Microsoft 365 Enterprise plans are licensed per user and, depending on which licence package you choose, provides your organisation and your people with Microsoft software and services products such as Office 365, Windows 10 Enterprise, and Enterprise Mobility + Security.
Designed to provide end users with productivity, collaboration, mobility and business insights in a secure environment, Microsoft 365 delivers modern workplace technology for the way we work today.
With the recent announcement from Microsoft that the cost of most M365 and O365 plans will increase from March 2022, choosing the right Microsoft 365 Enterprise plan that delivers the services you need without becoming over-provisioned, is vital. While Microsoft has made this decision as easy as possible, with so many different features, options and add-ons, identifying the right plan can be complex.
In fact, you may even find that a Microsoft 365 Enterprise plan is not the most cost effective plan for your organisation. In some cases, even for companies with over 300 employees, a Microsoft 365 Business plan may be a better fit if not all users require access to the same software and services.
Are you on the right Microsoft 365 Enterprise plan? Book a free 365 Licence Health Check to find out >
5 tips for choosing a Microsoft 365 Enterprise plan
Here are our tips for identifying the right Microsoft 365 Enterprise plan. If you would like an informal chat about your options, we’d be happy to share our advice.
1: Assess your current IT environment
What do you currently have that needs to integrate seamlessly in the Microsoft 365 cloud, or needs to be migrated? Identify all the devices your organisation has, the operating systems they run, the software, systems and data your users need and what’s business critical.
2: What are the business drivers for Microsoft 365?
A clear objective for moving to Microsoft 365 is the key to a successful migration. What do you want to achieve? Has does M365 support strategic objectives and business plans? What can’t you do now that M365 will facilitate?
In the video below our CEO, James Butler, explains why having a purpose is so important for a successful 365 migration.
3: What do your people need?
Not everyone in an organisation needs the full M365 stack. Over-provisioning is a common issue and reason why some enterprise organisations pay more than necessary. Identify what different departments and end users need to work effectively, and what technology will help them achieve their objectives. Mixing and matching different plans can often be more cost efficient and still ensures people have the right technology for their roles.
4: Consider the pros and cons of different licensing programs
Microsoft 365 Enterprise plans can be purchased through Microsoft licensing program channels. They are:
- Microsoft Volume Licensing (VL),
- Cloud Solution Provider program (CSP), and/or
- Web Direct (MOSP) programs.
More details on ways to buy can be found here. You may also find this blog post about purchasing your Microsoft 365 licensing via a CSP useful >
5: Compare plans and review against your requirements
For an overview of all the different Microsoft 365 and Office 365 plans and ‘service families’ visit the Microsoft website. Here you can compare what services are available in each plan and explore them in more detail by clicking on the relevant links.
For some organisations combining different plans is the most effective way to ensure sufficient licencing and optimise costs. Also, some services are available as a standalone plan, which can also be combined with a M365 or O365 family plan. For example, if your organisation has 600 employees but under 300 users require access to the Office 365 platform whilst the remaining just need an email account, you could combine a 365 Business plan with a standalone Exchange Online plan to provide sufficient licensing.
Get ROI from your Microsoft 365 Enterprise plan
Once you’ve identified the right plan for your organisation and migrated to Microsoft 365, you’ll want to maximise your technology investment and ensure it is living up to expectations.
Running regular usage reports can help you see whether your organisation is leveraging the usage rights you have and identify opportunities to increase technology adoption. If you are already on a Microsoft 365 plan and would like to explore this further, take advantage of our free Microsoft 365 licence health check here.