Office 365 – What is it and why?

I am a Small / Medium Business – is it cost effective?

If you are a business Office 365 for Small Business Premium is £105+VAT per year per year.
When you consider Office 2013 is £150+VAT over a three year period Office 365 is more expensive.

If it is considerably more expensive over three years why would I buy it?

It does include the full Office Suite as well as access to other features not available in Office 2013 such as:

  • SkyDrive Pro which provides 7 GB of storage for each user for virtually anywhere access to their documents. Share files with others inside and outside the organization, control who can see and edit each file, and easily sync files with PCs and devices (a bit like Drop Box).
  • Team Sites (SharePoint) Enable easy access and sharing of documents with 10 GB baseline storage plus 500 MB of storage per user.
  • Exchange Style Services. It will provide a hosted Exchange Solution and you will get a 25 GB mailbox per user and send attachments up to 25 MB which will allow calendar sharing, mailbox collaboration etc. through your outlook client.

But is this right for me and my business?

It depends! Your company may already have many of the features included in Office 365 provided in other ways.



If you are a start-up business and have no infrastructure this is an easy and cost effective way to get access to enterprise style technologies.

  • It is good for a mobile work force.


  • You may already have an Exchange Server, Small Business Server or Hosted Exchange with another provider and not need this feature.
  • You may already have a server in your organisation for sharing files and collaborating and not need Sky Drive, or you may be utilising alternatives like Drop Box also.
  • You may already have SharePoint as part of a Small Business Server or on your network or this may not be relevant to your business
  • It is a yearly cost and may be more cost effective ways for large number of users over several years.



Office 365 is available in a number of different subscription plans aimed at different market segments, and containing varying services and features:

  • Office 365 Home Premium: Aimed at mainstream consumers and families; includes access to most Office applications for home/non-commercial use (excluding InfoPath and Lync) on up to five devices, 20 GB of additional SkyDrive storage, 60 minutes of Skype international calls per month.
  • Office 365 University: A specially-discounted version of Home Premium intended for users in post-secondary institutions. It is similar to Home Premium, except it is purchased on a discounted four-year plan, and only used on two devices by one user.
  • Office 365 Small Business: Offers access to hosted Exchange, SharePoint, and Lync services only.
  • Office 365 Small Business Premium: Aimed at businesses with 1-10 employees and limited IT experience. Offers access to the Office applications on up to five devices per user, plus hosted Exchange, SharePoint, and Lync services.
  • Office 365 ProPlus: Offers access to the Office 2013 Professional Plus applications for up to 25 users on up to five devices per user.
  • Office 365 Midsize Business: Aimed at businesses with 10-250 employees. Offers access to the Office 2013 applications from ProPlus, plus hosted Exchange, SharePoint, and Lync services.
  • Office 365 Enterprise: Intended for use in enterprise environments. Offers access to all Office applications, hosted Exchange, SharePoint, and Lync services, plus enterprise-specific compliance and support.