewal
- Help you compare and choose the best M365 plan for your needs
- Train your users on best practices and tips & tricks for Teams, Outlook & more
SWK will also help you navigate the complex Microsoft landscape and unlock the plan that offers the best subscription price for you, while tailoring the solution to your specific business needs. Our Managed Cloud Services (MCS) team is well-versed in the Office 365 platform and will ensure that you get the most out of your M365 license.
Contact SWK Today
Microsoft 365 offers a versatile range of plans to suit diverse organizational requirements. If you need help with deciding between Microsoft 365 license types, M365 pricing, or comparing Microsoft 365 plans, contact SWK today to work with a certified Microsoft Gold Partner and managed service provider.