How to save 365 license costs using the right Microsoft office plan?

Microsoft has made office plans and its licensing model as simple as they can but, still it is super complex to understand. We discussed in my another post about the comparison of office plan for enterprise need, We have some other office plans which organizations can use as per their need instead of the E3 and E5 plans to save their OPEX cost.

Few burning questions

  • Should i purchase E3/E5 for all my users ?.
  • what about their user experience, if using another office plan for few users ?.
  • Can I keep multiple office plans in one tenant ?.
  • Some of us has many such questions and let’s try to understand which plan is good for whom.

Small and Medium-sized business (SMB) customers

This will be the first decision criteria for choosing the right office plan. If your organization size is =<300 users, then you should go with the Microsoft 365 Business Premium plan. This plan provide almost all the main features of office apps including threat protection, information protection and device management. the only caveat is, you can not keep other office plans with Business Premium plan, if your users count exceed 300 limits. Exceeding 300 limit you need to switch to enterprise plan (E3/E5). See my another article for feature details of enterprise plan.

SMB customers has two options. 1- Microsoft 365 Business Premium plan, 2- Microsoft 365 Business Standard. If you don’t want the advanced security control in your apps and users, you can choose the Business standard plan. let’s have a look of the comparison between both plans.

Microsoft office plans for SMB organization

Enterprise level customers

The heavy plans for enterprise customers are Office 365 E3/E5 and Microsoft 365 E3/E5. But if you can do better profiling for some of your workforces then you can use F1/E1 and app for enterprise plan as well in a kind of hybrid model (Office 365 E3 + E1 | F3 etc) . These plans are cheaper than the E3 and E5 with some reduction in features. Let’s see the feature and comparison.

Office 365 E1 – Business services such as email, file storage and sharing, Office for the web, meetings and IM, and more.

Microsoft 365 F3 Formerly Microsoft 365 F1 Empower your frontline workforce with productivity apps and cloud services that allow them to do their best work.

Microsoft 365 Apps for enterprise – The enterprise edition of the Office apps plus cloud-based file storage and sharing. Business email not included.

Can we change or mix the plans?

Yes – Its flexible and you can do it on your own from Office 365 admin Centre. For example, you can have up to 300 seats per plan on both Microsoft 365 Business Basic and Microsoft 365 Business Standard, but an unlimited number of users on Exchange Online Plan 1.

  • In the same service family: For example, you can move from Microsoft 365 Business Basic to Microsoft 365 Business Standard, or from Office 365 E1 to Office 365 E3.
  • To a different service family: For example, you can move from Microsoft 365 Business Basic to Office 365 E3.

This post does not cover the office plans for Standalone services, Education, US Government, 21Vianet in China and Germany.

Again – The Office/M 365 licensing is a very vast topic to discuss, I would suggest you talk to Microsoft partners for more details before you make any decision for purchase.

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