Microsoft 365 is one of the most popular cloud platforms in the world. In the U.S. alone, it has over 731,000 companies using it to facilitate their office productivity.
The platform first became popular because it provided a cloud version of the popular Office suite, Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and Outlook. But now, its apps like Teams, OneDrive, and SharePoint have become just as important to the everyday workflows of today’s professional services offices.
When choosing your business technology the cloud platform and plan level you choose are important. While some small businesses go for the lowest price plan they can get just to use the Microsoft 365 cloud tools, sometimes paying a little more for more capabilities can actually save you money in the long run.
For businesses, Microsoft offers four different plan levels for M365. The highest level with the most capabilities is Microsoft 365 Business Premium. As a comparison, this plan is $20.00/user/month as compared to the Business Standard plan at $12.50/user/month.
But for those additional dollars, you get a big step up in security and remote team capabilities, which are much needed in today’s world.
Post-pandemic, the number of U.S. full-time remote workers has increased from 17% to 44%.
Benefits of Upgrading to Microsoft 365 Business Premium
If you’re a Microsoft 365 user now or you are planning to adopt the powerful cloud platform for your business, there are a lot of advantages to choosing the premium level.
First, let’s look at what’s included in Microsoft 365 Business Premium:
- Office programs (both desktop & cloud versions): Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook
- Microsoft Teams
- Access (PC only)
- Intune (endpoint device manager)
- Azure Information Protection
- Azure AD Premium P1
- Azure Virtual Desktop
- Several additional cost-saving apps, such as Bookings, Lists, Forms, Visio for Web, Yammer, and more
Now, let’s take a look at some of the benefits specific to using Microsoft 365 Business Premium over another plan.
Azure Virtual Desktop
With the change to remote and hybrid teams, much of a company’s operations are being handled online in a cloud environment. The cloud enables companies to easily operate from anywhere and employees to connect with customers and each other when working from home.
Azure virtual desktop gives you the ability to make your PC desktop experience cloud-based. This is especially helpful for users that work remotely or work both at home and in the office at times. It allows them to log into the same desktop environment (programs, files, settings, etc.) from any computer.
Intune Endpoint Device Manager
As many as 60% of the endpoints in an average business are mobile devices. These now take on more of the workload for common business tasks (using business apps, reading and responding to email, etc.) than computers.
Yet many businesses aren’t managing mobile devices that are used to connect to company assets and data. This leaves them at high risk of a data breach or malware infection.
One of the biggest value-adds of Microsoft Business Premium is Intune endpoint device manager. This is software that allows you to easily manage and monitor all the endpoints in your organization, both mobile devices and computers.
This significantly increases security and efficiency, especially for mobile and remote teams. Some of the capabilities you gain with Intune include:
- Block any devices from accessing your assets that aren’t logged as approved devices
- Automatically push security updates and software to all devices
- Remotely lock or wipe a lost or stolen device
- Apply consistent security policies that follow files throughout your network, on any managed device
- Monitor device access to your apps and data
Additional Security Protections
You gain important additional security features in the version of Defender that comes with Microsoft 365 Business Premium.
For example, you have access to two important anti-phishing features called “safe links” and “safe attachments.” These are designed to boost your ability to thwart a phishing attack that can cause a breach of your business data.
Safe links can rewrite any links that come in via email or through a Teams channel if the link is suspected to be malicious. Safe attachments will provide similar protection against malicious file attachments.
Azure Information Protection
Another important safeguard you get with the Premium subscription of Microsoft 365 is Azure Information Protection. This provides important document safeguards to protect sensitive files.
This feature allows you to use restrictions that prevent:
You can use these along with sensitivity labels and set up a system for your company that will automatically protect your most sensitive documents automatically.
For example, you could say that any email or document created that contains the word “client contract” will automatically be labeled with a “confidential” sensitivity label. This would apply any restrictions you had set up for that label, such as a watermark and inability to copy.
Learn More About Getting Started with M365 Business Premium
Skyline IT Management can help your Oklahoma business with any questions about Microsoft 365 and get you started with the plan that’s perfect for your needs.
Book a Call today to schedule a technology consultation.