Know the licensing structure of Microsoft 365 and Office 365

Office 365 and Microsoft 365 are both developed by Microsoft and used by organizations depending on needs and roadmap. Both are cloud-based productivity suites, developed to offer collaboration, security, compliance, storage, and other essential business applications.       

Office 365 and Microsoft 365 plans come with a subscription-based model, with different subscription levels tailored to meet specific organizational needs. Organizations and its users can fully take advantage of the various access and the right set of tools offered to meet their unique requirements if only they understand what they are about.    

Additionally, Microsoft 365 provides comprehensive data protection and security features, ensuring that data is kept safe from unauthorized access and data loss.    

Microsoft 365 includes all the applications in Office 365, Enterprise Mobility + Security, and Windows Enterprise E3.     

In this explainer, we will introduce you to the various licensing options, pricing factors, and what each cloud-based solution offers.     

How is Office 365 licensed?      

Office 365 services are typically licensed on a subscription basis, which can be purchased annually or on a monthly basis. The purchase can be made directly from Microsoft’s website, purchased through partners (Cloud Solution Providers Program) or New Commerce Experience (NCE) and through Volume Licensing Agreements such as Microsoft Enterprise Agreement.      

The number of licenses required for your organization depends on the:      

  • Number of users      
  • Applications required      
  • Features available in each plan      

These services are typically licensed as a Subscription Licenses. This means a license is assigned to a person or named user. It is this license that gives the user permission to use the relevant services from any device.      

Demonstrated in the below diagram are some ways organizations may buy Subscription Licenses.     

A deep dive into the offers on Office 365.       

Office 365 offers a range of benefits to organizations, which includes increased productivity, communication and collaboration. With the cloud-based office suite, users across the organization can access the applications they need from any location. Office 365 enables users to create, share, and collaborate from anywhere on any device where all that is required is internet connectivity.    

Office 365 offers other platforms like Exchange Online Protection, Activity Reports, Briefing E-mail, Microsoft To Do, Microsoft Whiteboard, Microsoft Lists, Planner, Secure Score, Webinars, Retention Policies and Viva Connections.      

Is it possible to have multiple devices licensed for Office 365?      

Yes, it is possible to have multiple devices licensed for Office 365. The number of devices per license depends on the plan purchased. Moreover, users can install applications on personal devices such as tablets, phones, and desktops. Office 365 applications may typically be installed on up to 5 devices.      

What the security and compliance features of Office 365 offers.     

Office 365 provides a range of security and compliance features to ensure that information remains secure and confidential.    

The offers on Office 365 include Delve, eDiscovery Standard, Data Loss Prevention, Retention Labels, Power Automate for Office 365, Secure Score, Viva Engage, Records Management, Customer key, Exact Data Match, Data Lifecycle Management, Information Barriers, Power BI Pro, Teams Data Loss Prevention and Audit (Premium).   

What are the pricing factors of Office 365?      

The pricing of Office 365 depends on the plan purchased and the number of licenses required. Some factors contributing to the pricing include the Microsoft program, the number of users, and the type of Microsoft applications required for the organization.      

The Microsoft program is a key factor in the price. When purchasing under an Enterprise Agreement you can negotiate your price with Microsoft. When purchasing under a CSP the price is most of the time fixed. It is possible to negotiate with your CSP provider but the difference in price is still visible.      

The number of users is a significant determinant of the pricing structure as well because, the more users, the higher the cost of the subscription.  

What are the Office 365 plans?      

Office 365 has an array of plans to suit different organizations but make your decision based on your road map and budget. These plans are F3, E1, E3 and E5.  The diagram below shows the various components available in any of the plans purchased.  However, organizations are allowed to choose and mix any plans as will fit their roadmap.    

For Office 365 Enterprise plans (users), it provides advanced security options, collaboration tools, and compliance features. 

Microsoft 365 plans and what they offer.     

Let’s look at the Microsoft 365 plans. The M365 plans include Microsoft 365 Business Basic, Business Standard, Business Premium, Microsoft 365 F1, Microsoft 365 F3, Microsoft 365 E3 and Microsoft 365 E5.      

These plans offer both desktop and web versions of Microsoft Office applications, as well as more advanced analytics and administration tools. The table shows the Microsoft 365 plans for frontline workers and Enterprise Users.  

Windows 11 is part of the full Cloud platform of Microsoft 365 including Office 365 and EMS.

Windows 11 is typically licensed through the purchase of a new device, pre-installed via Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs), or as a standalone product. It may also be licensed by a user dependent on how the license was acquired. It is also possible to upgrade from Windows 10 to Windows 11 for free if the device meets certain minimum system requirements.      

For businesses and enterprise users, Microsoft offers a range of licensing options designed to meet the needs of different organizational structures and user roles. There is the Volume Licensing option such as Enterprise Agreement.  In an Enterprise Agreement Windows 11 Enterprise is only available.       

Microsoft volume licensing enables businesses to purchase licenses at negotiable prices. This model also enables businesses to manage software activation and deployment across multiple devices and users, making it an ideal choice for larger organizations.      

It is possible to have multiple devices licensed for Windows 11 as long as each device has a licensed copy installed. For cloud-based and virtual environments, Microsoft offers licensing options that enable users to access Windows 11 via cloud-hosted infrastructure. Microsoft also offers licensing options for virtual desktop infrastructure, enabling businesses to provide virtual Windows 11 desktops to their users. The table below gives more clarity.   

Performance improvements, what does Windows 11 offer?      

Windows 11 offers several performance improvements, such as faster boot-up times, more efficiency in resource management, and improved multitasking features. The OS also comes with improved security with Windows Hello, which supports recognizing the user’s face, fingerprint, or voice for secure login.      

Another significant performance boost comes in the form of improved system responsiveness. Windows 11 utilizes new power management algorithms to make the most of system resources, thereby improving overall performance. Additionally, the operating system utilizes improved memory management techniques to ensure that applications are prioritized appropriately, resulting in fewer crashes and improved stability.      

Microsoft licensing and cloud bundles.      

Product and service licensing with Microsoft can be a complex and a time-consuming task. Microsoft’s cloud bundle purchase, in particular, can be incredibly tricky to navigate. With a wide range of products and services with varying tiers of pricing, understanding Microsoft Cloud licensing can be a daunting challenge for your organization.  

It is necessary to find the best fit for your organization when it comes to Microsoft cloud bundle purchase in order to derive its full benefit and save on cost.   

Also, dealing with Microsoft licensing user rights or user licenses will require you to understand the number of users who require access to the cloud bundle, their usage pattern, compliance and keeping tabs with up-to-date licensing changes.  

There is more to pricing, licensing, and user requirements before you decide on any purchasing decision and this, we can help you with.   
Contact us today and start saving!  

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