Microsoft 365: 4 all-in-one plans for the modern workplace

 In Cloud, Microsoft, Software

What does the phrase “modern workplace” mean to you? For CIOs and IT administrators, it represents the challenge of enhancing employee productivity through cloud-based and mobile environments while safeguarding identities and sensitive data from internal and external threats.

To help organizations find this balance, Microsoft has expanded its offering of comprehensive suites to enable secure, flexible, and collaborative workspaces, along with the ability to manage them, regardless of user locations and device type. The result is four Microsoft 365 (M365) integrated subscription plans that provide organizations of varying sizes and employee profiles simplified licensing options. In this post, we’ll unpack the different M365 offerings.

Microsoft 365 Business

Designed with small businesses in mind, the M365 Business solution gives organizations with up to 300 users access to Office 365 (O365) applications and services, while providing administrators the toolset to streamline deployment of Windows 10 Pro, and safeguard data across all device types. This allows them cloud access, which offers an alternative to upgrading and managing expensive on-premises infrastructure, and lets IT focus on innovative ways to enhance collaboration and creative goals.

M365 Business features include:

M365 Business is ideal for organizations planning to expand geographically or exploring BYOD strategies. Regardless of location or device type, employees can simultaneously work on documents and sync updates. Organizations planning to upgrade to Windows 10 Pro may also find value in the additional management, data protection, and deployment tools (such as Windows AutoPilot), which are featured in the plan.

Microsoft 365 E3/E5

For knowledge workers in larger organizations, Microsoft offers two comprehensive plans: Microsoft 365 E3 and Microsoft 365 E5. The plans, which combine the E3 and E5 editions of O365, Windows 10, and EMS, offer end users the best of Microsoft’s productivity and collaborative solutions. For IT, they enable digital transformation of a business at its own pace, with the tools to manage and secure multiplatform devices.

These plans include:

The Microsoft 365 E3 and E5 plans enable enterprises with hybrid environments to leverage the pricing benefit of a unified plan while providing dual access rights to both on-premises and cloud environments. The plans also offer the unique ability to upgrade and access existing Exchange, SharePoint, and Skype for Business servers without requiring separate software assurance renewals for servers that will be decommissioned as workloads are transferred to O365. For customers planning a migration, this feature provides immediate cost savings along with access to the latest technologies.  Customers who are renewing from the traditional desktop platform with Office Pro Plus also maintain the rights to upgrade the MSI edition of Office Pro Plus on a single device, providing additional flexibility for IT.

The M365 E5 plan offers the highest level of identity and data protection, making it a preferred option for organizations with advanced compliance and data protection needs. It adds a cloud-based phone system and convenient audio conferencing, as well as innovative analytical tools for everything from visualizing sales data to security threat alerts.

Microsoft 365 F1

M365 F1 gives firstline workers tools to participate in an expanded team environment with their knowledge worker counterparts, so they can more easily deliver feedback from their boots-on-the-ground experience and customer interactions to drive product development. The Microsoft 365 F1 plan powers a modern desktop with solutions tailored for the way firstline team members work.

Microsoft’s initial cloud offering for “deskless” or “kiosk” workers was the initial step toward aligning firstline workers to the broader technology roadmap of the organization. Office 365 F1, previously branded as Office 365 K1, provides access to key online services such as Exchange, SharePoint, and Skype for Business, as well as the Office web applications via Office Online. Microsoft 365 F1 expands this offering by adding Windows 10 Enterprise and enterprise-grade security and management tools.

Key features of Microsoft 365 F1 include:

For organizations interested in bringing firstline workers into their online footprint, Microsoft 365 F1 provides new opportunities to train, collaborate, and engage with employees.

A modern workplace with Microsoft 365

No matter what the modern workplace means to you, Microsoft has a solution that aligns with your technology and budgetary goals. Microsoft 365 offers add-on, step-up, and discount options when transitioning to the cloud from on-premises architecture or supplementing your existing infrastructure with cloud-based services. SHI can deliver guidance spanning initial assessment to deployment as you define your modern workplace.

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