Office 365 Business Essentials is Microsoft’s suite of business productivity tools for small to midsize businesses with 300 or fewer employees. You can pay $5 per user per month if you make a year-long commitment or you can pay $6 per user per month with just a monthly commitment.
Each user can install Office 365 Business Essentials on up to five phones and five tablets, making it great for working whenever you want, wherever you are. However, there is no desktop application. This plan is the 100% “online” version of Office 365, so you’ll need internet access to use it.
Applications Included in Office 365 Business Essentials
Outlook is included and is available via POP/IMAP or ActiveSync on mobile devices. As an administrator, you can:
- Set role-based permissions, role groups, and role-assigned policies
- Archive Exchange online-based mailboxes
- Encrypt data at rest with BitLocker
- Enjoy built-in spam and malware protection
- Customize the spam and malware protection
- Do custom routing of outbound mail
- Create distribution groups
- And more!
Each user is allocated 50 GB for his or her mailbox. Attachments up to 150 MB can be sent with ease.
2. Office Online
The productivity suite includes online access to:
- Word — feature-rich word processing app that makes it easy to share, edit collaboratively and comment
- OneNote — robust “filing cabinet” with a logical, hierarchical structure that’s just about infinitely expandable. Create as many notebooks as you want and add as many tabs in a notebook as you need.
- PowerPoint — “the world’s most ubiquitous presentation tool,” used to create an estimated 30 million presentations each day
- Excel — powerful spreadsheet app with more than 400 functions; some slight differences between the desktop tool and online app
3. One Drive
OneDrive is Microsoft’s cloud service for Office that acts as a data management system. Office 365 Business Essentials allows 1 TB of personal cloud storage per user so you can access your data from anywhere.
4. Collaborative Tools
Skype for Business is part of the Business Essentials suite and allows for high-definition face-to-face conferencing and can include 250 participants, or a broadcast to 10,000.
Team Sites is a single collaborative space for your team that comes with a 1 TB storage space plus an additional 500 MB of storage for each user. It’s where you can bring conversations from Outlook and calendar, SharePoint info and files, Planner tasks, and a OneNote notebook.
Microsoft Teams is a chat-based, real-time communication hub that allows you to host conferences (audio, video, and web) and chat with anyone inside or outside of your company.
Yammer is a social network tool that lets you connect to others in your organization, organize projects, and share info across teams in a secure environment.
Planner is a simple workflow tool that lets your team create new plans, organize and delegate tasks, share files, chat about a project, and get progress reports.
5. Microsoft Flow
Designed as a way to automate repetitive tasks, Microsoft Flow allows users — on their own — to automate routine tasks, like checking for email from a boss while working in another app. It connects to more than 100 data sources including DropBox, Office 365, and Facebook.
Sway is a digital storytelling app that makes it easy to create interactive web-based reports, presentations, newsletters, training and more from your mobile device. You can’t create content in the app; instead, you bring it in from other sources to tell your story.
The Tech Behind Office 365 Business Essentials
Microsoft offers a 99.9% uptime service level agreement and notes that security is constantly monitored — and includes five layers. Administrators can add and remove users in minutes, and don’t need to worry about updates or upgrades — those are included.
You also have access to the Office 365 Security & Compliance Center to help you manage compliance issues as well as the built-in mobile device management tool.
The Pointivity Advantage
As with anything cloud-based, migration from your on-premises solutions can be tricky, particularly if your IT department lacks migration experience. But that’s where Pointivity comes in.
We offer three tiers of migration help, from simply training your IT staff to do it on their own, or hand-holding you all the way.
We also provide a managed services solution that goes way beyond a simple ticketing and support system. We work with you to understand your needs and build a customized service and support strategy that is best for you. We become an extension of your existing IT department or we become your IT department, participating in regular IT management meetings. Need a virtual CIO? That’s us. Give us a call at 858-777-6900.