A Comparison Guide For Your Businesses
This article assumes that you’ve already come to the opinion that your organisation will benefit from using Office 365, and is now confronted by the decision – which plan will be best for our business?
If you’re not quite at that point yet, you might benefit from reading the following articles:
- “Business Leaders Are Choosing Office 365 For Business Growth and Innovation”
(10-minute read) This article takes you through various aspects of Office 365 with particular reference to the challenges currently facing Irish business owners and office managers.
- “7 Ways Office 365 Improves Business Productivity”
(3-minute read) This article takes you through just 7 of the many ways Office 365 dramatically improves productivity within a business.
The groundwork, deciding what you need as a business.
What systems do you have in place already?
It’s best to begin by looking at what you already have:
- What does and doesn’t work with your current systems?
- What operating systems do you have?
- Do you have bespoke software that’s industry-specific?
- Do you want to migrate your existing files and email system to Office 365?
If you are unclear about answering any of these questions, click here to speak to our team today.
What goals are you aiming to achieve?
The next set of questions are partly answered by looking at the Office 365 plans, but it’s good to have clear requirements in mind from the off. What is your main aim? Is it cutting costs, boosting security, improving productivity, enabling more collaboration? Is it all of the above? Answering this can really help determine which plan you need.
Are there regulatory restrictions?
You also need to consider whether you have specific regulatory or other compliance restrictions that would prevent you from moving to Office 365.
Again, if you are unclear about any of this, you can click here to speak to our team today, and we can help you answer them.
Which systems are most important?
Finally, working department by department, consider which systems are most important to your organisation. You may find that your sales and marketing teams need one plan while research and development are better of on another and Office 365 makes it possible for you to have a range of plans running inside a single company.
Now, you’re ready to choose the best Office 365 plan for your organisation:
Office 365 comes with a number of plans, namely:
For most Irish businesses, either the business or enterprise options will be ideal, although some will find that they have educational or non-profit elements to their organisation that might make it worth looking at those options too.
How many users?
It’s simplest to start with what you can’t have! If your business has more than 300 users, you can’t opt for Business Essentials, Business or Business Premium as these are all limited to less than 300 users.
There’s also overlap between Business Essentials and Enterprise – so for example Business Essentials and Enterprise 1 offer exactly the same suite of programmes but Business Essentials is limited to 300 users while Enterprise 1 is unlimited in user numbers.
Is your business stable but looking for better productivity?
For those who don’t want to start again with a clean slate of applications, the Business Essentials or Business Plan might be just right for you. These tried and tested plans work seamlessly for many Irish companies providing a suite of excellent business systems that run alongside your already installed Microsoft applications offering, a perfect solution for your requirements.
Does your business need to better utilise the cloud and develop stronger collaborative working?
Premium Business and Enterprise 3 both offer unlimited online meetings with video conferencing which can help your company step forward online. Both also include the Skype for Business app. Both plans also offer Corporate Social Network – this is the perfect way to move employees towards collaborative online working across departments and locations.
Does your business have strict regulatory constraints or keeps sensitive data for clients?
For some Irish firms, regulatory issues or client data concerns are paramount and even restrictive. Enterprise 5 has security features that are ranked amongst the most secure in the world, such as Customer Lockbox and Data Loss Protection.
Is your business looking to move to the cloud but your not sure what functionality your business would really benefit from?
Sometimes it’s best to seek advice some from the experts when employing something as critical as your business applications. You can speak to one of our team about your requirements free of charge if you need to more answers.
Office 365 and your business future
Regardless of the plan you choose, there are always opportunities to reassess and revise your decisions – an annual review of which programmes are being used can help you to determine if you’re on the optimum plan or perhaps whether some of your employees need a different plan to the rest of the organisation.