Office 365 or Microsoft 365: Which Should Your Business Choose?

Nathan |

Whatever your industry, if you’re working in an office, there’s every chance you’ll need to use one of Microsoft’s products at some point. Whether it’s Word, Excel or Skype for Business, Microsoft software has become a part of the 21st century office ecosystem.



But when you’re exploring their options, it can get a little confusing – especially considering a lot of their products are very similarly named. That’s why we thought we’d share with you the differences between two common office subscriptions: Office 365 and Microsoft 365. Keep reading to find out which one your business should choose.

What is Office 365?

Years ago when you purchased software it’d come on a disc drive that needed to be installed to your computer. You might have been able to download a few updates or patches, but if you needed a big upgrade you’d have to buy the next version.

Office 365 changed all of that. Instead of buying software and services individually, your business could subscribe to Office 365, which was (and still is) an all-inclusive experience of Microsoft’s Office suite, updated monthly with the latest features.

Get apps like Word, Excel, PowerPoint for your data entry. Save to OneDrive, Microsoft’s cloud-based storage platform, ensuring you can access your files wherever you are. Use Outlook to reach customers and coworkers through email. Take collaboration one step further with Microsoft Teams, where you can chat, organise meetings and share files. There’s even Business Apps, which allow you to manage customer scheduling, invoicing, referrals and more, all from one place.

What about Microsoft 365?

Microsoft 365 is effectively the level up from Office 365. Including all the perks from Office 365, it also offers additional services, such as data security and machine learning.

There are several versions of this subscription, geared towards organisations of different shapes and sizes, including the education sector. The two main ones that we’ll focus on in this blog are Microsoft 365 Business and Microsoft 365 Enterprise.

Microsoft 365 Business is designed for small-to-medium businesses with 300 users or less. Some of the features include:

  • Integration with hundreds of third-party apps
  • Process automation using Microsoft Flow
  • Streamlined customer feedback with Microsoft Forms
  • Secure customer information with Outlook Customer Manager
  • Defence against malware and other threats


Microsoft 365 Enterprise is made for larger organisations that need stronger security and device management functionality. Split up into three tiers (E5, E3 and F1), some of the features include:

  • Identity and access management
  • Device and app management
  • Advanced compliance
  • Information protection and security management
  • Advanced analytics


Which option is right for your business?

Deciding whether you should get Office 365 or Microsoft 365 ultimately depends on your needs as a business. If you’re already using all the separate pieces that are included Microsoft 365, then switching to the combined license makes sense. If you’re not currently using the additional services, it’s best to review the features and find out whether it’s suitable.

If your business is only using Office 2010 or Office 2013, it’s worthwhile migrating to Office 365. Not only will it ensure you get product updates as they happen, it also means you’ll continue to get support. Office 2010 will no longer be supported as of October 2020, so it’s likely Office 2013 will follow suit soon enough.

Ask the experts

If you’re still unsure, you can always speak to the expert team at The IT Department. We’d be more than happy to discuss your requirements and find the right solution for your business. Get in touch today.