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How To Pick The Right Plan For Microsoft 365?

News 06/18/2020 - 13:34 by Swami Nathan

How to Choose the Best Plan for Microsoft 365

For nearly a decade, Microsoft / Office 365 was Microsoft’s flagship office software plan. It is popular with companies of all sizes and has attained high adoption rates and user loyalty. Microsoft’s ability to build numerous Microsoft 365 plans for different types of companies has been essential to this success. However, it has become harder to select the correct Microsoft 365 package, as Microsoft has extended plans to provide many different solutions.

Here's a guide on how to choose the right Microsoft 365 business plan:

1. Evaluate what you have at the moment –

Take stock of what you have right now. What kind of computers are available to your employees (including which operating systems they run)? What are your critical software and other systems (typically, this is your business line-up app)? What’s happening to your current systems? What aren’t they?

You’ll need to make sure all of these are Microsoft 365 compatible or plan to upgrade them at the same time. Since Microsoft 365 is cloud-based, this isn’t usually too much of a problem. If you get a plan that includes desktop versions of Office programmes (Outlook, Word, PowerPoint, Excel), this is where you may have problems with older machines.

You’ll need to figure out what you want to move on to Microsoft 365 during this step. Some firms opt to start with a clean slate, which is fine. But most want their email and existing files migrated to Microsoft 365. Before you migrate, you will need to know what you want to do.

2. Evaluate your needs –

List what you’ll need at this step. If you are looking to move to Microsoft 365, you probably have a good idea of that already. Some keep asking themselves questions (and other key stakeholders in your organization):

  1. What is it you are trying to do? Increasing productivity and working together? Security continuously enhancing, is it?
  2. What do you need to be in a position to do? It's stuff like sending messages, writing documents, making presentations, saving files etc. for most businesses. What more?
  3. What is critical of your enterprise? What would be nice to have? What does it mean?
  4. Do you have specific compliance requirements? What is it?

Be specific where you can, but don’t stress when it comes to “better security” needs, if you can’t be super specific.

3. Setting your budget –

You’ll need to figure out how much you can realistically spend before choosing a plan (or plans). For a Microsoft 365 migration, you will need two budgets: one for the licence fees, and one for the migration-related costs.

Microsoft 365 licences are typically billed on a month-to-month, per-user basis (some places will allow you to sign an annual licence but there is usually less flexibility when you do that with switching and cancelling licences). How much can you spend on licences per employee? How much can you be spending on your entire team? Don’t forget to consider any hire planned in your budget!

It is not free of migrations. If you have an IT person or team in-house, you may be able to do it to save some money yourself. However, most businesses are better off working with a Microsoft Partner experience (like Teceze!) to migrate. Migration costs can vary widely depending on your size and how much data you need to migrate, but you can plan on spending at least a few thousand dollars (more if you’ve got a lot of data or a lot of staff).

4. Compare and Choose Plans –

This is the part where things can get overwhelming because there are so many choices to make. Go ahead and remove any that fall outside your budget to cut the options that you need to look at. If you have more than 300 users, go ahead and delete the business plans (Company Basics, Company, and Business Premium) – they all have a maximum user limit of 300 people.

If you don’t know exactly what feature aligns with which plan, it’s ok. With that, too, a Microsoft partner can help.

Take your list of needs and services and formulate the strategy most suitably. There might not be one that exactly suits you. Here you have a few options: go with the plan (or plans) that has all you need, even if you don’t need some included programmes (this is usually easier to manage but may cost a little more). Or get a lower-level package and buy licences for add-ons to get what‘s required.

5. Reconsider later –

After you have migrated to Microsoft 365 and have had a chance to use it for some time, you may want to re-evaluate your licences periodically to make sure that your employees are on the right plans.

There are a few ways to do this: you can see usage statistics on which programmes your employees use. The first thing you can do is just talk to your manager – what‘s going on? What aren’t there? Are they missing something? Are there any programmes which they are not using?

You may find that you can transfer some or all of your workers to a lower plan and save a bit of money. However, before you do so, you need to make sure that the reason they don’t use a specific system is that they don’t need it and not that they don’t know how to use it.


Microsoft’s 365 plans might initially seem confusing. But once you’re going through the steps necessary to understand where you are and where you want to go, you can choose the best path for your company.

There are different Microsoft plans within the two Business and Enterprise service families to choose from, depending on your needs. Microsoft 365 is flexible in its plans. You can always mix and match plans for your users, so you can use your Microsoft 365 plans most efficiently.

The only way to protect what you’ve worked hard to build is to be vigilant when it comes to cybersecurity. If you’d like to know more about how your business can benefit from managed services, just give us a call, we are here to help.

Microsoft 365 offers a wide range of subscription plans with different features. Choosing the right plan isn't always simple,and need careful consideration.