Office 365 Plans UK

How to choose an Office 365 Plan

Office 365 means different things to different people. To home users it’s a synonym for Microsoft Office 2013; to a ‘techie’ an Office 365 project will almost certainly be considered a migration to Exchange Online. In simple terms there are two families of Office 365 Plan available in the UK:

  • Those based around the Office 365 Business set of desktop applications aimed at Small and Medium sized business (fewer than 300 staff)
  • Those based around the Office 365 ProPlus set of desktop application aimed at larger Enterprises

The first thing to consider is the size of your company. If you currently have over 300 individuals in your company then it would make sense to go down the Enterprise route. If you have fewer than 200 individuals then it would make more sense to go through the Small and Medium sized Business route. If you are thinking about subscribing to Office 365 for less than 12 months then you should also go the Small and Medium sized business route since there are options to purchase the services on a month to month basis.

The Small and Medium Sized Business Suite

Office 365 Business

This is the full suite of Microsoft Office Desktop, Tablet and Mobile Apps. This software can be installed on up to five PCs or Apple Macs for each individual subscriber (not including tablet and mobile apps). Key features of this plan include:

  • Desktop versions of Microsoft Outlook, Word, Excel, Powerpoint and Publisher
  • The ability to install on up to 5 PCs or Macs for each individual subscriber
  • Online versions of Word, Excel and Powerpoint
  • The ability to install fully functional Office apps on smartphones and tablets
  • Also included is 1TB of personal data for OneDrive for Business.

This package costs 7.00 GBP + VAT / month (assuming a yearly commitment) and 8.50 GBP + VAT / month (assuming no yearly commitment). The main difference between Office 365 Business and Office 365 ProPlus is that it doesn’t have Microsoft Access bundled in with it. You can find other differences in our What’s the difference between Office 365 Business and Office 365 ProPlus page.

Office 365 Business Essentials

This doesn’t have any of the desktop / tablet / smartphone software included in the Office 365 Business plan. You may want to look at purchasing this plan if you’ve already purchased the Microsoft Office desktop suite in some form or another; though please note that it works best with Microsoft Office 2013 or 2010. Key features of this plan:

  • Exchange Online – a robust e-mail platform that also deals centralises your contacts and calendar company wide.
  • SharePoint Online – a platform for sharing documents and collaborating on projects with other people in your company. Think of it as a tool for removing your file server.
  • Skype for Business – a platform for providing companywide presence information as well as video and audio conferencing with anyone on the same system.

There are a number of other services that come as part of this package. Review our What is Office 365 page for more information. Office 365 Business Essentials can be purchased for 3.10 GBP + VAT / month (assuming a yearly commitment) and 3.70 GBP + VAT / month (assuming no yearly commitment).

Office 365 Business Professional

This plan combines both the Office 365 Business and the Office Business Essentials Plan in one package. So you have the benefit of both the Desktop applications and the services that make the most of these applications. Office 365 Business Professional can be purchased for 7.80 GBP + VAT / month (assuming a yearly commitment) and 9.40 GBP + VAT / month (assuming no yearly commitment).

Enterprise Suite

Office 365 ProPlus

This is virtually the same as Office 365 Business but without the 300 seat deployment restriction. Another difference is that it includes Microsoft Access. All differences can be found on the page What’s the difference between Office 365 Business and Office 365 ProPlus. The only other difference is that it costs 10.10 GBP + VAT / month (assuming a monthly commitment – and it cannot be purchased otherwise).

Office 365 E1

This is virtually the same as the Office 365 Business Essentials package but without the 300 seat deployment restriction i.e. it contains all the software as a services subscriptions such as Exchange Online, SharePoint Online and Skype for Business. The only main functional difference is the inclusion of Office 365 Video in the E1 bundle. Pricing for the E1 Package is set at 5 GBP + VAT / month

Office 365 E3

This is where the Small and Medium sized Business and Enterprise Suites start to differ. Office 365 Business Professional is the most comparable Small and Medium Sized Business Suite Plan to the Office 365 E3 Plan. Differences include a more advanced Plan 2 versions of Exchange Online, SharePoint Online and Skype for Business (rather than the Plan 1 versions included in Business Essentials / Professional or E1). Major differences include:

  • In Exchange Online: Support for IRM using Azure RMS, Office 365 Message Encryption, Hold and Litigation Hold, Data Loss Prevention, Inactive Mailboxes, Unified Messaging Reports and Voicemail.
  • In SharePoint Online: Support for Business Connectivity Services, InfoPath Form Services, Data Loss Prevention, IRM using Azure RMS, Preservation Hold Library, Video Search, Advance WCM operations, Business Intelligence Center, some advanced Excel features, Timeline Slicer, Visio Services, advanced actions query rules, interoperability between SAP and SharePoint Online (through Duet).
  • In Skype for Business: Support for IM Content Archiving, Conference Content Archiving, User Level Archiving Configuration,

Office 365 E4