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24

Microsoft Office 365: A No-Brainer for today's Small to Medium sized business.

   Well its 2013 is finally here and the world did not end. So what does that mean? That means it is time to get back to business. With the fiscal cliff narrowly averted more and more small to medium sized business’ are looking to the future and asking themselves, “Where can we save money while upgrading to the latest technologies?” The answer is simple, Microsoft Office 365. As the first part in a ten part series of cloud services every business should have, Microsoft Office 365 comes in first, hands down. So why not count down from ten to the ultimate number one? I felt that was dangling the carrot in front of the horse, not to mention, its a little cliché.

   First let’s take a look at a side-by-side comparison of features offered through the standard boxed editions of Office and see how they stack up against Office 365. I will only be looking at the Business level Office products for comparison here as the Home and Home Premium versions would be wholly outmatched.

Suites

Boxed editions

Office 365

Professional

Professional Plus

Small Business Premium

ProPlus

Enterprise

Availability

Retail

Volume licensing

Software as a service

Software as a service

Software as a service

Pricing*

US $349.99

US $499.99

US $6/mo.

US $8/mo.

US $20/mo.

Maximum users

1

1

50

50,000+

50,000+

Devices per user

1

1

5

5

5

Commercial use allowed?

*

*

*

*

 Word

*

*

*

*

Excel

*

*

*

*

PowerPoint

*

*

*

*

*

OneNote

*

*

*

*

*

Outlook

*

*

*

*

*

Publisher

*

*

*

*

*

Access

*

*

*

*

*

InfoPath

 

*

*

*

*

Lync

 

 

*

*

*

SharePoint Designer

 

 

Optional

Optional

Optional

*As of the date of this article Office 2013 pricing is not completely available for comparison.

   Now for some numbers games for comparison let’s assume that ABC Company has 100 employees. They are currently looking to upgrade their Office Suite of programs but it’s just not in their scaled back budget. Traditionally ABC Company has purchased boxed editions when upgrading. They have predominantly had most of their staff running a boxed set of Office Professional. Let’s see if we can save them money and get the upgrades they need.

Suites

Boxed editions

Office 365

Professional

ProPlus

Pricing*

US $349.99

US $8/mo.

Maximum users

1

50,000+

Devices per user

1

5

Commercial use allowed?

*

 Word

*

Excel

*

PowerPoint

*

*

OneNote

*

*

Outlook

*

*

Publisher

*

*

Access

*

*

InfoPath

 

*

Lync

 

*

SharePoint Designer

 

Optional

Number of Employees

100

100

Upfront Pricing

$34,900

$800/mo.

1 year Pricing

$34,900

$9,600

2 year Pricing

$34,900

$19,200

3 year Pricing

$34,900

$38,400

   So you can see the break even price is right around 3 years, just in time for the new releases of the Office Suites cycle. In addition to updates and upgrades using Office 365 ABC Company can expand and contract their services as business dictates. This could potentially save ABC Company even more money down the road. For example: Let’s assume that ABC Company decides to contract by 30 employees after 1 year. That would reduce their monthly service cost to $560/mo ($6,720/yr) after 1 year. If by purchasing the Boxed Edition they would have eaten the cost of 30 editions at $10,470 after the first year. Conversely let’s look at it the other way, if ABC Company were to expand by 30 employees. That would increase their cost to $1,040/mo ($12,480/yr) or if they purchased the Boxed Editions an additional upfront price of $10,470.

   In addition to the Office 365 plans above Microsoft offer a standalone option of their latest Office Suites as well. So, whether you’re an MSP looking to get your client in the cloud, a government body looking for cloud services or a small to medium sized business, Office 365 just makes sense! Sign up for your free trial today!

Addendum:

At the time of writing this article we were desperately hoping Microsoft would divulge on the Office 2013 and 365 pricing plans. The information leaked was this piece of marketing:

 



Additional reading and Information:

Microsoft Office 365 for Government

Microsoft Office 365 all Plans

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