Which Office 365 Subscription Plan is Best for Your Organization

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Office 365 is an excellent option for many reasons; not only does it bring security to your network, it also has a variety of applications and services that were specifically designed to help employees collaborate more effectively. Plus, since Office 365 is a subscription service, you get access to the latest version of Office and online apps for as long as you subscribe. 

But how do you know which subscription plan is best for your organization? Office 365 offers several options for several industries, and even different levels of each product to help organizations get only what they need.


Government

Government plans are designed to have Office 365 fit their needs, all while meeting U.S. regulations for security. This means that each package has similar versions of applications and services, but all at different ranges to best suite what each branch is looking for. Government branches can rest easy knowing that all storage used for Office 365 is on a separate government cloud community, following all U.S. compliance and security standards.

Office 365 Community G1

Community G1 is the first option available for the Government packages. No downloadable applications are available, but the web versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and a few others are ready to use. It includes services of Exchange, OneDrive, SharePoint, and Skype for Business. These services benefit users by offering unlimited online meetings, IMs, and video conferencing with Skype for Business. Also, use SharePoint to create a company intranet to have better communication with teams and organizations by creating pages with easy access to information and documents that all might need. Community G1 also gives 1 terabyte (TB) of OneDrive storage and sharing, as well as a 50 gigabytes (GB) mailbox for emails, contacts and calendars.

Office 365 Community G3

Community G3 has all the same services as Community G1 but more application options, as the next option will have the same capabilities of Community G3 plus more. Applications include both web and desktop versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Publisher, and Access. The last two applications, Publisher and Access, can only be used on PC, not mobile devices. Community G3 also offers unlimited OneDrive sharing and storage, a 100 GB mailbox, and personalized searches using Office Graph which allows you to search across all of Office 365. There is also protection for rights management and data loss for emails and files that falls within government security requirements.

Office 365 Community G5

Community G5 has all the same services and applications as G1 and G3, but many more advanced capabilities available. G5 hosts eDiscovery to do searches by codes, and also with Predictive Coding and Text Analytics. Security is more extensive, with Exchange Advanced Threat Protection to protect against suspicious links and attachments sent in emails.

The biggest thing that sets the Government plan apart from all the others is that it comes with four guarantees:

  • Guaranteed 99.9% up-time and a financially backed service level agreement
  • IT-level web support and 24/7 phone support for critical issues
  • Active Directory integration to easily manage user credentials and permissions
  • World-class data security

Education

Office 365 made special applications and services just for their education packages. These packages include features ideal for schools, both students and faculty, such as being able to sustain an unlimited number of users. Also there is a service called Microsoft Teams, a digital hub that creates collaborative conversations, content, and applications all users can access. All of the Education packages can accommodate an unlimited number of users; perfect for staff, students, and schools.

Office 365 A1

Office 365 A1offers only OneNote as a desktop applications. Other online only applications include Outlook, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint can be accessed and used. A1 offers many of the same services used by businesses and government: Exchange, OneDrive, SharePoint, Skype for Business, and Teams. They also offer many that are especially beneficial for schools like Sway, Forms, Stream, Flow, PowerApps, and School Data Sync. There are many services specifically for educational purposes, like Forms that cam create self-grading quizzes and Sway that creates digital story-telling and more engaging activities for students. This is the only option for the Education packages that is free to both faculty and students.

Office 365 A3

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A3 has the all the same services and applications available for online use and download. Applications and services can be used on up to 5 phones, PCs, and tablets per purchase, with the exception of the Publisher and Access applications that can only be used on PC. These services also give users the option to develop their own applications without having to write extensive amounts of code. Email is stored with unlimited In-Place archiving and a 100 GB mailbox.

Office 365 A5

All applications and services are the same as A3, with the addition of Power BI Pro as a service. Power BI Pro in tandem with MyAnalytics can help with advanced personal and organizational analytics. Users can also set parameters as to how support teams can access certain things, like your mailbox, and even use Advanced Threat Protection to watch out for dangerous links and attachments in emails.


Some Closing Thoughts

If your goal is to create an environment where employees can utilize highly reliable platforms for exchanging ideas, having conversations, collaborating, and doing their best work, then Office 365 may be an ideal solution. Hopefully the information above gives you the answers you were looking for to help you choose the right Office 365 subscription plan for you organization.

If you would like additional information, consider downloading our eBook: “Office 365: Tools for the Modern Workplace” for a detailed description of nearly twenty of the most useful non-traditional services, apps, and features of Office 365, including Delve, Microsoft Teams, Skype for Business, Sway, Yammer, and more.

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