Office 365 Business Premium
Microsoft themselves define Microsoft 365 Business Premium as 'the productivity cloud designed to help each of us achieve what matters, in our work and life, with best-in-class Office apps, intelligent cloud services, and advanced security'. That definition isn't obvious, so let's look at the details and see what benefits there are as a business to buying this package.
What is Microsoft 365 Business Premium?
In a nutshell, Microsoft renamed their previous Office 365 business plan to Microsoft 365 to better reflect this subscription service's range of benefits.
Suitable for businesses with up to 300 users, you'll recognise all the usual software in Microsoft 365 Business Premium, including Outlook, Excel, Powerpoint, Word, Publisher and OneDrive. You also get a giant 1Tb storage for sharing, as well as the same options available in the original Office 365 package to improve workflow and communication among teams and across your business. The Premium package also includes device management and advanced cyber threat protection, which the business standard package doesn't offer. We'll explore the differences in the two packages below, but first, let's look at what the Premium version can do for you.
One excellent feature of Business Premium is that Windows 10 Pro upgrades are included. Suppose you are still running devices that are still at Windows 7.8 Pro or 8.1 Pro. You can upgrade free of charge under 365 licensing. Now there's no reason for your business to lag behind with less up to date versions of Windows and every chance to take advantage of Windows 10 Pro's new features. New features include syncing to Android phones, increasing sign-in security with Windows Hello, making text bigger for easy access, and more! And, as a Windows 10 user, you will get the new Windows 11 upgrade free in 2022.
While a Windows 10 Pro upgrade is excellent, the additional security makes the Premium package worth it. Protect and manage phones, tablets and laptops, and desktops and enable Windows Defender for malware and virus protection. Share documents internally with encryption and rights restrictions where needed, get data loss protection, cyber threat protection and more when choosing the Premium package.
With the Premium package, you can manage every device you own easily and quickly, updating software, installing new software and applying security, such as Windows Defender. You can protect files and folders with Bitlocker, decide who gets which apps, set up remote working access and a host of other options. Everything is designed to help you secure your business and ensure everyone has the software they need to do their job.
What is the difference between Microsoft 365 business and premium?
Both Microsoft 365 Business Basic and Business Standard packages have the entire Office Suite of apps you'd expect, including mobile and Web versions of Word, PowerPoint and Excel and access to Sharepoint, Exchange and Teams. Users are unlikely to notice much difference between the two, except that the basic package doesn't include desktop versions and webinars.
For IT teams, it should be easy to set up and manage email accounts, create password policies for added security, control access to business information, and manage software installation and upgrades. You'll be able to do a great deal with either package to ensure the smooth working of your business and your staff, but they can't match the Premium package for top security features and ease of device management.
Microsoft 365 Business Premium differs because you get Windows 10 Pro upgrades, as we've mentioned above, and it includes Intune to manage and secure all your mobile devices. Azure Information Protection is also included to help you encrypt your sensitive documents and ensure access is only for the right people.
Your IT team can do far more to protect your staff and your company data from cybercrime with excellent cyber threat protection. You can implement policies for information control and protect company data on any mobile, whether it's Apple, Android or Windows, including deleting it when a staff member leaves the business.
You can ensure all software is updated to the latest version, including updates to patch vulnerabilities and set up secure, continuous data backups. You can guarantee that attachments are scanned and checked to protect against malware, suspicious links, and unsafe attachments. You can also set up Windows Defender, firewall policies and far more.
With these added extras, choosing Microsoft 365, Business Premium is a no brainer.
What does Microsoft 365 Business Premium cost?
There have been no price changes with the name change from Office 365 to Microsoft 365. As with any of the Microsoft 365 business packages, you can get a free month trial to see if the Premium package suits you and your business, and, after that, it's just £15.10 per user per year (not including VAT). That gives you all those added extra features and peace of mind, with the additional security. There is an annual commitment with a Premium subscription, so take advantage of the month's free trial to ensure this package is a good fit.
Suppose you need to upgrade your whole business slowly over time as you upgrade your devices. In that case, the good news is that you can run the Microsoft 365 Business Premium package for some users while also running your previous package for staff that haven't had the upgrade yet. It's not ideal, as you don't get the extra security on devices that aren't managed by your Premium subscription, but it does mean that you don't have to pay out more than you can afford all at once to begin moving your devices across to the Premium package.
In conclusion, the extra features of Microsoft 365 Business Premium make it an excellent choice for modern businesses concerned about staying up to date and giving their staff every possible assistance in getting their work completed smoothly. With the increase in cybercrimes, such as ransomware, phishing scams, malware, and website spoofing, the premium package does put business security at the top of the list. With a predicted cost across the world of more than 6 trillion dollars for cybercrime, taking that extra step to protect your business is the sensible choice.