Written by: Daniel Haurey on 10/31/22

With Microsoft 365 for Business, organizations can access useful tools that enable them to collaborate entirely within the cloud. However, given the many available plans, choosing the best one for you could be daunting.

Before you undergo a Microsoft 365 migration, it’s important to ensure you choose the right product for your business’s needs. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at Microsoft 365 Business Basic vs. Standard vs. Premium to help you find the best possible match.

What is Microsoft 365 for Business?

Microsoft 365 for Business acts as your personal and professional productivity cloud. It combines traditional Office apps with robust cloud and security features. Depending on your selected plan, it may include device management and other enterprise-wide IT and access controls.

Although Microsoft rebranded most of its plans as Microsoft 365, the Office 365 moniker has stuck around. Microsoft 365 integrates all versions of Office. While Office 365 is still available, it no longer includes the management or security apps previously included.

Microsoft 365 has made cloud-based collaboration ever so easy. Especially since the pandemic, worldwide collaboration activity across Microsoft 365 tools has massively increased.

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A Quick Look at Microsoft 365 Basic vs. Standard vs. Premium Pricing

Microsoft 365 comes in different plans, all of which have different versions of Office apps. Hence, the pricing varies as follows:

  • Microsoft 365 Business Basic costs $6 per user per month for an annual commitment. It is the most straightforward offering.
  • Microsoft 365 Business Standard costs $12.50 per user per month on an annual commitment. It covers all the basic features plus some advanced ones.
  • Microsoft 365 Business Premium is billed annually at $22 per user per month. It is the most expensive and extensive subscription.
  • Microsoft 365 Apps for Business is a budget plan that costs you $8.25 per user each month with an annual commitment. It includes Outlook, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. PC users also get access to Publisher and Access.

Microsoft 365 Business Basic vs. Standard vs. Premium Features

Let’s break down the inclusions of Microsoft Business 365 Basic vs. Standard vs. Premium. This breakdown is crucial in helping you select the best plan for your business.

Microsoft 365 Business Basic Plan

As mentioned earlier, Microsoft 365 Business Basic is the simplest offering. It includes web and mobile versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote. Thus, it is an ideal choice for small businesses.

The Business Basic plan includes the following cloud services:

  • Teams
  • OneDrive
  • Exchange
  • SharePoint

It also offers the same security and compliance features as the other bundles. However, traditional enterprises with office personnel might struggle without access to the desktop versions of the Office suite.

This package does not include device management or advanced threat protection for PCs and mobile devices, in addition to Microsoft Bookings.

The Basic package saves you money if your business is highly mobile and users don’t require desktop-class Office applications. But for most businesses, this is not the best plan, and it is better to go with the standard plans.

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Microsoft 365 Business Standard Plan

Our comparison of Microsoft business Basic vs. Standard vs. Premium continues with a look at the Standard package.

Microsoft 365 Standard is a useful plan because of its advanced features. Still, it costs less than the Business Premium. Customers with this plan have access to the web, mobile, and desktop Office applications. That is on top of the standard cloud services suite included in the basic plan.

The Standard plan also includes:

  • The latest in Microsoft’s security and compliance offerings
  • Exchange online powered business-class email and calendaring
  • Robust collaboration tools, including guest links and syncing across devices
  • Microsoft Forms, Lists, and Bookings, which can change the way people inside and outside an organization communicate

This plan is a viable option for numerous enterprises. However, features of Microsoft 365 business Standard vs. Premium may not be sufficient enough for larger enterprises. The few advanced capabilities that this plan lacks have the potential to be very revolutionary.

Microsoft 365 Business Premium Plan

This business premium plan is the most expensive and robust. But the $22 per person monthly for an annual subscription gives your organization powerful capabilities absent from the other tiers.

The Microsoft 365 Business Premium Plan includes everything featured in the Standard plan and the following transformational features and functions.

  • Premium subscribers receive Intune and Azure Information Protection (AIP) on the cloud services front:
    • Intune is a cloud-based mobile device and app management technology;
    • AIP offers document discovery, classification, and protection.
  • The advanced threat security package includes access control capabilities, the ability to remotely wipe devices, Microsoft Defender, and several other security features.
  • Premium includes PC and mobile device management that lets you monitor your employees’ devices, assess their experience, and ensure their safety.

Microsoft 365 Business Premium is the optimal choice for businesses that want sophisticated capabilities such as:

  • Conditional access
  • Enhanced threat prevention
  • Mobile Device Management (MDM)
  • The ability to configure, upgrade, or even erase machines remotely

Get the Most Out of Microsoft 365 for Business With Expert Support

Over a million companies use Office 365 worldwide, including 879,851 in the US. That is no surprise, given the capabilities that this platform has to offer.

But regardless of your business’s size, growth, and budget, Microsoft 365 Business Premium is a solid investment that can propel your business forward.

While Microsoft 365 Business Standard may accomplish great things for you and your business, the term “standard” speaks for itself. It’s ideal if you’re seeking the most comprehensive Microsoft version at an affordable price.

As a Microsoft Gold-Certified Partner, Exigent Technologies can assist you with Microsoft 365 migration, implementation, management, and more. Find out how we can help you master Microsoft 365 for Business by contacting us today for more information.


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