What’s the Main Difference Between Office 365 and the Traditional Office Suite?

Even if you already have Microsoft Office, did you know that there are multiple ways to use Office which could potentially save you money? It’s the difference between using the traditional Office apps, versus the subscription-based model provided by Office 365.

Users and business professionals in 2022 need to know that Office 365 is a subscription-based model, while the traditional Office 2016 suite is a one-time purchase. Yet, there are a few other notable differences between the two. Here are three reasons why it’s beneficial to choose Office 365 over the more traditional Office suite.

Office 365 is Cost-Effective
Small monthly payments fit into budgets much better than big up-front costs. This is a staple of software as a service, and it applies to Office 365. When purchased through Microsoft, Office 365 can provide users with a discount when paying for 12 months ahead of time, allowing for even more cost savings.

Office 365 Stays Up-to-Date
The traditional Office suite gives you the most recent version at the time of your download. For example, if you downloaded today, you would get Microsoft Office 2016. The problem here is that several years might pass and you’ll eventually have to upgrade to a more recent version of the software, like Office 2018–which can be another major expense in itself. It’s one big investment after another, which makes the subscription-based model more economically reliable, efficient, and easy to budget around. With Office 365, you’ll always have the latest version of Microsoft Office, without the hassle of purchasing new software.

Office 365 is More Flexible
Office 2016 is a one-time download, unlike its subscription-based counterpart. Office 365 allows organizations to achieve varied levels of service as per their user requirements or device thresholds. This helps your business get exactly the kind of functionality you need out of Office 365, as it helps to better accommodate growth.

What are the different Office 365 Licenses?

Microsoft offers a range of pre-packaged plans with different products and services bundled together. While this is meant to simplify things for you, the sheer number of bundled tools and other variables can make it a little confusing. (When all else fails, I recommend calling your local IT expert who is experienced in licensing Office 365 to get some guidance.)

Different plans are available for small businesses, enterprise, education, government, and non-profit organizations. As you would expect, the pricing varies between each of these options.

For all their complexity, Microsoft’s licensing options for Office 365 do provide you with plenty of cost control and flexibility. Licenses are attached to users so you can easily scale up or down as your budget and needs change. You’re also able to mix license types which can be helpful when you’re trying to meet your budgetary requirements.

Office 365 Small Business Microsoft Licensing

Microsoft offers three small business plans: Office 365 Business Essentials, Office 365 Business, and Office 365 Business Premium. These plans are restricted to 300 users per plan.

The Business Essentials plan includes important services (like email) but only web versions of Office applications such as Word and Excel. Office 365 Business gives you the actual Office applications but does not include email. Business Premium gives you the best of both worlds by giving you access to email and Office applications.

Office 365 Enterprise Microsoft Licensing

There are four enterprise plans available: Enterprise E1, ProPlus, Enterprise E3 and Enterprise E5. These Enterprise plans have no maximum user cap.

Enterprise E1 is the entry-level Office license offering the same features as Small Business Essentials. ProPlus gives you a slightly enhanced version of Small Business but still doesn’t include email. E3 is the enterprise-focused step up from the Small Business Premium service with twice the email storage and security and compliance tools such as legal hold and data loss prevention. Enterprise E5 offers everything in the E3 package, but upgraded with enhanced analytics, security, and voice capabilities.

Have we convinced you to give Office 365 a shot? If so, reach out to us at (800) 979-9413. We’d be happy to help your business get started with your new Office 365 solution.

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