Microsoft Office 365 applications overview

Microsoft Office 365 suite is a service providing businesses with a package of productivity programs. This article will provide you with an Office 365 applications overview (now Microsoft 365). I will talk more precisely about Microsoft Office 365 applications offered in a package and a few more things correlated to the Microsoft 365 suite.

But before I will continue and describe Office 365 applications in detail, let’s answer the question of what Office 365 even is.

Office 365 is a subscription-based cloud service. It means that instead of paying a one-time fee and being able to install and use all the apps provided in Office suite you pay a monthly subscription to be able to use the Office 365 applications as the cloud-based service. It provides you with access to the apps in Microsoft 365 suite via a web browser in addition to using them on-premise.

Office 365 applications – overview

Microsoft Office 365 applications - Word

Word is an app that sets the standard of word processors throughout the world. The main purpose is to edit, draft, and format text documents.

Microsoft Office 365 applications - Excel

Excel is the spreadsheet that has been around since the previous century, and now is a standard for organizing, storing, and analyzing data in tabular form.

Microsoft Office 365 applications - PowerPoint

PowerPoint is the program allowing users to create presentations, and display information in various formats, from basic slideshows to animated forms.

Microsoft Office 365 applications - Outlook

Outlook is a Microsoft email solution for not only managing emails, but also provides managing of users’ calendar and contacts.

Those 4 applications are the core of the Microsoft 365 suite, and you probably already know all of those. But Office 365 offers many more apps and services for you to use, empowering communication, storage, and many more within your business. Let’s take a closer look at those additional Office 365 applications.

Microsoft Office 365 applications - Exchange Online

Exchange Online is a Microsoft Exchange Server’s cloud-based substitute. On the Administration level using Exchange Online greatly simplifies the whole process of managing an email service, setting policies and reducing IT overhead and costs.

Microsoft Office 365 applications - OneDrive for Business

OneDrive for Business is one of the Office 365 applications dedicated for cloud-based file storage, allowing users to data filing, manage, and share files within or outside the organization. 

Microsoft Office 365 applications - Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams is a collaborative platform allowing users to communicate with eachother – inside or outside the company. It is possible via chat, video calls, direct messages, screen sharing. It also integrates with other Office 365 applications to create seamless cooperation on the projects and initiatives.

Microsoft Office 365 applications - SharePoint Online

SharePoint Online is an Office 365 application providing effective document management, collaboration, and file sharing. It also allows creating either organization-wide or team project information portals. Compared to OneDrive it is more about collaboration than data filing.

Microsoft Office 365 applications - Publisher

Publisher is a publishing, content design application that allows users to create and publish professional-looking content like newsletters or brochures.

Microsoft Office 365 applications - Yammer

Yammer is a service quite similar to Teams, but the main idea behind it is fundamentally different. Yammer’s main purpose is to create a social network connecting all employees across the organization, improving employee engagement and leveraging knowledge inside your company.

Microsoft Office 365 applications - Power BI

Power BI is one of the most powerful tools when it comes to creating business data visualizations.

The applications above are the ones most popular, and most broadly used within Office 365. But Microsoft provides a list of powerful tools for your organization to use including:

Access – only on PC
Advanced Threat Analytics
Cloud App Security
Biz Apps
Enterprise Mobility+ Security

Microsoft Defender
Microsoft Family
Microsoft Stream
Microsoft ToDo
Mobile Apps

Windows OS
Workplace Analytics

As you can see this list is pretty long, and if we would go into details of every of the offered Office 365 applications you will probably leave this article after the first “scroll”. You need to know that not every Office 365 application is included in every plan. Thus, let’s take a look at what plans are offered by Microsoft 365.

Office 365 applications within Microsoft 365 Plans

Microsoft provides several subscription plans when it comes to its cloud-based productivity suite. There are 3 main types of plans – Home, Business, Enterprise that offer a different range of services, licenses, and amount of storage. These plans correspond to who is the desired user group of that plan. Home plans are for individual users such as families, groups of friends using Office 365 for individual purposes. Business plans are targeted to be used by small and medium businesses. And finally, Enterprise plans are there to be used by large companies.

Microsoft 365 Home Plans

Microsoft 365 Home Plans offers 2 options:

+ Family – at $7.99 per month, allowing using by up to 6 users
+ Personal – at $5.99 per month, allowing use by 1 user.

Both of these options offer a range of productivity apps listed a few paragraphs above. And offers 1TB of cloud storage per user.

Microsoft 365 Business Plans

Microsoft 365 Business Plans provides 4 options to choose from:

+ Business Basic – at $5.00 per user per month, allowing using web/mobile versions only
+ Business Standard – at $12.50 per user per month, allowing the use of core productivity apps and services
+ Business Premium – at $20.00 per user per month, allowing the use of the core productivity apps and services and also the use of advanced cyberthreat protection and device management tools.
+ Apps for business – at $8.25 per user per month, allowing using only productivity applications, without any services.

Microsoft 365 Enterprise Plans

Microsoft 365 Enterprise Plans provides 3 options to choose from:

+ F3 – at $10.00 per user per month, allowing the use of web/mobile applications
+ E3 – at $32.00 per user per month, is equivalent to Business Premium but with more control and greater functionality
+ E5 – at $57.00 per user per month, is everything available in Microsoft Office 365, every application, service, tool.

Microsoft 365 Business vs. Enterprise

When you are an individual user, it’s simple which plan to choose, but when you need to pick one for your organization that’s when the questions arise. There are 3 criteria that can help you determine what plan is the best for your business.

Size of your organization
Your organization preferred Office 365 environment
Protection of data in your organization

Let’s take a closer look at each of those aspects in the context of Microsft 365.

Starting with probably the most straightforward one – the size of your company. If your company has over 300 employees the choice is simple because Office 365 Business plans are meant for organizations with up to 300 employees. This means the only choice you have is to use Enterprise plans. However, some companies mix and match plans inside their organization to cut costs, as some groups of employees require only basic functionality to work efficiently.

When it comes to the preferred environment, if your organization wants to use the default Office 365 environment which is cloud-based, then there is no difference between Business plans and Enterprise plans. But when you want to implement mixed environments – both on-premise and cloud-based, only Enterprise plans allow you to do so.

Now let’s talk about, in my opinion, the most important factor – The security of the company’s data. Enterprise plans provide you with a range of very powerful tools to increase security within your company, while Business plans supply you with some means to secure your data, they are not as strong as enterprise-level ones. Some of the features that Enterprise plans have but Business plans don’t include: Advanced Threat Analytics, Litigation Holds.

Office 365 applications – summary

Whether you run a small business or a worldwide enterprise Microsoft provides your organization with top-tier solutions for productivity applications, storage, team collaboration, and security tools. By using Office 365 applications you can simplify service management inside your institution by providing tools to centralize control, and automatic updates. A wide range of provided plans let you choose what is best for your organization.

Whether you choose Business or Enterprise plans, please bear in mind that the Shared Responsibility Model is always applicable. Due to this policy, you as a data owner are always responsible for data processed in Office 365 applications. And the more of them you use, the more data you process and the possibility of their loss increase. That is why you need a professional, automated third-party Microsoft 365 backup solution to protect your data against any event of failure and meet Shared Responsibility Model requirements – including retention, compliance, and security.

Xopero ONE Backup & Recovery for Microsoft 365 ensures you with: 
  • Protecting your Microsoft 365 critical data, 
  • Easy, automatic organization adding, 
  • Plan-based backup and advanced scheduler, 
  • Full retention control
  • Granular restore
  • Point-in-time recovery 
  • Cross-user recovery

and much more…

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