Office365-Microsoft365You’d probably agree, this is one of the more confusing branding examples in the IT industry!

Microsoft 365 is the latest major offering to come from Microsoft, and while it sounds similar to Office 365 there are actually a number of key differences.

On a basic level, Microsoft 365 includes your Office 365 licensing along with a number of other extra features and in some cases will consolidate existing licenses you are paying for elsewhere.

Office 365: A cloud services platform that offers familiar Microsoft products like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneDrive (along with other productivity services like Teams and Sharepoint). Office 365 is available online or on-premises via a subscription plan.

Microsoft 365: An all-in-one bundle that includes the Office 365 suite, an upgrade to Windows 10 Pro and Enterprise Mobility+Security.

The confusing branding aside it’s clear that Microsoft’s intention is for all current subscribers of Office 365 to one day progress to Microsoft 365’s bundle. Similar to how most Office 365 users started out on a plan that excluded Microsoft Office software (Word, Excel etc) and most now subscribe to an included plan.

What are the key parts and how would they work for my organisation?

If you wish to go straight to the source here is a link to Microsoft’s site which compares the plans otherwise;

Office 365

Microsoft 365 includes your correlated Office 365 plan. So if you were to subscribe to this service it would allow you to transition your existing license and forgo that cost.

Windows 10 pro

This is the software license for Windows 10 Pro. However, this can not be used as the only license for Windows you use. It will act as an upgrade license (if you have Windows 7, 8) or a license for a Virtual Desktop. This is a disappointment and we do expect it it change.

Enterprise Mobile+Security

There are several useful security functions included;

ATP – Advanced Threat Protection.

This can be subscribed to separately. Many of our customers will already use this product as part of our Security Stack offering.

Mobile Device Management (MDM) & Mobile Application Management (MAM)

This service allows your organisation to manage your mobile devices (Apple, Android and Windows). Using it you can remotely configure, change and lock device settings.

It will also allow you to add and remove applications as well as block certain applications.

The Microsoft MDM is improving its functionality but is lacking some of the tracking and logging functions of other MDM suites.

Azure AD Pro Plan 1

This service is very interesting.

This expands on the bundled Azure AD that comes with Office 365 plans.

In a nutshell, it improves the functionality for organisations wanting to have their users authenticate their devices to a domain, without a Server.

Key functions such as user-controlled password management and tracking are absent without Azure AD Pro Plan 1, and leave it lacking in functionality and security.

If you plan to go server-less and wish to maintain security, we highly recommend Azure AD Pro Plan 1.

Is this the next thing for my organisation?

We’d recommend that you need to seriously consider Microsoft 365 if you;

  • Have workstations running Windows 7 that need to upgrade this year.
  • Are currently using some form of Virtual Desktop (including Terminal Services/Remote Desktop Services).
  • Do not have a Domain Controller or only have a server for the Domain Controller function. If this is the case Microsoft 365 is functionally and financially an attractive way of improving the quality of your IT setup and security.

Should you have any questions on Microsoft 365 and how it might benefit your organisation, please contact us.