Choosing an Office 365 plan: Business or Enterprise?

Office 365 plans

Vacation is a time to recharge your batteries and pamper yourself. Even if you don’t have any planned, humor us for a second here. Would you choose a 3-star hotel or spend a bit more and enjoy a 5-star experience? There’s no right or wrong answer, but think about it. You’ll be able to relax at the pool, enjoy drinks at the bar and sleep just fine in both hotels. Your experience in each hotel, however, will be very different. Will they serve the same type of food, offer the same service and amenities and have the same environment? Probably not.

In today’s business world, investing in the right technology can help make time for vacation by allowing you to work more efficiently. Choosing between a 3-star or a 5-star hotel is like choosing between Office 365 Business and Enterprise plans. You want a solution that will meet your and your employees’ needs and allow you to make the most out of your investment.

On the surface, both plans will allow your organization to work smarter instead of harder. But digging deeper, you’ll realize they are different. In fact, many of our clients have the same question: Do I need the added features of Office 365 Enterprise licensing plans, or do Business plans make more sense?

As a Microsoft Cloud Solutions Provider, we have extensive experience with Office 365. We understand that deciding between the two plans can be confusing, especially when various features overlap each other. So if you’re interested in finding out the better plan for your company, read on.


Office Business plans are available in Business Essentials ($5.00 user/month), Business ($8.25 user/month), and Business Premium ($12.50 user/month). Enterprise plans include Enterprise E1 ($8 user/month), Enterprise E3 ($20 user/month), and Enterprise E5 ($35 user/month). Note that these rates are based on an annual agreement.

Both licensing plans will equip your company with the cloud-based version of Office programs including Office for mobile devices, Exchange email, corporate social networking, and a 99.9% financially backed service level agreement. But as you can see, prices are slightly higher for the Enterprise options, which brings us to our next question.

What are the features Enterprise plans offer that Business plans don’t?

  • Litigation Hold which allows you to preserve all your mailbox content, including deleted items and original versions of modified items.
  • Unlimited archive storage (Business plans get 50GB of storage space with the optional add-on of unlimited archive storage for $3.00 more).
  • Archived access from client’s Outlook as well as Outlook Online.
  • Excel Services, Visio Services and Enterprise Search in SharePoint Online.
  • Unified communications solutions and telephone number integration with Skype for Business.
  • Personal Powerful BI and Delve Analytics which provide metrics and insights into how your organization is performing.

Which licensing option is ideal for your business?

To answer that question, you must first answer the following questions: Do you need unlimited archive and email storage space? Do you need business intelligence, advanced analytics and telephone number integrations with Skype? Do you have over 300 users or feel that you will exceed that number within a year? If you answer yes to any of these questions, one of the Enterprise plans is the right solution.

Now, you might already have business intelligence, threat analytics and unified communications solutions in your current IT infrastructure. Or you might not, but still see no need for them. You also might not grow anywhere near 300 users anytime soon, either. If that’s the case, Office 365 Business is enough.

All business owners looking at an Office 365 plan should consider all users within their organization. Although each user might have varying needs, it’s safer to ensure more instead of less. If you’re still unsure about the two plans, or if you have any questions about Office 365, just give us a call. The SimplyClouds team is always happy to help.

Categories: Microsoft Office 365, Services