Comparing Microsoft 365 Business vs. Enterprise

Microsoft 365 currently hosts 345 million paying users. Not all of these users have the same needs. This is precisely why Microsoft offers varying plans for varying users. As a business owner, the two you’ll likely compare are Microsoft 365 for Business vs. Enterprise.


“Microsoft 365 is one of the most popular platforms out there. It’s easy to use, but only if it was set up correctly.”Mario Arjona, Chief of Staff, Outsource Solutions Group


The Business plan is generally sufficient for most SMBs, but the Enterprise plan includes advanced features designed for larger companies. Depending on your needs and budget, there are times when you may choose to opt for Enterprise as a smaller company.

If you’re wondering whether you might be one of them, this article should help. We’ll explore what each plan is, the apps each one includes, and what to consider if you think your SMB could use the Enterprise plan instead.



What is Microsoft 365 Business?

Microsoft 365 Business is designed primarily for small to medium-sized businesses with up to 300 users. It provides a solid foundation with basic Office apps such as Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, along with OneDrive storage and collaboration capabilities through Microsoft Teams.

Business plans are generally more affordable, making them ideal for organizations with basic needs and a tighter budget.


What is Microsoft 365 Enterprise?

Microsoft 365 Enterprise is aimed at larger organizations that exceed 300 users and/or have more complex IT requirements. Enterprise plans offer advanced security features, compliance tools, and greater customization and integration capabilities.

These plans also provide options for additional features such as Power BI Pro for advanced data analysis, Power Automate for business process automation, and more comprehensive device management with Microsoft Intune.


Microsoft 365 Apps For Business vs. Apps For Enterprise

As indicated above, the apps you get with each plan will vary. Here’s a quick reference of what apps are included in Microsoft 365 Business vs. Enterprise plans.


Microsoft 365 Business Microsoft 365 Enterprise
Core Office Apps: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook. Core Office Apps: Includes the same base apps as Business (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook) but with enhanced capabilities.
Email and Calendars: Managed through Outlook and Exchange with a business-class email service. Enhanced Device Management: Enterprise Mobility + Security (EMS) including Intune for extensive device management capabilities.
Cloud Storage: 1 TB of OneDrive storage per user for file storage and sharing. Enterprise-grade Cloud Storage: Enhanced storage solutions and management features suitable for large data volumes handled by big organizations.
Communication and Team Collaboration: Microsoft Teams for chat, calls, and meetings; includes hosting capabilities for up to 300 people. Advanced Communication Tools: Teams with advanced meeting features, phone system capabilities, and more extensive collaboration options.
Business Management Tools: Bookings for appointment management and MileIQ for mileage tracking. Business Intelligence and Analytics: Power BI Pro for detailed data analysis and business intelligence.
Security Features: Microsoft Defender for Business, which provides enhanced cyberthreat protection. Advanced Security Features: Advanced Threat Analytics, Defender for Identity, Defender for Endpoint, and more comprehensive cybersecurity tools.
Workflow Automation: Power Automate for building automated workflows between apps and services without coding. Customization and Integration: Extensive capabilities through Microsoft Graph APIs and Power Platform for tailoring solutions to business needs.
Professional Digital Storytelling: Sway for creating interactive reports, presentations, and newsletters. Compliance Tools: Extensive compliance tools like eDiscovery, Information Protection, and Advanced Compliance Management.
Project Collaboration: Microsoft Loop for organizing projects and collaborative workspaces. Additional Productivity Apps: Planner, Stream, Power Apps, and Power Automate to support complex business processes and workflows.


Microsoft 365 Business vs. Microsoft 365 Enterprise: How Do You Know Which One is Best For You?

Choosing between Microsoft 365 Business and Enterprise ultimately depends on the size of your organization, the complexity of your IT needs, and your budget.

There are certain instances where you may choose Enterprise as a business with less than 300 users. However, Microsoft 365 Business cannot handle over 300 users, so if that’s a requirement you will inherently be left with Enterprise.

That being said, the average company wastes around 10% of spending on Microsoft solutions, so you should work closely with your account manager to determine the appropriate licensing.

Here are some additional considerations you should make beyond size and budget.


Do You Handle Highly Sensitive Data?

The enhanced security and compliance features of Microsoft 365 Enterprise may be a compelling reason to upgrade if your SMB handles sensitive information. These features make it easier to secure protected information without much additional effort.

For instance, only 31% of healthcare providers use data encryption despite the necessity to do so. Usually, this is a resource issue, not neglect. If you’re a small healthcare business, choosing 365 Enterprise over Business can help you meet security requirements without much demand on resources.


Discover More Ways to Make The Most of Microsoft 


Are Your Business Processes Very Unique?

Microsoft 365 Enterprise provides extensive customization options through Microsoft Graph APIs and Power Platform. These features allow you to tailor solutions to fit specific business processes. That’s a significant advantage if your business needs sophisticated workflow automation and integration with other systems.


Do Anticipate Significant Growth In The Near Future?

Even if your current user base is well below 300, consider your future growth and how quickly it may happen. The average growth rate for a small business is 7%-8% per year, but varying market conditions could place you above that average within the current period.

Consider that, even if you are within the average, an SMB with approximately 150-200 users will exceed 300 within an approximate 5-year period. Any higher than 8% and you may want to consider proactively switching to Enterprise sooner.


Work With Expert Microsoft Consultants to Ensure Your 365 Environment Is Managed Right

Implementation is only step one. Once you’ve completed that process, you need someone who can help you manage it. Plus, it can be too easy to make an implementation mistake without the correct expertise.

If you don’t have that expertise in-house, you can count on Outsource Solutions Group to provide it. We offer managed IT services in Chicago and Naperville to keep your 365 environment running. If anything does go wrong, we’ll also provide the IT support you need to fix it faster.

Contact us today to get started.

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