Microsoft 365 – what is it?
Microsoft 365 is a Software-as-a-service model from Microsoft. Your organisation or business will get each emplouee a license and depending on the type of license purchased, different combinations of the Microsoft Application ecosystem are available.
Depending on the Business package you go for you will also get access to many online applications – some of which also have desktop versions.
Included in all the packages are online versions of Microsoft Office Applications – Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook. For some of the business packages, online Hosted Exchange is included where you can point your domain to Microsoft and have your email delivered this way, using Outlook both online and on Desktop.
A list of applications included in Microsoft 365:
Admin – if you are the administrator, you will see this – use it to manage how Microsoft 365 and related apps work.
Bookings – Your online booking calendar allowing people outside of your organisation to book appointments directly into your calendar. Set up once and you are good to go.
Calendar – this is your Microsoft 365 Outlook Calendar
Compliance – depending on your license this may be present or may not
Delve – Personal insights across the organisation
Engage – Connect with co-workers and share information, organise around projects
Excel – The spreadsheet program
Forms – create online forms and quizzes for gathering feedback or collating information
Insights – Improve productivity and wellbeing with Microsoft Viva Insights – information about how much time you are spending on different tasks
Kaizala – a simple and secure mobile chat app for work
Learning – Viva Learning can become an in house learning portal
Lists – use Microsoft Lists to keep track of all kinds of things from Asset Management to organising an event to the schedule for next year’s marketing
Loop – Online workspace made up of dynamic elements that can be shared in different ways and updated in real time by different people
OneDrive – personal online storage – store files, images and more here safely
OneNote – Digital notebook
Outlook – Email, schedule and create tasks and events
People – Manage your contacts
Planner – Create plans and assign and share tasks and files
Power Apps – Build mobile and web apps with the data your organisation alraedy uses
Power Automate – Sync files and more to simplify your work
Power Pages – use Co-Pilot to create secure low code business websites with ease
PowerPoint – create stunning and engaging presentations
Project – Develop project plans, assign tasks, track progress and manage budgets
Security – look after your tenant
SharePoint – Share and manage content knowledge and applications and encourage teamwork
Stream – Share videos , recordings of meetings and presentations and training sessions
Sway – Create interactive reports and presentations
Teams – Meet share chat and collaborate
To Do – list and manage your tasks
Visio – Simplify and communicate complex information visually
Viva – explore Viva apps that improve theway you work
Whiteboard – Collaborate on a freeform canvas designated for touch, pen and keyboard
Word – Create documents, share and make real time edits.
Remember it will depend on which business license you choose as to what you see. I have taken this screen shot from my own Microsoft 365 list of applications – I have an Office 365 E3 license.
How many variations are there?
There are four main flavours of Microsoft 365 for Businesses. There are more still for large organisations however the scope of this post is for businesses with up to 300 employees.
Microsoft 365 Business Basic
This is an online-only license model. Get access to secure cloud services and use the applications in the browser. You get a hosted Exchange for your email which you can set up as your own domain and online versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook along with Microsoft Teams, OneDrive and SharePoint.
Each license comes with 1TB of personal online storage in OneDrive and the ability to have SharePoint sites for shared news and company documents.
Microsoft 365 Business Standard
This is the most popular plan if you want to have desktop versions of the Microsoft Applications. It contains desktop web and mobile versions of all the main applications and a desktop version of Publisher and Access both of the latter for PC only.
Connect your domain and get professional email services including the desktop version of Outlook.
Microsoft 365 Business Premium
This version includes everything in the Business Standard plus Advanced Security with Azure Information Protection and Access and Data Control and Cyberthreat detection with Microsoft Intune.
Microsoft 365 Apps for Business
This license version includes Desktop web and mobile apps and OneDrive along with Publisher and Access (the latter for PC only). This version comes without any email hosting. You can use Outlook for other email providers but it will not be hosted with Microsoft. You also do not get access to SharePoint with this license model.
Which Microsoft 365 license is right for you?
Now that is a very good question to ask. When you are running a business there are so many variables and so many options that sometimes it is difficult to work out what to do.
It will depend on the size of your business/company/organisation. How many licenses you need, where your people are based and whether they will need access to everything online or if they’ll just need desktop versions.
I always recommend talking to a recommended IT Support company that will not only be able to advise you on which license to get but will also be able to set it all up for you as well.
My preferred option is the Microsoft Business Standard as it has everything you are likely to need. However, if you are hosting your email elsewhere and have no need for those services the Microsoft 365 Apps for Business might be the one for you.
Get in touch if you would like a recommendation for an IT Support company as I have a few to recommend.
Who is Shelley Fishel?
Known as The MS Office Maestro – Shelley is the founder of Tomorrow’s VA and the MS Office Maestro site. Specialising in the delivery of Microsoft Applications training Shelley is in demand to provide Virtual Live Training or to speak at online events.
You can also find her self paced courses at www.msofficemaestro.com and in particular her Essential Office for The Savvy Assistant package which is a comprehensive online learning package for all things Microsoft.