So, you know that you want to use the Microsoft Office 365 suite to migrate your files to the cloud and improve collaboration between employees. Still, there’s one important question: Office 365 Business Premium vs E3? Should you invest in the Business Premium level, or go all-in to the enterprise-level E3? There are a number of aspects to stay aware of as you make your decision.
Headcount/shared inbox: For some organizations, this discussion needs to go no further than the number of users. Business Premium is locked to a maximum of 300 users, whereas E3 allows for an unlimited number. Organizations larger than 300 employees really have no choice but to opt for the enterprise-level plan.
Storage space: You want to make sure that your employees don’t ever run out of cloud storage space, but not every organization needs massive capacity. Business Premium comes with 50GB for each inbox and 1TB cloud storage for each user, but E3 offers unlimited storage. Most organizations don’t need more than 50GB of inbox storage, but some companies need to send large files or have massive volumes that need extra room. IT should be able to do a quick analysis to look into your average usage to educate your choice here.
Advanced email: If you operate in a regulation-heavy industry, such as health care, you need to comply with certain rules about archiving and securing customer/patient information. Information. Or, your business might have more stringent internal policies. E3 offers archiving and legal hold capabilities on top of unlimited storage, which ensures that you don’t have to delete any files to keep you from running out of storage. Data loss prevention (DLP) policies and other tips help E3 customers keep employees compliant. Business premium doesn’t offer any of these features.
Enterprise-level management: All Office 365 plans help companies deploy the cloud across the company without involving IT. It’s easy to add or remove users in a matter of minutes. That said, E3 offers a more comprehensive administration portal for custom, automated management solutions with PowerShell commands and mobile management.
Support: Both plans come with 99.9 percent uptime, and when things go wrong, both offer community support, troubleshooting guides, and web/email support. For critical issues (which impact deadlines or profitability), both plans offer 24/7 phone support with a one-hour response time. The major difference is that for less-than-critical issues, Business Premium is only available during business hours, and has no guarantee of response time. E3 offers 24/7 support no matter how severe the issue.
Add-ons: Microsoft used to let Business Premium plans expand their services with a number of add-ons. Now, those are only available with a enterprise plan. Add-ons include Delve Analytics, cloud PBX, threat protection, OneDrive for Business, and more.
Pricing: With all those points in mind, you can finally start to think about how much certain features are worth to your company, and whether one price point or another makes sense given what can and can’t be done. Business Premium is available for $12.50 user/month for an annual commitment, or $15.00 user/month for a month-to-month plan. E3 costs $20/month for an annual commitment—there is no option for a month-to-month plan. It’s a $7.50 difference between the annual Business Premium and annual E3 plans, and while that might not seem like much, costs can add up over hundreds of users.
There are even more issues and differences to be aware of, but these should give you a head start when thinking about which will work best for your business.
Want to make the process even easier? Acquiring Office 365 for your business through a managed service provider (MSP) like Bi101 will streamline the migration process and will ensure you maximize your new investment in the cloud.