The 2023 Guide to Microsoft 365 Business Licensing

If you want to utilise Microsoft 365 within your business, you will need to acquire a license. There are a lot of factors to consider when working out exactly which license, you will need to obtain, as Microsoft offers a variety.

Each Microsoft license is unique, providing unique features and restrictions. Choosing the wrong option can leave you stranded without an important feature – or paying extra for features you do not need.

In this article, we will discuss the Microsoft 365 Business license, and how it can help streamline your SMB organisation.

Microsoft 365 Business Licensing

Microsoft 365 Business Licensing is the main license to use the core Microsoft 365 applications (such as Word, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Excel) throughout your organisation.

There are four licenses that Microsoft provides here, all with distinct levels of 365 functionality. All four licenses come with 1TB of cloud storage per user and standard security.

Microsoft 365 Apps for Business

Microsoft 365 Apps for Business is the basic bundle that includes both the desktop and web versions of the traditional Microsoft Office apps, including Word, PowerPoint, and Excel throughout your organisation. This bundle does not, however, include cloud-based communications tools like SharePoint and Microsoft Teams.

This is suitable for small businesses that do not require the Teams and meeting functionalities and are able to perform all necessary business functions with the traditional Microsoft Office application suite. This is useful for those who primarily work offline (although this licence does include OneDrive storage).

Microsoft 365 Business Basic

If you are looking for a basic and affordable introduction to the Microsoft 365 suite, Business Basic is Microsoft’s base bundle. Users are granted a Microsoft Outlook work email and given access to the web and mobile versions of Office applications as well as Teams, Exchange, and SharePoint capabilities.

However, this license does not include the desktop editions of 365 applications, meaning that offline work cannot be performed. It is also missing core business features such as webinars, large meetings, and database visualisation.

The basic package is great for small teams that primarily work online. However, it is not suitable for business-oriented workplaces that require desktop applications. If you are used to the traditional Office suite, you may find that web apps are not as fully fledged under this license.

Microsoft 365 Business Standard

Microsoft 365 Business Standard has previously been the ideal choice for organisations seeking to maximise their Microsoft 365 experience without overspending.

The Microsoft 365 Business Standard includes everything found within the Business Basic license. It also grants users access to desktop versions of all the 365 applications, as well as access to Microsoft Publisher — for layout design and publishing — and Access — for databases.

This license includes the ability to host webinars and large meetings, as well as the ability to work offline. However, it does not include more complex business features such as remote device management and advanced security tools, nor does it include cyber threat protection.

Microsoft 365 Business Premium

Microsoft 365 Business Premium stands as our go-to license for 365 Business, due to the inclusive premium security features, remote device management, and the advanced security tools. It meets all your 365 needs. This comprehensive license offers essential tools like Intune and Azure Information Protection, ensuring your organisation benefits from premium security features that are integrated into the 365 suite. Remote device management and the ability to apply advanced security tools make this the top solution for any organisation looking to get the most out of Microsoft 365.

A Business Premium licence allows you to leverage other security products provided by Extech cloud to keep your business secure, such as CDE (Cyber Defence by Extech Cloud).

We recommend Business Premium for large businesses and enterprises that regularly deploy work devices, host cloud apps, and have high user counts. These licences are limited to 300 seats.

How Extech Cloud Can Help

Choosing the right Microsoft 365 license is pivotal for your organisation’s productivity and efficiency. Selecting the license that aligns with your business’s size and requirements is easy with the guidance and tools available from our team of experts and Extech Cloud. We work with businesses across Burgess Hill, Crawley, Brighton, or across Sussex and Surrey. Contact us today to book a consultation with our experts to discuss your SMB’s needs.


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