Office 365, the cloud-based SaaS service offered by Microsoft, consists of a complete suite of productivity apps including Microsoft Word, Microsoft PowerPoint and Microsoft Excel; as well as server-based applications like Exchange and SharePoint.
Many may find themselves stuck between Office 365 and Exchange Online. Exchange Online vs Office 365 is a confusing matchup because users have the option to opt in for Microsoft’s email solution Exchange Online or they can purchase an Office 365 license that includes all productivity applications. This could prove to be a significant decision-making issue for companies considering moving to the cloud from servers on-premises running a certain edition of Microsoft Exchange Server.
This article will help you decide if the Exchange Online or Office 365 products are sufficient for you.
What is Office 365 like Exchange Online?
Many people assume that Microsoft Exchange Online is the same product as Office 365. This is incorrect. Exchange Online is just one of many products included in Office 365. It is not a single product. Both products can be purchased separately; you can opt-in to Microsoft Exchange Online with the Office 365 suite but not the Office 365 Pro Plus edition.
No matter what, Exchange Online complements Office 365 and doesn’t challenge it. Exchange Online can be used as a standalone email service, but you can upgrade to Office 365 at a later date.
What are your business requirements?
Exchange Online is the best option if you’re looking for an email service that uses cloud technology. There are two Exchange Online Plans to choose from: Plan 1 and Plan 2.
Exchange Online Plan 1 provides up to 50GB storage per user, along with both web-based and app versions of Outlook Client and enterprise-level email protection through Exchange Online Protection.
Exchange Online Plan2 provides unlimited storage and unified messaging services with advanced security features such as Data Loss Prevention (DLP), in-place hold, and voicemails. Large companies usually require this.
If you are looking for a complete suite of collaboration tools and productivity tools, Office 365 is worth considering. Depending on what you need, there are several Office 365 plans, including Office 365 Basics, Office 365 Premium, and Office 365 Enterprise. You may choose Office 365 Enterprise plans if you have more than 300 employees.
Please note that Exchange Online is included in all editions (Business and Enterprise), except Office 365 Pro Plus.
It matters how big your company is?
It is okay to migrate to Exchange Online if you have a small business with 50 or less members. Because you might not require the advanced collaboration features offered by Office 365, this is fine. If you have a large team and expect to increase in size, you might consider Office 365. Office 365 includes the email services of Exchange Online as well as business communication tools like Microsoft Teams and Microsoft Skype for Business. As your business grows, you will need more than email. Office 365’s applications are a great resource.
What is your business’s nature?
Office 365 is a good option if your business requires a lot more collaboration. You will find a variety of useful apps in the software package, including Microsoft Teams and Skype for Business. Office 365 is the right choice for service-based companies. Your users will be expected to work online a lot. Exchange Online, however, is the best choice if you have a business that requires users to collaborate online.
As you can see, it all comes down to what your company needs are. You can start by getting Microsoft Exchange Online. As your needs change, you can migrate to Office 365 full-suite.
Everything you ever wanted to know about Office 365
What is Office 365 like in the past versions?
Office 365 is a subscription-based product. Users pay a monthly fee instead of paying a one-off cost to purchase a copy of the suite.
Office 365 subscription-based model ensures that users have the most current version. This is because the platform is constantly updated by Microsoft. On-premise users would need to purchase a new copy to access new features.
Office 365 was also designed as a cloud-first app. Although desktop versions are available for certain plans, the apps can be used online. All Office 365 applications, data, and services are hosted on Microsoft’s servers.
It doesn’t require users to install any software or maintain any hardware to run it. Office 365 includes email hosting and cloud storage. Users can upload files to the cloud and access them from any device connected to the internet.
Office 365 is cloud-based and offers many features that are not available in the perpetual versions.
Who and why does Office 365 Business work?
Microsoft Office has provided computer users with productivity tools almost 30 years ago. Today, more than a billion people worldwide use Office products. Office is more than just word processing and spreadsheet editing for businesses.
Although its core apps are still essential for businesses, they provide them with the tools they need to manage data, create documents and communicate information. Office has grown to include a wide range of intelligent tools that enable organizations to be more productive. Companies of any size and circumstance can have instant access to these tools through a variety of tailored plans.
Outlook is a powerful platform that can help businesses build brand recognition and market services. Outlook’s rich calendaring capabilities can help companies better manage their time and collaborate with others.
Office 365 connects all apps and services to one another and the wider internet. This facilitates teamwork and saves employees time. It also allows them to collaborate better through tools like team chat, online meetings and team chat. Office 365 includes cloud storage and mobile apps that allow organizations to work from anywhere, anytime. They can also access content, tasks, schedules, and conversations securely from any device.
Many businesses have chosen Office 365 to protect their data, as it offers layered security, proactive data monitoring, privacy protection and a 99.9% uptime guarantee.
How does it help businesses grow?
The best productivity tools can help an organization’s employees be more productive, communicate better, and accomplish more. Office 365 Suite makes it easier to find information, share knowledge, communicate with colleagues, process data, plan and organize, reduces administrative time, and gives businesses more time for innovation, creation, and moving the business forward.
Apps have been added to Office 365 to provide business users with more tools to help grow their businesses, including
- Microsoft Connections is a basic email marketing tool and customer engagement platform.
- Microsoft Listings is a tool that helps organizations manage their business information across platforms such as Facebook, Google and Bing.
- Microsoft Invoicing is an app that generates and sends professional invoices to customers. It also accepts payments online.
- Outlook Customer Manager is a simple and intelligent add-on to customer management for businesses that don’t need a full-blown CRM system.
- Microsoft Bookings allows you to manage customer appointments, schedules and other details.
- MileIQ is a mileage-logging platform that automatically classesify and submits business travel
- Business Center is a central access point to all Office 365 business apps. It allows users to track metrics such as outstanding invoices and email subscriptions.
A cloud-hosted productivity tool can have a positive impact on a company’s bottom line. Subscription-based services are typically cheaper and more flexible in the event of business changes. Office 365 also doesn’t require any hardware investments. Microsoft manages all infrastructure, which reduces the need for IT experts to manage the suite internally and can potentially lower IT service costs.
What’s the difference between Office 365 Business and G Suite?
Although Microsoft has been the dominant player in the productivity software market for a long time, the business world is still Office-dominated. If someone sends you a document or spreadsheet they will likely use Word or Excel.
Cloud computing has made it easier to access business software. Organizations of all sizes can now get products and services without having to spend a lot of money on hardware or software. Modern businesses are moving to a new way for working, as digital business tools are now more readily available. This has created a variety of potential competitors to Microsoft’s productivity crown.
Corel WordPerfect, LibreOffice and LibreOffice are not yet ready to move to cloud-based Office suites. Google’s G Suite is the only viable alternative to Office 365. G Suite, like Office 365, offers a popular free version that includes ad-supported apps such as Google Docs and Google Sheets. It also comes with an allowance of cloud storage and email hosting.
The subscription version of the suite is available for businesses and organizations of any size. G Suite offers many of the same functionalities as Office 365 such as business email addresses, secure messaging, email encryption, security and administration controls, voice and video calls, and extensive support.
G Suite offers three subscription levels starting at $5-25 per user per month. This is a simpler structure than Office 365, which has seven layers of licensing, but it’s the same price. You must pay upfront for the entire year for Microsoft’s Enterprise-level plans. This is the big difference. Each plan in Office 365 should be carefully reviewed by users. Some plans do not include things that you might expect, such as email accounts or calendar functionality.
Taking into account file storage, apps, email, and emails, Office 365’s entry level subscriptions are generally more generous than G Suite’s. The two are almost equal when you move up to the mid-level plans.
There are some key differences in how these apps are included in these suites. Microsoft’s apps have more features than Google’s and many Office 365 plans include desktop versions of the apps. G Suite is only cloud-only.
What is Office 365 like Microsoft 365?
Microsoft 365 was introduced in mid-2017 by Microsoft. Microsoft 365 should not be confused with Microsoft Dynamics 365 or Office 365, despite its similar branding.
Office 365 offers a cloud-based suite for productivity apps. Microsoft 365 provides a bundle of services that includes Office 365 and other business tools. Although Office 365 can be subscribed to without Microsoft 365, all Microsoft 365 users will have access to Office 365.
Microsoft 365 was created to provide businesses with all the tools they need to manage their IT infrastructure, protect their business, and get things done. Microsoft 365 also includes Windows 10 Enterprise and Enterprise Mobility + Security (EMS) which gives subscribers access to file storage, email, calendaring, cyber threat protection, administration, deployment controls and a 99.9% uptime warranty.
Although all services in Microsoft 365 can be purchased separately, many businesses might find it easier and more cost-effective to purchase the Microsoft 365 bundle. This is especially true if they do not already have Microsoft business customers.
What’s Microsoft SharePoint?
SharePoint is a web-based collaboration platform that integrates seamlessly with Microsoft Office. SharePoint was launched in 2001 as a document storage and document management system. However, SharePoint’s configuration is extensive and the usage of the product varies greatly between organizations.
SharePoint Online is a cloud-based service hosted by Microsoft that can be used by businesses of any size. Many Office 365 plans offer SharePoint Online. Any business can subscribe to either an Office 365 plan, or the standalone SharePoint Online service. This allows them to install and deploy SharePoint Server online. To share documents and information among colleagues, customers, partners, or coworkers, your employees can create websites.
SharePoint allows users:
- Use subsites that are specific to your business, department, or team to create, edit, manage, and share information and insights with colleagues.
- Use document libraries, task list, and calendars to keep your teams on the same page.
- Select sites offer news and updates about shares company events and business information
- Document-level permissions allow you to protect data and content
- SharePoint Workspace allows you to download and access documents offline.
- You can communicate with your colleagues from the SharePoint Online interface in real time.
SharePoint Online is included in all Office 365 plans, except Office 365 Business and Office 365 ProPlus.
OneDrive is Microsoft’s cloud storage service. OneDrive can store all types of files including images, documents, music, video, and more. These files can be accessed securely from any device that has internet access. OneDrive stores all Office 365 files and allows file sync across browsers, desktops, and mobile devices.
All Office 365 enterprise and business users get 1TB of OneDrive storage. Enterprise E3 and Enterprise E5 subscribers receive unlimited cloud storage.
OneDrive for Business is used by more than 85% of Fortune 500 companies. A company that does not subscribe to Office 365 can subscribe to OneDrive for Business separately. OneDrive for Business is available in a variety of ways. It can be deployed in a public cloud more often than not as part a Office 365 plan, or as a hybrid service with SharePoint 2016. Or on-premise as part a SharePoint 2013 or 2016 deployment.
What’s Skype for Business?
Skype for Business, a commercial version of the popular chat- and conferencing service, is available. Skype for Business allows organizations to access all the communication tools they need every day. They can send instant messages between coworkers, use video conferencing features, make whiteboard presentations, record conversations, screen share, and even hold meetings with up 250 people from any device. Skype for Business can be integrated with other Office 365 apps for seamless communication.
What happened with Microsoft Lync?
Microsoft Lync was an instant messaging client that Microsoft users used in 2011. It was released in 2011. Skype for Business replaced it in 2015. Customers who still use Microsoft Lync will be able to get extended support until April 2023.
Skype for Business offers all the features of Lync, plus additional functions such as offline messaging and multi-party HD video.
What’s Microsoft Teams?
Teams is primarily a chat-based collaboration tool. Its main purpose is to promote teamwork and productivity with three key areas: chat, project management and extensive integration with Office 365.
Teams combines the chat capabilities of Skype for Business with collaboration tools such document sharing, AI-powered features like chatbots and project management tools. It provides a central place for modern teams to collaborate.
Teams was originally launched as a chat-based communication platform. Microsoft is currently working to integrate Skype’s full functionality into Teams. Microsoft stated that Skype for Business users should use Skype for Business until Microsoft Teams’ capabilities are available to them. However, it is encouraging Skype users to use Teams alongside Skype. This will make user adoption and migration much simpler when the time is right.
Yammer, a social network designed for employees, aims to connect them and make them more connected. It allows for cross-departmental communication and information sharing. Yammer is the “outer circle” for communicating company-wide announcements, news, and engagements. Yammer is a digital company messageboard.
It is different from Teams because it is intended for close, intimate and close-knit collaboration among project teams.
What’s Microsoft Exchange?
Microsoft Exchange is Microsoft’s email server solution. It is the basis on which Outlook and other email clients can run. Exchange servers store and process all of Outlook’s data, including incoming and outgoing mail as well as tasks, contacts and calendars. Exchange gives organizations the ability to build their own mail system.
What’s the Microsoft Graph?
An API is Microsoft Graph. API stands for Application Programming Interface. These interfaces allow a piece or software to let another piece of software use its data and/or functionality. If you want to purchase a movie ticket online using your credit card, the website will use an API to connect with your credit card provider to verify your details and to complete the transaction. The two websites are completely different and don’t share any data. However, the API provides an interface that allows them to communicate securely behind the scenes with each other.
Microsoft Graph is the same for all apps and services that fall under the Microsoft 365 umbrella. It acts as a digital switchboard through Microsoft 365, Windows 10 and EMS to relay data. The Graph helps users connect with each other, their emails, calendars and tasks. It also allows users to find relevant and contextual data anywhere it might be found within Microsoft 365. Microsoft Graph allows users to share data between apps rather than keeping it separate.
Microsoft Graph allows developers to create their own apps and workflows that use Microsoft 365 data. This adds new functionality and helps developers integrate with other platforms such as Outlook, Excel, OneDrive, OneNote and SharePoint.
How does Office 365 for Business be deployed?
Many Office 365 plans offer downloadable desktop versions for popular Office apps. However, the Microsoft suite is hosted on customer’s servers and can be accessed via the internet.
Internet access is required to launch and implement all Office 365 plans. Customers will also need to log in online to manage their accounts. Access to Office 365’s cloud services like email, conferencing and system management requires internet connectivity.
Certain Office apps can be used as desktop versions. Customers can work offline, and all documents are synchronized once the device has been reconnected. This ensures that all work is current.
How long does Office 365 for Business require to implement?
Most Office 365 implementations are possible in a matter days because much of Office 365 infrastructure is hosted by Microsoft. The installation of desktop versions is not required.
Businesses users will likely have a lot of legacy data to migrate, including emails, contacts and documents. Office 365 partners can assist new users in transferring to Office 365 and getting everything set up correctly.
Typical Office 365 implementation would involve migration of email data from Exchange to Office 365, consultation to ensure alignment of processes with business needs, setting up services like Enterprise Mobility and Security, Skype and Yammer, and service element design and security configuration.
What’s FastTrack deployment for Office 365 and Office 365?
Microsoft offers FastTrack, a free deployment service that helps businesses quickly get Office 365 online. This service can be done remotely.
FastTrack is available only to customers who have purchased 50+ licenses. Customers with more than 500 licenses will be eligible for additional technical support and software solutions that can help migrate data to cloud.
FastTrack guidance covers core onboarding, service and onboarding, data migration, user adoption, and account setup for Exchange Online and SharePoint Online, OneDrive for Business Online and Skype for Business Online. The service is remote only. Microsoft will not send technicians to install Office 365 for customers.
Office 365 plans are eligible for FastTrack deployment assistance: Office 365 Enterprise E3, Office 365 Enterprise E4, Office 365 Enterprise E5, Office 365 Premium, Office 365 Enterprise E1, Office 365 Enterprise E3, Office 365 Enterprise E4, Office 365 Enterprise E5, Office 365 Enterprise E5, Office 365 ProPlus and all Office 365 US Government Plans.
Office 365 can be used with older versions of Office?
Office 365 is available to existing Office customers that have an on-premise perpetually licensed version of Office. They can also use Office 365 to enjoy all the benefits of cloud connectivity. Office 365 is compatible with Office 2016, the most recent version of Office. However, it also works with Office 2013 and Office 2011 for Mac. Office 2010 and Office 2007 may still work with Office 365, but with less functionality.
Office 365 Business Market Information
A recent report found that Office 365 is the most used suite of enterprise applications, beating out products such as Salesforce and cloud service platforms such as AWS.
Microsoft considers Office 365 the largest revenue-generating product in its “commercial cloud” range of products. This includes Azure, Dynamics 365 and Power BI. It is a testament to how universal and unrivalled the suite is when compared to other software.
The $15bln market for business productivity tools is huge. However, despite the fact that enterprise users of Google’s G Suite have risen to 4 million this past year, Office 365 continues its dominance.
The number of Office 365 monthly business users increased to 120 million in October 2017 from 100 million in April 2017. The first quarter of FY 2017 saw subscription licensing of Microsoft Office surpass traditional perpetual licensing revenue. This is a further sign of Microsoft users’ gradual adoption.
Microsoft also reported at the time that was ahead in its timeline for moving all Office users into the cloud. The company expects that 70% of its Exchange/Outlook users will be using Office 365 by 2019.
Office 365 security?
Many potential customers and new customers will be concerned about privacy and security because Office 365 is a cloud-hosted platform. Data is a company’s most valuable asset. As we have seen in many high-profile data breaches in recent years, there are serious consequences for failing to properly secure your business data.
Although no cloud service is perfect, users can take advantage of Microsoft’s massive investments in security by hosting their business data and infrastructure in the Microsoft public cloud. Office 365 data is stored in Microsoft’s global cloud data centers. Here, dedicated threat management teams actively prevent, prevent, or mitigate malicious access 24 hours a day; a level of security virtually no company can afford.
Office 365 includes native antivirus, antispam, and antimalware. Exchange Online Protection (EOP) screens all communications. Email is encrypted at rest and in transit using SSL/TLS. Office 365’s Message Encryption allows users to send encrypted emails to anyone regardless of which email service they use.
Azure Rights Management allows users to assign file-level access to specific users. This ensures that only the most qualified user credentials have access to sensitive information. Multi-factor authentication protects the service.
What Admin Centers are available for Office 365?
One admin center is now available for Office 365. It’s known as the Microsoft 365 admin center. This admin center will be available to all Office 365 customers, regardless of whether or not they have Office 365 licenses. Administrators can use this admin center to manage and monitor users, applications, data, devices, and services. All Office 365 applications such as SharePoint or OneDrive can be accessed through the Microsoft 365 admin centre.