Making Sense of Microsoft 365

Ross MacKenzie
Categories: Optimise your Infrastructure
Tags: Microsoft 365
Microsoft 365

There seems to be a lot of misunderstanding around the Gulf about Office 365 and Microsoft 365 with clients confusing the two. So here we’re going to explain the difference and give you a few tips on deciding if Microsoft 365 is the bundled solution for you.

What's the difference between the two?

The familiar productivity solution:

Office 365 is a suite of cloud-based subscription services which are focused on making business more productive. It includes solutions you’re probably already familiar with, such as Microsoft Outlook, Word, PowerPoint and Excel and, depending on the plan you subscribe to, can also include robust productivity and collaboration tools such as Skype for Business, SharePoint, OneDrive, Teams, Yammer and Planner. One of the biggest advantages of Office 365 is the ability to work from anywhere as long as you have an internet connection. Because it's entirely cloud-based, you can access email, files and Office programs (Word, PowerPoint, Excel) from anywhere and any device.

The intelligent and completely secure solution:

Microsoft 365, on the other hand, is a bundle of services that includes Office 365 and so much more! It is a prime candidate for any business serious about embracing digital transformation. It is in fact a complete, intelligent solution, which also includes Windows 10, and Enterprise Mobility + Security and machine learning, that empowers everyone to be creative and work together, securely.

An added bonus is that Microsoft 365 is evergreen which means it comprises components that will always be kept up-to-date, which helps reduce the resources required to stay abreast of the curve. Once again, there are several subscription plans to choose from.

Microsoft 365 Business:

This is the hero offering for SMBs under 300 users. Apart from all the familiar Office 365 features, it also comprises Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection; Data Loss Prevention; Exchange Online Archiving; Azure Information Protection Plan 1; Full Intune availability.

An added advantage is that SMB customers currently using EM+S and/or competitive security solutions can converge their technology investment into one solution. Security is top of mind for many SMBs and is now becoming a business concern not simply a technology issue, Microsoft 365 will provide the peace of mind they need as it’s often sold with the solid data classification and protection solution Azure Information Protection (AIP).

Why AIP?

Opting for this cloud-based solution helps organisations classify and optionally, protect, its documents and emails by applying labels which can be applied automatically by administrators who define rules and conditions, manually by users, or a combination where users are given recommendations.

Once content is classified (and optionally protected), users can track and control how it’s used. They can analyse data flows to gain valuable business insights, detect risky behavior and take corrective measures, track access to documents, prevent data leakage or misuse, and so on. Basically with AIP you’re in the safest of hands!

Microsoft 365 Enterprise

This is for businesses which need advanced functionality and security. It’s the single solution to enable teams to work creatively, collaboratively.

  • Creativity curatedMicrosoft 365 enables team members to work naturally with ink, voice and touch to visualize information in totally new ways. Users can create compelling content with intelligent apps and build on the work and expertise of others.

  • Talking teamwork: With this solution you’ll get enterprise-class email, voice and video to connect everyone throughout the organisation no matter where they are. Team members can share and collaborate on documents in real time and you’ll also have the power of Microsoft’s new chat-based workspace – Teams.

  • Streamlined for ease: Microsoft 365 Enterprise is integrated for simplicity. It’s solutions are always up-to-date and benefit from cloud-based management.

  • Intelligent Security: A key plank of Microsoft 365 Enterprise is its security offering powered by Microsoft Intelligent Security Graph. It can protect identity, apps, data & devices, thwart advanced threats and manage data archiving, governance and discovery.

What's right for you?

Firstly, ask yourself: “Do we need everything included in Microsoft 365?" If the answer is yes, and it’s likely to be for any company serious about competitiveness driven by digital transformation, you next need to choose a specific subscription plan. Through its business advisory offering, Cobweb can help you select the right option for your business. Just call us, let us drill down into your current and future business needs, and we’ll guide you to the best fit for you.


Once again, Cobweb will guide you through the migration process, in fact we will be with you all the way – and after, thanks to our 24/7 support service. Our aim is to minimize any disruption to your business and ensure smooth migration.

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