With so many Microsoft products out there, many small business owners are left wondering how to choose the best Microsoft package for their unique business needs. Office 365 and Microsoft 365 appear similar in many ways, but there are a few significant differences between them that may affect which product you choose for your organisation.
Below, we break down the most significant differences between Microsoft Office 365 and Microsoft 365 - Microsoft Enterprise Management & Security (EMS) - and tell you what you need to know to make a smart, informed decision to help your business grow.
Microsoft 365 v Office 365: the key differences
Before we consider Microsoft EMS in detail, let's be clear on the main features separating Microsoft 365 and Office 365 more generally.
Microsoft Office 365 is primarily a cloud-based platform that you pay for on a monthly basis. Typically, you pay per user, but there are various subscription models available.
Office 365 offers a suite of productivity and creation tools, including:
And many more. The key thing to note is that Office 365 is a tool or app-based bundle. This makes it quite different from Microsoft 365, as we'll see.
Crucially, Microsoft 365 is a bundle of services, not apps. Microsoft 365 boasts a whole host of services, one of which is Office 365.
What this means is that if you upgrade to Microsoft 365, or you're a new business just starting out with Microsoft 365, you get Office 365 as part of your package. Like Office 365, there are various payment and subscription models available, meaning you can pick whichever option suits your needs.
Microsoft 365 is made up of services including Office 365, machine learning tools, Windows 10 Enterprise, and EMS.
If you've never heard of Microsoft EMS, you're probably wondering what's so special about it. Let's take a look.
Microsoft EMS: what you need to know
Microsoft EMS promotes two things: control and IT security. It's essentially a platform designed to boost your organisation's data security whilst allowing your employees to work in remote, flexible ways. It bundles together 4 key security products:
- Azure Active Directory Premium
- Microsoft Intune
- Azure Rights Management
- Microsoft Advanced Threat Analytics
Let's consider them in turn.
Azure Active Directory Premium
Azure Active Directory Premium allows your employees to access almost any company service by entering one set of login details.
What does this mean? It's simple. Employees create a profile in the Azure Active Directory, and from here they can access emails, file servers, applications, and database servers anywhere, whether they're working from home or on-site at the office.
The good news is that Azure Active Directory Premium is secure. Although employees only need a single login, the Directory utilizes multi-factor verification strategies, including biometric scanning and SMS authentication. It'll also block users from accessing the service if it senses a threat.
Built on the Azure Active Directory, Microsoft Intune facilitates the secure link between an employee's remote device and sensitive company data.
Once you're signed up to Microsoft 365 and EMS, your employees can begin downloading apps such as Word and Excel onto their mobile devices and access work documents from anywhere. Don't worry, though - employees can't access everything.
Microsoft Intune lets your MSP or your IT personnel restrict access to certain documents, data, and apps. In other words, employees can't access data that's beyond their authorization level simply because they're working through the cloud.
Still not sure how secure your data is from unauthorized access? That's where Azure Rights Management comes in.
Azure Rights Management
Think of Azure Rights Management like a gatekeeper. It flags up attempts by unauthorized personnel to access or amend protected documents. It also gives you the option to block these users from accessing the document again.
Azure Rights Management protects your sensitive company data from prying eyes. For example, if someone leaves your company, you can block them from ever seeing sensitive data again. You can also block workers, such as junior personnel, from accessing high-level confidential documents.
Without EMS and Azure Rights Management, you could be placing highly vulnerable corporate data at risk every time an employee leaves the office...or gets fired.
Microsoft Advanced Threat Analytics
Last but not least is Microsoft Advanced Threat Analytics. It's based on machine learning, which means it teaches itself how to recognise behaviour patterns and respond to evolving threats.
The moment Analytics spies a threat, it gives you options for how to proceed. For example, it may flag up when an employee's behaviour is unusual and they're repeatedly trying to access prohibited documents. It'll also let you know when it detects potential malicious threats and viruses, and it learns based on the decisions you take and the final outcomes.
Microsoft Analytics is a huge leap forward for business security, and it can be a part of your organisation today.
Why Microsoft EMS works for your business?
Put simply, Microsoft EMS lets you take your organization into the future. With EMS, you open up the possibility of remote working across your company without risking data security. You make it easier for employees to collaborate, innovate, communicate, and, importantly, complete tasks outside the office.
Microsoft EMS unlocks your employees' productivity and potential, all without the typical security risks traditionally associated with remote working. It lets you spy potential security threats before they take hold, which reduces the downtime spent fixing, for example, corrupted files and removing malware from a network.
Office 365 or Microsoft 365: Choosing the right platform for you
Ultimately, choosing between Office 365 and Microsoft 365 depends upon the unique challenges that your business faces. For many businesses, Microsoft 365, thanks to the inclusion of EMS, gives small, medium, and large companies the security and flexibility they need to scale their organisation, reduce downtime, drive growth, and keep their data safe.
However, if you're unsure whether to opt for Office 365 or Microsoft 365, our experienced team can help you decide which option will take your business to the next level. Contact us today to find out more about our service offerings.