There are a wide range of Microsoft plans available, 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 business

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,  it 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 a add on

Used to manage and secure PC’s 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, ability to control who can create Teams, and conditional access for 365, ie if you are in the office you don’t get a 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 in 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 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 less SPAM and interruptions with 2FA prompts. While Intune when setup correctly will make setting up new PC’s and managing existing ones quicker saving you time and money.

Note:

Pricing is in NZD at 1 Jan 2022 and subject to change.