Microsoft Office 365 Subscriptions Explained

We organise various different Office 365 services for our clients and it can be confusing to know what each offers, the differences between them and the costs.  Here we briefly set out to answer just those questions!

17 July 2017 Buyer's Guides  E-mail, Microsoft Office

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Subscription basics

Before we dive in to look at the most common subscriptions it is worth just going over some of the basics of Microsoft's Office 365 subscription services. It is also worth bearing in mind there are some variations and what follows is the usual set up for our clients.

  • You subscribe, as an organisation, to a service (such as Exchange Online Plan 1) and buy at least one license for that service.
  • Licenses are per person or mailbox and charged per month on a pro-rata basis.
  • Subscriptions runs for a 12 month term however you can decrease or increase the number of licenses at any time.

Microsoft Exchange Online Plan 1

For those who have moved over to Office 365 for their Email services then you are likely to all started off with a Exchange Online Plan 1 subscription and this provides each person with a mailbox and associated Email services.

The are various Exchange "plans" however for all our clients, the Plan 1 is what is most commonly used.

The Microsoft Exchange Online Plan 1 subscription includes:

  • 50 GB Mailbox
  • 150 MB maximum message size
  • "Enterprise grade" message security (anti-malware and anti-spam)

Cost

  • £3.00+VAT per mailbox per month (if you pay directly or £3.25+VAT if we invoice you)

Note

When looking at your own license counts you will often see more licenses than people. This is because some mailbox are shared/resource mailboxes (e.g. a marketing mailbox). Exchange Online offers dedicated shared mailboxes which do not attract a monthly charge however we rarely recommend them as we find that people prefer working with a full mailbox to give them the most flexibility.

Microsoft Office 365 Business Essentials

If you have your own office applications but would like to move away from centralised file and document storage for people you may want to make use of the OneDrive cloud storage service in addition to your Exchange mailboxes. If so then it is the Microsoft Office 365 Business Essentials subscription that will fit the bill.

The Microsoft Office 365 Business Essentials subscription includes:

  • 50 GB Mailbox
  • 150 MB maximum message size
  • Premier message security (anti-malware and anti-spam)
  • 1000 GB personal cloud storage, accessible from anywhere and allows easy sharing
  • Online conferencing and Skype communication
  • Online Office applications (using your Browser) including Word, Excel and PowerPoint

Cost

  • £3.80+VAT per mailbox per month (if you pay directly or £4.05+VAT if we invoice you)

Note

The Microsoft Office 365 Business Essentials subscription includes a number of other services which will be sign posted when you sign into your Office 365 portal.

Microsoft Office 365 Business Premium

Finally there is the Microsoft Office 365 Business Premium subscription which as well as the services outlined previously also includes apps for your Windows PC, Apple Mac as well as your phone and tablets.  Not only that but you can use your license on up to 5 PCs, Macs, phones and tablets and with OneDrive integrated you can access documents seemlessly and easily between all.

Your Microsoft Office 365 Business Premium subscription includes:

  • 50 GB Mailbox
  • 150 MB maximum message size
  • Premier message security (anti-malware and anti-spam)
  • 1000 GB personal cloud storage, accessible from anywhere and allows easy sharing
  • Online conferencing and Skype communication
  • Online Office applications (using your Browser) including Word, Excel and PowerPoint
  • Installed Office applications (5 computers and 5 devices) including Word, Excel, Outlook and PowerPoint

Cost

  • £9.40+VAT per mailbox per month (if you pay directly or £9.90+VAT if we invoice you)

Note

The Microsoft Office 365 Business Premium subscription includes a number of other services which will be sign posted when you sign into your Office 365 portal.

How we charge

We have outlined the costs per subscription/license both if you subscribe directly (which usually requires a credit/debit card) and if we subscribe on your behalf. 

If we do subscribe on your behalf you remain the legal owner but we deal with the subscription charges for which we charge between 25p and 50p per subscription.  At any time you can elect to settle the charges yourself, you simply need to have a debit/credit card which we will add to the account for you and then remove our billing details.

It is important to also note we are added as a Partner of Record to your Office 365 subscriptions for which we also receive a small reward several times a year. 

You may see that your charges are less than those stated above. Microsoft increased the charges from January 2017 and some price increases will start to filter through but others will remain static as they pre-date the price increase.

Corrections or suggestions

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