Knowing how Office 365 E5 pricing can help in getting the most...

Knowing how Office 365 E5 pricing can help in getting the most value from your investment.

We show you what to do when entering or renewing an Office 365 Enterprise E5 contract

Office 365 E5 came out last year, replacing E4, but not only did the version number jump by one, so did the price. By around 50 per cent.

From June 2016, organisations have to make the decision to move to the cheaper E3 plan (£14.70 per user per month) or the more expensive E5 plan (£25.70 per user per month). Both of these require an annual commitment.

With that kind of jump, it is very understandable that organisations would like to re-assess how they are going to use Office 365 and what features they really need. So let’s first look at what you get for your subscription.

E5 has everything that was in the old E4 plan. Such as unlimited email, social tools (Yammer, Sharepoint Online, Office 365 Video), the Office suite of Applications (including Access if you use Windows), and OneDrive of Business.

In addition to this, it features several extras that would have cost extra in E4 (and indeed E3). These include Advanced Threat Protection for secure attachments and URLs, Cloud PBX, PSTN Conferencing, PSTN Calling, Delve Analytics, and Power BI Pro. (Thankfully, Microsoft has a helpful diagram that shows what each plan includes).

We won’t go into too much detail about these extras (we look at what’s in Office 365 in more detail in another blog), other than to say Delve Analytics and Power BI Pro are helpful if you analyse data, Skype Meeting Broadcast is handy for hosting online meetings and webinars, and call management is handled through Skype for Business.

What is the right mix of Office 365 plans?

The E5 license is an office productivity behemoth and provides everything the average employee could even want or use. If you found that with the old E4 license, you used all the paid add-ons, the E5 license may not be any more expensive and in some cases, a little bit lighter on the corporate budget.

If you don’t need those new features of E5 then the increased cost of those licenses could be harder to bare. But the important thing to realise is that your organisation won’t be stuck with buying just one group of licenses. You can buy a mix of E1, E3 and E5 depending on your worker’s need. When contracts come up for renewal, you do have options.

Also, you would be wise to remember that while E5 comes with all the bells and whistles, you can still buy add-ons for E3, and this may cost less that moving users onto E5 if they only plan to use some E5 features. While this approach may not be to everyone’s taste and can make management and budgeting more difficult, it can cut costs and allow users the features they need.

It’s a bit like heading into Burger King. You can have a Whopper or a Whopper meal. You can go large or order extra fries. You are not locked into having something you don’t want or need.

While just going for one plan is quicker and easier to do, the add-on approach is best if your users don’t need all the added features of E5. Of course, if you find the cost of the add-ons is the same or greater that the E5 plan, it will be best to go straight for that.

If you need any advice on Office 365 E5, Crayon has a team of experts who can help you with any queries you may have.

I am the Group Chief Marketing Officer at Crayon. My team are focused on driving enhanced lead generation campaigns and nurturing for our sales organisations across multiple geographies though the utilisation and coordination of all online and offline communication channels. We are driving increased brand awareness in the business's core competency areas of Software Asset Management (SAM), cloud and volume licensing solutions and associated consultancy services. I have over 20 years of senior business leadership experience within direct marketing/direct sales and mass distribution businesses, in both the B2B and B2C markets serving on the boards of both private and public multinational corporations.