Microsoft 365 Business is available: What's included?
Announced at Microsoft Ignite in September to much fanfare, Microsoft 365 Business is now globally available.
Microsoft 365 is a comprehensive package for small-to-medium businesses, intended to cover all of its productivity and cyber security requirements. Microsoft describes it as an “integrated solution designed to simplify IT for small and medium-sized businesses.”
But what exactly is included within Microsoft 365 Business?
With Microsoft 365 Business, users will get access to some of the Office 365 features that come with its Business Premium package. This includes the original productivity suite of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and so on, available as fully installed apps on PCs, tablets and phones. Users will also get Microsoft Teams, the collaboration tool that is now at the heart of Microsoft’s teamwork strategy. We’ve written extensively about Microsoft Teams – check out some of our blogs here:
You’ll also get two of its most innovative applications, PowerApps and Flow, included in your subscription free of charge. PowerApps lets you create your own custom applications and forms that can be used by field teams to update jobs real-time. Flow is a process automation application that lets you automate process from the simple – automatically triggering an email when a colleague updates a shared document – to the complex, like end-to-end sales lead processes. Functionalities like this were once the domain of large enterprises, but thanks to Microsoft they’re now available to its small and medium-sized customers at no extra cost.
Cloud file storage solution OneDrive is included within Microsoft 365 Business, with up to 1TB available. Business-class email in the form of Outlook also comes as part of the package, with storage up to 50GB – say goodbye to bloated mailboxes.
The three new small business-specific applications also announced at the Microsoft Ignite Conference – Connections, Listings and Invoicing – that were added to Office 365 Business Premium recently are also included as part of Microsoft 365 Business. Read our blog to find out exactly how these apps will support small businesses, offering functionality they once would have been priced out of. StaffHub, a scheduling application that helps shift workers manage their schedules, view their rotas and swap shifts, comes with Microsoft 365 Business. Additional apps include Skype for Business instant messaging and calling, MileIQ and Bookings.
With Microsoft 365 Business and Windows 10 you can manage all users and device settings within a single console. The process is simple and fast, allowing the administrator to deploy and manage users and apps within minutes. Admins have complete control over who within your business can access what data and apps. What’s more, with Windows Autopilot, the Windows installation can be fully automated and Office apps are automatically deployed to Windows 10 PCs.
Historically, cyber security wasn’t a priority for small businesses. Even now, there’s still a prevailing opinion that small businesses won’t be targeted by hackers and therefore they don’t need to invest in security. That’s no longer the case, with hackers targeting businesses of all sizes; only a quarter of Ransomware attacks, the most prevalent type of malware nowadays, target businesses with over 1000 employees.
Security is embedded into Microsoft 365. Windows 10 Defender is a comprehensive anti-virus solution that protects your business’ machines against malware, spyware and viruses. This is built directly into Windows 10, removing the need to install and configure a security solution.
There are too many security features to go into in this blog (which is only a good thing!) but some highlights include Microsoft Exchange scanning for malicious emails, protecting, scanning and wiping mobile devices as required, and the ability to drill down to the cause of an attack.
You can get a full overview of the security features in this video:
Is Microsoft 365 Business for me?
Microsoft 365 Business is designed for small to medium-sized businesses, and has a maximum user allowance of 300. If your business is new and you don’t yet have the funds to invest in email marketing or comprehensive security, Microsoft 365 Business could transform the way you work. This package shows Microsoft is committed to supporting businesses of all sizes, rather than just at an enterprise-level, by offering technology that can help businesses of any size digitally transform.