Microsoft Office has been a staple of businesses for years and with its simplicity, value, and cloud capabilities, why wouldn’t it be?
But even with the amazing benefits provided by their newest version – Office 365 – many a small businesses were still left having manage devices and security with little in the way of IT support.
In an effort to cater to small and large businesses alike, and build a suite that could significantly enhance office productivity, the company recently unveiled Microsoft 365 for Business.
To give you a better idea of exactly what this unveiling means, let’s take a deeper look at what Microsoft 365 Business is about, why it’s a better option than Office 365, and why it’s such a great tool for small businesses.
What Is Microsoft 365 for Business?
Before introducing their Microsoft 365 Business plans, Microsoft had already made a commitment to developing a suite for enterprise through their Secure Productive Enterprise plan.
The cultivation of this new business version, which caters to small and medium-sized businesses, came from the feedback Microsoft received from their enterprise partners.
Through this new version, Microsoft wanted to ensure that small and medium-sized businesses were able to receive the same security, productivity, cloud computing, and value-based benefits that enterprise clients enjoyed.
In addition, Microsoft wanted the plan to be flexible enough for businesses to include, exclude, and provide various levels of access to users as Microsoft saw fit.
The result is a suite of tools and features that enables any business, no matter the size, to enjoy the benefits expected by enterprise clients while maintaining the simplistic and cost-effective nature that makes it attractive for even the smallest of businesses.
How does Microsoft 365 for Business improve on Office 365?
First things first, Microsoft was sure to include an entire suite of tools in their new plan that allows businesses to handle just about any task from the cloud. The suite includes:
The suite of tools outlined in the image above is essentially where the similarities between Microsoft 365 and Office 365 end.
With Microsoft 365 for Business, Microsoft’s goal is to bring together the power of Office 365 and Windows 10 while providing the mobility and security offered by their previously created enterprise solution.
This focus represents a clear difference between the two services. With Office 365, the focus is almost solely on enhancing productivity for users.
Microsoft 365, on the other hand, does that and so much more. Let’s take a deeper look into exactly how they’re different:
Ensuring information is secure and protected from cyberattacks is obviously a major focus for any business.
With Office 365, research companies and IT professionals have continuously expressed their concerns over security.
The biggest gripe from users was often that they had to handle many aspects of security manually if they wanted to ensure they were fully protected against phishing and security threats.
When designing Microsoft 365 for Business, Microsoft wanted to take these tasks out of the hands of the user so they could focus solely on building their business.
To make this happen, Microsoft have taken key capabilities from Microsoft Enterprise Mobility + Security and wrapped them in a simple to use interface.
As a small business, all you need to do is follow a simple wizard to set up policies that will protect your business. Features such as automatic remote wiping of data from personal devices such as Android or iOS phones protect your data. On the Windows side you can force users to save their work files on OneDrive, prevent access to the Windows store, enforce antivirus usage and Windows Updates and much more.
The result is an always-on security feature that ensures your company’s data is safeguarded across all devices, no matter where you’re using them.
The value provided by Microsoft 365 for Business is impressive, especially when you consider that Microsoft has already made a commitment to expanding features in the near future.
On top of the already impressive suite of Office tools, they’ve added four new features that enable businesses to significantly cut costs in other areas. Those tools include:
- Microsoft Connections. An email marketing service that rivals competitors like MailChimp and Constant Contact.
- Microsoft Listings. A tool that allows businesses to build their local SEO profile by publishing their information on top listing sites.
- Microsoft Invoicing. A tool that allows users to create, track, and process invoices.
- MileIQ. A mileage tracking tool that allows for automatic tracking while providing accurate weekly reports (US only for now!).
In most cases, businesses are forced to purchase subscriptions to these four services from four separate third-party providers. Over the course of a year, that can easily add up to several hundred or even thousands of dollars.
With Microsoft 365 for Business, you get all of these features, enterprise-level security, and the suite of Office tools for the same price. That type of value is tough to beat.
While this isn’t exactly something that differentiates Microsoft 365 Business from Office 365, it’s worth mentioning that the business-focused plan is just as easy-to-use as Office while offering a far higher level of features.
To help with navigation, Microsoft created an all-in-one dashboard that allows users to quickly access anything they need on any device.
In addition, Microsoft created a separate dashboard – called the Office 365 Business Center – that allows authorized users to access and track Connections, Listings, and Invoicing from one place.
As you can see, the activity feed and graphs give you a clear idea of what’s happening within your business.
In addition, all of the apps and features are connected automatically, meaning you won’t have to waste time manually inputting or connecting data from one app to the other.
Why, as a Small Business, You Need Microsoft 365 for Business
Most of what we’ve talked about so far has dealt with showing you what Microsoft 365 for Business is and the benefits that it can provide.
At this point, since this guide’s aim is to help, we want to help you answer the question of:
“Why should I invest in Microsoft 365 for my business?
Without further ado, let’s dive into a few of the main reasons:
1. Cost Savings
Your business likely already uses a majority of the tools and features provided by Microsoft 365 Business.
The thing is, you’re probably also purchasing those tools from multiple third-party service providers. If you were to go with a solution that has all of these tools in one, the cost savings would be substantial.
Let’s do a quick breakdown to compare the costs of going with a third-party provider for just four of the dozens of features offered through Microsoft 365 Business:
*Note – All prices are based on one user and in USD but the savings apply regardless of currency!
Email Marketing – MailChimp: $25/month
Local SEO Citations – Whitespark: $5/citation + 10 citations = $50
Invoicing – FreshBooks: $25/month
Office 365: $12.50/month
Total for the year = $800
We should mention that the above breakdown doesn’t even include security and IT support for your cloud infrastructure, which can easily cost hundreds or even thousands a month.
As far as the price of Microsoft 365 Business, you’re looking at a cost of:
$25/month per user
So, without even diving into the third-party costs of the dozens of other features that Microsoft 365 for Business provides, you are already saving $500 per year.
2. Time Savings
Imagine how much time you could save if you no longer had to navigate between different service providers to manage your business. Or imagine if you could manage your business and communicate with staff from any device, no matter where you are.
At the very least, it would save you and your staff 4-8 hours per week. For some businesses, it could save as much as 15-30 combined hours.
This is the power of the simplicity and ease of use provided by Microsoft 365. There is simply no better time-saving option for businesses that want to get more done fast.
3. Allows You to Focus on Your Business Growth
With the cost savings, time savings, and overall simplicity of Microsoft 365, you get to focus on growing your business instead of having to worry about things like security and communication between staff and clients.
Overall, it’s difficult to measure just how great of an impact this singular focus can provide for your business.
4. Peace of Mind
With over 100 million active users on Office 365 alone this is a well tested platform that individuals, businesses and governments rely on daily, with 99.9% up time guaranteed and distributed infrastructure across the globe you don’t have to worry about performance or reliability. In the end, choosing to work with Microsoft through their Microsoft 365 for Business plan means you get the peace of mind of security, quality, and innovation that not many other providers can offer.
Take Advantage of this Business Growth Opportunity and Make the Switch
Choosing to go with Microsoft 365 for Business means making the decision that you’re committed to growing your business as efficiently and effectively as possible.
In the end, it’s hard to imagine finding another tool that combines this level of security, value, and simplicity into one place.
Better Online provide free migration from most email platforms with Every Microsoft 365 Business plan – our team will step you through the process end to end and ensure you have everything you need to get up and running, taking the hassle out of getting started.
Make the switch. Decide that it’s time to let Microsoft 365 business work for you. You won’t regret it.
Microsoft 365 Business is now available from Better Online, check out our Plans Page for more information about the pricing and features.