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Saturday, January 28, 2023

Is Microsoft 365 the Right Business Solution for SMBs in 2023?

The new year is always a good opportunity to re-evaluate the state of one’s business. This year, might be just the right business solution you’re looking for.

Microsoft 365 is a highly regarded software as a service (SaaS) solution. Many businesses have migrated to it over the decade or so that it has been active. Whether it’s London IT support companies looking for a more cohesive set of digital solutions, or a small business that wants better value for their money with software, Microsoft 365 has been around. We discussed this with TechQuarters, a Microsoft Solutions Partner based in London. They told us that the main driving force behind the growing adoption of M365 is the desire among businesses to modernize. Most business leaders are saying the same thing in this respect – the key to success for businesses moving forward will be in their ability to adapt and modernize through technology.

So, if you’re wondering why Microsoft 365 might be the right solution for your business, continue reading below.

Microsoft 365 Business Plans

For this article, we will be looking specifically at Microsoft 365 Business – which is a family of plans aimed specifically at small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs). According to TechQuarters, whose experience providing IT support services in London has always primarily been aimed at SMBs, these plans offer the right balance of features with cost efficiency. Microsoft 365 Business comes in 3 different tiers: Business Basic, Business Standard, and Business Premium.

Communication

Microsoft 365 is considered to be one of the best suites for business communication. It includes email, of course, with Microsoft Outlook (their email client), and Microsoft Exchange (an enterprise server solution). Additionally, it includes Microsoft Teams, which provides videoconferencing, VoIP and PBX telephony capabilities, and instant messaging.

Productivity

There are many great apps and services in Microsoft 365 Business aimed at productivity. Of course, you have Word, Excel and PowerPoint, which are perfect for creating all kinds of documents, spreadsheets, and presentations. But you also have productivity apps such as Microsoft To Do, which is a cloud-based to-do list app, and you have Microsoft Planner, which is great for teams who want to assign and manage tasks for projects.

Storage

File storage, management, and sharing in Microsoft 365 comes from two main products. Firstly, Microsoft SharePoint, which is a shared file management platform. Then, you have Microsoft OneDrive, which is geared towards personal storage.

Business Basic vs. Business Standard

All of the products mentioned above are included in all of the different Microsoft 365 Business plans. However, there is a key difference when it comes to the Microsoft 365 Business Basic plan, and the Business Standard plan. Namely, that with Business Basic, you only get access to the web versions of these apps, whereas Business Standard allows you to install the desktop versions of the apps.

Business Premium

The highest tier of plan in the Microsoft 365 Business family is the Premium plan. The key difference between it and the other plans is that it includes a set of security features which are usually only available with the Microsoft 365 Enterprise plans (aimed at larger businesses). We spoke with TechQuarters, who have been an Office 365 company since 2010, and they said that they recommend this tier of plan as it offers the best security features of all. Some of the security products in this plan are as follows:

Microsoft Intune– This product is aimed at endpoint management. Organisations can easily protect company devices, as well as data on BYOD devices, remotely using Intune.

Microsoft Defender – This product is aimed at providing advanced threat detection and protection for businesses.

Azure Information Protection – This product makes the management of data policies very streamlined. Documents and emails can be labelled so that they are protected by specific security policies.

Azure AD Premium P1 – Active Directory is the Microsoft product that is responsible for its single sign-on (SSO) feature. AD Premium P1 is Azure Directory with more security features available.

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