Selecting the right Microsoft 365 license is an important step. However, keep in mind that because these are subscription licenses, you are never locked in on the licenses you choose to start with. You can downgrade/upgrade, and you can also have a mix of different licenses for the different needs of the users in your company. Not one size fits all and it’s all about mixing and matching options to suit your needs.

Most organisations have a variety of workers including frontline, office workers, production line and engineering to name a few. Each of the user groups have a different licensing requirement and we recommend you do a segmentation exercise and figure out what each segment needs. We don’t recommend one option for everything; you need a tailored solution. For example, using a Business license for your first 300 users regardless of the size of your organisation.  

Do not use one license for your whole organisation this leads to under and over licensing. In our experience working with clients, this is one of the best ways of saving money on your licenses. We suggest breaking up your organisation into different personas. Are some members of your workforce non-office based? Do your warehouse staff really need access to the full suite of Microsoft solutions? These are some questions for consideration. Here are some of our recommendations to help you get started.

Office workers

For office workers M365 business premium for your first 300 employees gives all the functionality that a business would require. This is the equivalent of Microsoft E3 and is a strong option for most small- and mid-sized businesses looking for Microsoft Office applications, emails, cloud-file management, and file sharing, with strong enterprise analytics and compliance controls. The service provides all the basic enterprise controls that most small businesses require, at an affordable price. Even large enterprises are allowed to buy up to 300 business licenses so can be a great way of saving money straight away.

Non office-based workers

For non office-based workers we would recommend E1 or Business Basic/Standard licenses. We would recommend E1 only for businesses who do not wish to use Office cloud applications but require basic email and file sharing functionality.  

The service is more cost-effective when considering this use case than E3. However, when it comes to security—particularly email security—this solution is lacking. If you’re investing in E1, we recommend that you implement third-party email security solutions to protect your business against sophisticated phishing and ransomware attacks. We would recommend the Business Basic/Standard options, the mid-level pricing makes them a good option for many SME organisations.

Frontline workers

Make sure you take advantage of the frontline worker licenses for these; this can save you a significant amount on licenses. You can find out more about these licenses here. 

Users considering Google and alternatives to Microsoft

For users who are weighing up Google Suite and alternative solutions, E1 gives you the core services with web apps (same as Google). You also have the option of Business Standard which is more of a robust plan and gives you more than you might already be used to. This is still a good option for longer term use.

Vendor consolidation

E5 provides the most features and functionality of the three plans, so from the perspective of getting the best possible version of Office 365, this plan is the way to go. It provides all the Office 365 applications, advanced email control and functionality, better auditing and analytics, and the telephone system and audio-conferencing capabilities. This is the most expensive solution but if you offset the costs of third-party systems and consolidate all your security offerings to Microsoft this does offer great value.

If you are looking for Microsoft licenses, then head here to receive a quote from Bridgeall. Our quote will provide you with a simple price for the licenses requested, including the discount offered by Bridgeall. We also include some recommendations for different ways you could save money by adopting a slightly different licensing option if possible.