Everyone knows them, at least by name—and most companies also use them: Microsoft’s Office packages. We still encounter companies that rely on on-premise versions of the market leader instead of the cloud-based solutions Office 365 or Microsoft 365. Especially the global crisis, which has forced many companies into working from home since last March, shows how important networked programs and thus employees are. We support companies in the introduction of both Office 365 and Microsoft 365 packages and would therefore like to dispel the myth that Office 365 is “just the cloud version to the normal Office package”.
For whom does using Office 365 make sense?
Originally, an office suite was intended quite pragmatically to perform everyday office tasks—from creating a letter (MS Word), evaluating a spreadsheet (MS Excel) to communicating with the outside world (MS Outlook). Today, an Office Bundle has to fulfill much more: It offers various ways to interact and communicate with each other (e.g. Skype for Business, MS Teams, or Yammer)–both in small teams and within the whole company. Especially remote working shows how important the digital provision and exchange of information within a company has become.
Even before that, many companies have supplemented their office suite with additional programs over the years. This often involved a colorful bouquet of providers and solutions. Communication between the individual systems was only possible to a limited extent. And at best made the introduction of uniform corporate communication more difficult, at worst prevented it.
As the largest provider on the market, Microsoft has recognized this potential and now offers companies–depending on the license model—the possibility to meet various requirements of a networked world. Especially for international teams, such networked solutions have been in demand for a long time. However, smaller and medium-sized companies are also increasingly recognizing the value of having all applications communicate and exchange data with each other.
Implementing a new office suite—yes, but only the right way
Of course, we don’t want to advise you to install the Microsoft 365 suite just for the sake of having it installed. Like any other software rollout, there are important preliminary considerations that need to be made:
- What are my goals in introducing a new interaction and communication model?
- Which individual applications do I actually need for my company? In which order do I then start the implementation? And how can I best involve my employees in the introduction?
- The path to the cloud: How well am I already equipped for it? What security measures do I need to consider? What about the GDPR-compliance? Private, public, or rather hybrid?
In any case, you should first talk to your service provider about these things before implementing them. Thanks to years of experience in the field of MS implementations, they have the necessary know-how to provide you with the best possible advice.
The difference between Office 365 and Microsoft 365
For a long time, both terms have been used as synonyms, especially by IT laymen—and thus unknowingly confused. With Microsoft’s announcement that the applications for private individuals and SMEs will now be switched to Microsoft 365, however, the confusion was then completely perfect. The distinction in the naming between Office and Microsoft therefore only remains for larger companies. We will explain more about this below.
Put simply, the Office 365 launch was initially about the cloud-based Office suite, which can also include collaboration tools like Sharepoint, Teams, or Skype for Business–depending on the package choice. Microsoft 365 also includes the Office suite, but a Windows 10 user license and Enterprise Mobility & Security have also been integrated into this subscription. Microsoft 365 thus offers you an all-around worry-free subscription from Microsoft – from the operating system to the Office package, to security and user administration. This enables you – in contrast to the Office 365 offers – an integrated efficient user administration on all levels. And as a result, you reduce your effort considerably.
The following subscriptions for business customers are affected by the name change:
- Office 365 Business Essentials became Microsoft 365 Business Basic
- Office 365 Business Premium became Microsoft 365 Business Standard
- Microsoft 365 Business became Microsoft 365 Business Premium
- Office 365 Business became Microsoft 365 Apps for Business
- Office 365 ProPlus became Microsoft 365 Apps for Enterprise
If you already have one of these packages installed on your premises, your employees will not notice any differences except for the name change. They still have the same programs and the same scope of services as well as the same subscription costs. What’s interesting here, however, is that these Microsoft bundles are largely sold without Windows 10 Enterprise licenses. In other words, they are classic Office packages.
Only in the Enterprise sector are the Office bundles still named as such and continue to be offered as products alongside the Microsoft 365 line – i.e. without or with Windows 10 Enterprise licenses.
For SMBs, the question in the future will no longer be whether Office 365 Business or Microsoft 365 Business. What matters here is choosing the right bundle, whether classic Microsoft 365 services are covered or whether they are really “just” Office packages. Enterprises can still decide by name.
Regardless of whether you are looking for a Business or Enterprise solution, you should make the choice of package dependent on your actual goal and benefit. We will work with you to develop a roadmap that fits your business, the state of your enterprise IT, and your goals. By the way: The Microsoft bundles can also be combined. This gives you maximum flexibility and allows you to assign your individual employee the tools he or she needs.
Microsoft 365—How to make the rollout a success