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Is Office 365 right for my firm?

Historically many firms invested in the on premise version of Office. They would normally only upgrade when their clients started sending documents that they couldn’t open. Or when they could no longer buy the old version. This resulted in firms using a small amount of the functionality available and often having mis matched versions of Office around the business leading to greater inefficiencies.

Then in 2011 Microsoft launched Office 365. This was really in response to Google Docs, and Open Office which were both gaining a foot hold in the traditional Office suite space. Initially O365 lacked the full functionality of the desktop versions but allowed editing of documents online. Then in typical Microsoft fashion they added features which made O365 much more attractive, and added options around online email, and one drive. It gradually gained more functionality including applications that are not available in the Desktop version such as Teams. So if you are looking at replacing your on premise Office with Office 365 how do they compare?

How do you compare Desktop Office with Office 365?

Microsoft Office 2019 is the latest version of Microsoft Desktop product. With applications like Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and more, it is mostly similar to all previous versions of Office. Upon purchase, you receive a license that lets you install and use the version on one computer. This license also covers all security updates, although it does not cover the upgrade to follow-up or future versions of Office.

Microsoft Office 2019 is sometimes known as a “perpetual” version. This is because after making a one-time payment, the license to use the program is yours for life. You may even keep using Office well beyond its natural life cycle, although at this point, you will no longer receive any security updates. To regain patches and support, you need to upgrade to a new version or buy a new product.

Office 365 gives you the same apps offered by Microsoft Office 2019, but with other tools, features, and benefits mixed in. Unlike the latter, which is available only on the one computer it’s installed on, Office 365 is cloud-based and can be used by up to five devices at any given time.

Additionally, Office 365 is available only via monthly or yearly subscription services. You can also choose from several plans, all of which are optimised for varying user needs. For your firm, you may choose between Office 365 Business and Office 365 Enterprise plans to suit your needs.

Which version of O365 is the right versions for us?

Office 365 for Business comes in three flavours:

Office 365 Essentials

Starting at £3.80 per user per month for a 12 month commitment. You can get Office 365 Essentials this includes email, one drive, and Teams. But does not include the main office apps. This is ideal as a first step to a Cloud environment, allowing you to retire your existing exchange server, and associated backup costs. It also allows the use of Teams which is a great tool for messaging and collaboration. Now it is also possible to integrate your phone system directly into teams.

Office 365 Business

This version costs £7.90 per user per month for a 12 month commitment. It includes all of the Office applications: Outlook, Word, Excel, Powerpoint and Access (Pc Use Only) and it also includes Onedrive. It does not include Email or Teams though so your will still need your exchange server. This flavour is of limited value and only really fits if you need additional Office licences before you make the move to full O365.

Office 365 Business Premium

This is the most expensive and most functional option it costs £9.40 per user per month for a 12 month commitment. It includes Outlook, Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Access (Pc Use Only), Email, Teams, Sharepoint, and OneDrive. It also includes bookings which allows clients to book slots to see you, and MileIQ which keeps a track of business mileage. This is the best fit for most firms looking to migrate away from Desktop Applications to a Cloud environment.

If you need any help making the move or would just like to understand a little more about it please contact us on or call 0117 457 6468.

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