Should I Consider an Upgrade from Office 365 to Microsoft 365? (Everything You Need to Know!)

Should I Consider an Upgrade from Office 365 to Microsoft 365? (Everything You Need to Know!) Today’s offices are powered by technology, which means the software choices you make can have a huge impact on your bottom line. Pick the wrong applications, and your team could be struggling, choose the right ones and your productivity can soar. One of those “right” programs for many offices is Office 365 by Microsoft. It’s the most widely used cloud platform by user count. It has all the advantages of the popular Microsoft Office suite, plus collaborative team productivity tools for the 21stcentury. If you’re taking advantage of all that cloud services have to offer and are an Office 365 user, then you may have heard about the newest upgrade that Microsoft has brought out called Microsoft 365. Does it make sense for you to upgrade? What more do you get with Microsoft 365? Those are some of the questions we’ve been hearing from our Fresno area managed IT services clients, so we thought we’d answer those here and give you a full rundown of this newer cloud platform.

Comparing Office 365 vs Microsoft 365

Just when you get familiar with a platform, another version comes along, such is the pace of technology these days. The differences between these two are more of an additional bundle of solutions, with Microsoft 365, than any changes to the Office 365 cloud software you’re used to. Here is an overview comparison of Office 365 vs Microsoft 365. Office 365 for Business includes:
  • Word
  • Excel
  • PowerPoint
  • Outlook
  • Access
  • OneDrive
  • Exchange
  • SharePoint
  • Teams
Microsoft 365 includes all of the above, plus:
  • Windows 10 Pro
  • Intune Mobile Device Management
  • Advanced security features
  • Additional Office business apps (MileIQ, Bookings, Outlook Customer Manager)
So, when you upgrade to Microsoft 365, you’re adding on more software services to the Office 365 subscription you already have.

What’s the Price Difference Between Office 365 and Microsoft 365?

Microsoft 365 comes with Office 365 Business Premium, so if you’re upgrading from Business, it’s going to be a bigger price jump, but you’ll also get the Premium features you may not have currently. There are also enterprise versions available at different price points. Business pricing is:
  • Office 365 Business: $8.25/user/month
  • Office 365 Business Premium: $12.50/user/month
  • Microsoft 365 Business: $20.00/user/month

Is Microsoft 365 Worth the Upgrade?

Now, let’s get a big deeper into what additional applications and security features you get with Microsoft 365 and how it may benefit your business.

Windows 10 Pro

The benefit of adding a Windows 10 Pro will depend upon whether you already have it installed on all your computers or are using Windows 10 Home on some of them. The Pro version of Windows 10 gives you more administrative features such as group policy management and remote desktop. You also get some additional security features in Windows 10 Pro, such as the ability to lock user accounts or keep them from accessing specific applications, and BitLocker, a powerful disk-encryption tool.

Intune Mobile Device Management

The addition of mobile device management will be the thing that attracts many businesses to upgrade to Microsoft 365. Mobile device use has exploded in the workplace, with currently 91% of corporate employees using at least one mobile app. This means that businesses have to start putting into place ways to manage all those mobile devices or risk leaving their data unsecured. Intune offers a comprehensive way to manage mobile devices and makes it easy to administer a BYOD (bring your own device) policy. The mobile management capabilities that you get include:
  • Administer devices remotely with the ability to lock, wipe, or perform a passcode reset
  • Partition work from personal data on employee-owned devices
  • Define and enforce security rules automatically across all devices
  • Keep devices updated and remotely scan for malicious software
  • Restrict or grant access to individual applications
  • Monitor and log user and application activity

Increased Security Across Microsoft Assets

Another important additional benefit is the increased security applications that you get with a Microsoft 365 subscription. These will be especially useful for improving IT security and data privacy compliance. The added security features include:
  • App protection that allows you to restrict copying or saving of company data to unauthorized applications
  • Malware protection for Windows 10 devices
  • Windows Defender Exploit Guard to apply security policies for data breach prevention
  • Control over your information by applying Do Not Copy or Do Not Forward restrictions
  • Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection which is designed to help defend against sophisticated threats, such as Zero-day, ransomware, and more

Additional Business Applications

The Microsoft 365 bundle of applications also brings you some helpful business software that can take your efficiency to another level. Whether these will sway you towards Microsoft 365 or not will depend upon how useful they’d be for you. For example, if you run a tax service, then Bookings could be a game changer for you. Here’s an overview of three helpful apps that you get.
  • MileIQ: A program that helps employees track and report mileage.
  • Microsoft Bookings: Makes it easy for customers to book appointments with your business online.
  • Outlook Customer Manager: A customer management tool that allows you to keep all customer details accessible from within Outlook.

Do You Need Help Leveraging the Cloud for Your Business?

There are multiple opportunities to get ahead, become more efficient, and find better ways to serve your customers with cloud solutions… but only if you know how to properly leverage them for your needs. Unity IT can help you design a cloud workflow that fits your business like a glove. Contact us today for a free IT consultation at 559-297-1007 or through our webform.