If you want to introduce Office 365 in your company or organization, the question arises as to the right and most cost-optimized licensing. If you are not careful here, you will quickly pay a higher monthly amount than is actually necessary. We help you avoid this.

It is not only the size of your organization to consider here, but also whether it is a business, an educational institution or a non-profit organization. For the latter two, there are even free ways to use Office 365:

Free under certain conditions

Depending on their size, non-profit organizations can obtain Non-Profit Business Essentials or Non-Profit E1 licenses for up to 300 users if they demonstrate their non-profit status to Microsoft and sign Microsoft’s anti-discrimination policy. This means that Exchange, OneDrive, SharePoint, Skype and Microsoft Teams can be used, and web versions of Word, Excel etc. are also available. For a surcharge, you can upgrade to Non-Profit Business Premium or Non-Profit E3 or, for large organizations, to Non-Profit E5 , which makes desktop versions of Office applications available, for example.

For educational institutions , the free A1 license includes a desktop version of OneNote as well as the services Sway, Forms, Stream, Flow, PowerApps and School Data Sync in addition to the scope of the non-profit E1 license mentioned above. Also, the maximum number of users is unlimited. With the paid A3 license , the Bookings service is added, as well as all Office desktop applications. The A5 license also offers advanced security features and the Power BI service for creating visual data analyses.

If you’re considering upgrading to A3 or A5 but aren’t sure if the benefit is worth the additional monthly cost, you can try out the functionality first with an E3 trial license, which offers roughly the same level of functionality. If you then decide to buy, the E license can easily be converted to an A license.

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The size is what matters

Small and medium-sized businesses that need licenses for a maximum of 300 users have the choice between 3 alternatives:

Anyone who can do without the Office products as a desktop version and mainly needs e-mail functions and shared access to data and documents is well served with the cheapest option, the Office 365 Business Essentials license .

If e-mail addresses with a company domain are not important, but you want the comprehensive functionality of the Office desktop applications, the Office 365 Business license is recommended.

The Office 365 Business Premium license combines all the advantages of these two variants, making it the first choice for anyone who wants to use the convenience of Office desktop applications in their company as well as comprehensive mail functionality including email addresses with a company domain.

For large companies that need licenses for more than 300 users , there are 4 alternatives to choose from:

In principle, the Office 365 ProPlus license corresponds to the Office 365 Business license for smaller companies, but also includes a desktop version of Publisher.

The Office 365 Enterprise E1 license , the most cost-effective option, offers large companies what the Office 365 Business Essentials license does for small companies, plus the Yammer and Stream services.

The Office 365 Enterprise E3 license offers the entire scope of services of the first two licenses plus various tools for security and compliance. The Office 365 Enterprise E5 license has even more advanced security analysis and language features.

You can also mix the license types and thus acquire cheaper licenses for some of the employees who, for example, do not need any Office program installations.

Overview and price comparison

On the Microsoft product pages for Office 365 you will find a detailed tabular overview of the various alternatives. As a Microsoft Authorized Education Partner, we offer you tailor-made advice and support with the cheapest licensing for educational institutions. And as a Microsoft Silver Partner for Small and Midmarket Cloud Solutions, we have extensive experience in supporting small and medium-sized companies with the introduction of Office365.

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We would be happy to advise you on the best choice and pricing for you!