Microsoft 365’s must-try features for hybrid workers

Keeping employee productivity up, maintaining operational efficiency, and streamlining communications are just some of the challenges in today’s hybrid workplace. Fortunately, organizations can overcome these problems with the help of Microsoft 365’s dynamic new features. Let’s take a look at the most promising upgrades in M365.

Work seamlessly with Windows 365

Windows 365 is a cloud service that allows users to experience a more powerful and more agile version of Windows 10 or 11. Also called the “Cloud PC”, Windows 365 will enable you to access your entire PC — including personalized apps and settings — from any device. This means Windows 365 users can start working from anywhere right away, which is especially useful when finishing an urgent task or getting the most out of a productivity streak.

Windows 365 eliminates logistical complexities and security concerns that often get in the way of efficient hybrid working. With a Cloud PC, you can start working on your office computer, pick up where you left off on your tablet during your commute, and jump right back in on your desktop if you’re working from home the next day.

Experience a more powerful Teams app

Teams is now loaded with new apps that are sure to make Microsoft’s communication platform even more collaborative. One of the new apps coming to Teams is Confluence Cloud by Atlassian, which allows users to take notes during a Teams meeting. The notes can be formatted as action items, mentions, tables, and the like to make the salient parts of the meeting more digestible. On top of this feature, the notes are also easily shareable in the Teams channel, allowing everyone to immediately access a copy of the minutes of the meeting.

Salesforce will also be available for Teams. With the Salesforce for Teams app, you can integrate Salesforce records into different chats, calendar meetings, or channels so you can access and refer to the documents during discussions.

There’s also a new Q&A app that will help improve question and answer sessions in meetings or webinars with a large number of participants. Attendees can now ask questions and reply to other participants’ questions throughout the meeting, and organizers can moderate discussions by filtering responses, marking the best answers, and pinning posts. This gives the Q&A more structure and makes it easier for everyone to search for relevant information.

Get better organized to improve productivity

It’s easy to get disorganized when you have several things on your plate. With Microsoft 365’s new features, it is a lot easier to prioritize tasks, organize events, and take necessary breaks in between.

For one, you can now pin emails to the top of your inbox so you can readily find important emails later. Message reminders in Outlook will also help you stay on top of your tasks by nudging you to take action on emails that you might have missed.

There’s also no need to sift through thousands of documents to find the right files to attach to your plan in Microsoft Planner. The app can now show you a list of files related to your agenda that you might want to attach, helping you save time and effort.

What’s more, a new setting in Outlook lets you schedule meetings early or late so you can carve out essential breaks between back-to-back engagements. Scheduling breaks between meetings gives you and your employees time to breathe and prevents you from feeling overwhelmed or burned out.

We’ve only just scratched the surface of Microsoft 365’s newest features. If you want the latest updates on this topic, don’t hesitate to contact us. Our tech experts are always ready to answer your queries.

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Here’s how to share calendars on Microsoft 365

Do you want to remind or update your team of company-related activities? An easy way to do this is by marking the activity on your Outlook calendar and sharing it with your colleagues. The following steps will let you do just that.

Outlook on the web

If you have Microsoft 365 or another email service based on Microsoft Exchange Online, follow these steps to share your calendar:

  1. Open the Calendar by clicking on the calendar icon at the bottom of the page.
  2. Once you’re in Calendar, go to the toolbar at the top of the page. Click on Share and choose which calendar you want to share. Keep in mind that you can only share calendars you own and not other people’s.
  3. Indicate whom you want to share your calendar with by entering their email address or name.
  4. Select which activities recipients are permitted to perform on your calendar. You can choose from the following:
    • Can view when I’m busy ⁠– if you want the calendar to show when you’re busy but hide certain details
    • Can view titles and locations ⁠– if you want the calendar to indicate when you’re busy, as well as key details like an event’s title or location
    • Can view all details ⁠– if you want the calendar to reveal all details about an event
    • Can edit ⁠– if you want recipients to be able to modify your calendar
    • Delegate ⁠– if you want recipients to be able to alter your calendar and share it with other users
  5. To proceed, click on Share. If you change your mind, click on the Trash icon to cancel sharing your calendar.

Alternatively, you can publish your calendar and share it with others using a URL. Here’s how you do it:

  1. In Calendar, go to Settings and click View all Outlook settings.
  2. Select Shared calendars.
  3. Go to Publish a calendar and choose which calendar you want to publish and how much information is revealed to recipients.
  4. Click Publish.
  5. You will be given the choice between using an HTML or an ICS link. The HTML link can be used to view your calendar using a browser like Firefox or Google Chrome. An ICS link allows recipients to import your calendar and view it on their own Outlook calendar.

Outlook.com

Like Outlook on the web, Outlook.com allows you to share your calendar directly or publish it. The steps for sharing are exactly like those used in Outlook on the web, too, except you only have two options for how recipients can use your calendar. These are “Can view all details” and “Can edit.

Publishing your calendar on Outlook.com requires you to::

  1. Click on the calendar icon to open the Calendar view.
  2. In Calendar, go to Settings and click View all Outlook settings.
  3. Go to Calendar and select Shared calendars.
  4. In “Publish a calendar,” select which calendar you’re publishing and how much information it contains.
  5. Click Publish and choose to use either an HTML or ICS link.

Outlook on iOS and Android

If you’re using a mobile version of Outlook, these are the steps for sharing your calendar:

  1. On your Outlook app, click the hamburger button at the top-left corner and select Calendar.
  2. Go to Share and tap on Add People to indicate your calendar’s recipients.
  3. Input each recipient’s name or email address. Once you’re done, tap on the Check button at the top-right corner of the page.
  4. You will see a list of recipients. Tap on a name to edit their permissions and how much information they’re allowed to see. As with Outlook on the web, available options are “Can View,” “Can Edit,” “Delegate,” “Only When I’m Busy,” “Only Titles and Locations,” and “All Details.”
  5. To remove a user from your recipients, tap on Remove at the bottom of the page.
  6. After you’ve set permissions, tap on the Check button at the top-right corner of the page.

The Outlook calendar is an excellent feature for managing your team’s events and workflows and can help boost your efficiency and productivity. If you have other questions and concerns about Microsoft 365, get in touch with us today.

This post was originally published on this site

Here’s how to share calendars on Microsoft 365

Do you want to remind or update your team of company-related activities? An easy way to do this is by marking the activity on your Outlook calendar and sharing it with your colleagues. The following steps will let you do just that.

Outlook on the web

If you have Microsoft 365 or another email service based on Microsoft Exchange Online, follow these steps to share your calendar:

  1. Open the Calendar by clicking on the calendar icon at the bottom of the page.
  2. Once you’re in Calendar, go to the toolbar at the top of the page. Click on Share and choose which calendar you want to share. Keep in mind that you can only share calendars you own and not other people’s.
  3. Indicate whom you want to share your calendar with by entering their email address or name.
  4. Select which activities recipients are permitted to perform on your calendar. You can choose from the following:
    • Can view when I’m busy ⁠– if you want the calendar to show when you’re busy but hide certain details
    • Can view titles and locations ⁠– if you want the calendar to indicate when you’re busy, as well as key details like an event’s title or location
    • Can view all details ⁠– if you want the calendar to reveal all details about an event
    • Can edit ⁠– if you want recipients to be able to modify your calendar
    • Delegate ⁠– if you want recipients to be able to alter your calendar and share it with other users
  5. To proceed, click on Share. If you change your mind, click on the Trash icon to cancel sharing your calendar.

Alternatively, you can publish your calendar and share it with others using a URL. Here’s how you do it:

  1. In Calendar, go to Settings and click View all Outlook settings.
  2. Select Shared calendars.
  3. Go to Publish a calendar and choose which calendar you want to publish and how much information is revealed to recipients.
  4. Click Publish.
  5. You will be given the choice between using an HTML or an ICS link. The HTML link can be used to view your calendar using a browser like Firefox or Google Chrome. An ICS link allows recipients to import your calendar and view it on their own Outlook calendar.

Outlook.com

Like Outlook on the web, Outlook.com allows you to share your calendar directly or publish it. The steps for sharing are exactly like those used in Outlook on the web, too, except you only have two options for how recipients can use your calendar. These are “Can view all details” and “Can edit.

Publishing your calendar on Outlook.com requires you to::

  1. Click on the calendar icon to open the Calendar view.
  2. In Calendar, go to Settings and click View all Outlook settings.
  3. Go to Calendar and select Shared calendars.
  4. In “Publish a calendar,” select which calendar you’re publishing and how much information it contains.
  5. Click Publish and choose to use either an HTML or ICS link.

Outlook on iOS and Android

If you’re using a mobile version of Outlook, these are the steps for sharing your calendar:

  1. On your Outlook app, click the hamburger button at the top-left corner and select Calendar.
  2. Go to Share and tap on Add People to indicate your calendar’s recipients.
  3. Input each recipient’s name or email address. Once you’re done, tap on the Check button at the top-right corner of the page.
  4. You will see a list of recipients. Tap on a name to edit their permissions and how much information they’re allowed to see. As with Outlook on the web, available options are “Can View,” “Can Edit,” “Delegate,” “Only When I’m Busy,” “Only Titles and Locations,” and “All Details.”
  5. To remove a user from your recipients, tap on Remove at the bottom of the page.
  6. After you’ve set permissions, tap on the Check button at the top-right corner of the page.

The Outlook calendar is an excellent feature for managing your team’s events and workflows and can help boost your efficiency and productivity. If you have other questions and concerns about Microsoft 365, get in touch with us today.

This post was originally published on this site

Workplace Analytics: An essential tool for business productivity

Microsoft Workplace Analytics presents a clear picture of employee performance, giving managers and leaders actionable insights to enhance productivity. Learn more about this valuable tool and its benefits to businesses of all sizes across industries.

How does Workplace Analytics work?

A paid add-on to Office 365 enterprise plans, Workplace Analytics extracts behavioral insights from data gathered from emails, calendars, documents, and Office 365 apps. This means any data an employee enters into Office 365 can be used to assess their performance and productivity.

The data from which insights are gleaned are generated by employees themselves — how much time they spend on meetings, who they communicate with, and how much time they spend on productive tasks.

All this data can be viewed on the Workplace Analytics dashboard, where information is sorted using the following metrics:

  • Week in the life provides information on how the entire organization spends time and how employees collaborate with one another.
  • Meetings overview shows the amount of time people spend in meetings.
  • Management and coaching presents information about one-on-one meetings between each employee and their direct manager.
  • The internal networks metric shows how people within your organization communicate and collaborate with one another.
  • External collaboration provides insights into how your employees connect with individuals or teams from third-party organizations.
  • Teams collaboration takes a look at how employees and managers use Microsoft Teams to communicate with their colleagues.

What does Workplace Analytics aim to do?

Workplace Analytics is designed to solve businesses’ most common problems, specifically issues related to productivity and engagement.

Using Workplace Analytics data, business leaders can develop effective productivity strategies for the entire company. For instance, if the data shows that employees spend 60% of their time in meetings, managers can come up with a strategy to make meetings shorter or less frequent so staff can focus on productive tasks. Similarly, human resources personnel can use data on employees’ work patterns to identify the causes of burnout — now a widespread issue across businesses and industries — and make recommendations to address it.

Workplace Analytics can be also used to determine how workers collaborate with internal and external parties. Suppose a member of your sales team frequently works and communicates with certain vendors. The sales team’s manager can pull up Workplace Analytics data and use it to assess whether or not this collaboration is helping the team meet targets, or if it’s causing them to miss out on other, more critical opportunities for collaboration and/or making a sale. Based on this information, the manager can also identify which employees are most likely to meet or exceed their targets and set company-wide standards accordingly.

Finally, Workplace Analytics allows managers to determine an employee’s level of engagement, and whether workloads are fairly distributed among workers and/or departments.

To ensure you get the full benefits of Workplace Analytics, partner with a reputable managed IT services provider like us. Our experts are highly skilled and experienced in implementing and managing Microsoft programs and services, so you can rest easy knowing your business is in good hands. Drop us a line today.

This post was originally published on this site

Workplace Analytics: An essential tool for business productivity

Microsoft Workplace Analytics presents a clear picture of employee performance, giving managers and leaders actionable insights to enhance productivity. Learn more about this valuable tool and its benefits to businesses of all sizes across industries.

How does Workplace Analytics work?

A paid add-on to Office 365 enterprise plans, Workplace Analytics extracts behavioral insights from data gathered from emails, calendars, documents, and Office 365 apps. This means any data an employee enters into Office 365 can be used to assess their performance and productivity.

The data from which insights are gleaned are generated by employees themselves — how much time they spend on meetings, who they communicate with, and how much time they spend on productive tasks.

All this data can be viewed on the Workplace Analytics dashboard, where information is sorted using the following metrics:

  • Week in the life provides information on how the entire organization spends time and how employees collaborate with one another.
  • Meetings overview shows the amount of time people spend in meetings.
  • Management and coaching presents information about one-on-one meetings between each employee and their direct manager.
  • The internal networks metric shows how people within your organization communicate and collaborate with one another.
  • External collaboration provides insights into how your employees connect with individuals or teams from third-party organizations.
  • Teams collaboration takes a look at how employees and managers use Microsoft Teams to communicate with their colleagues.

What does Workplace Analytics aim to do?

Workplace Analytics is designed to solve businesses’ most common problems, specifically issues related to productivity and engagement.

Using Workplace Analytics data, business leaders can develop effective productivity strategies for the entire company. For instance, if the data shows that employees spend 60% of their time in meetings, managers can come up with a strategy to make meetings shorter or less frequent so staff can focus on productive tasks. Similarly, human resources personnel can use data on employees’ work patterns to identify the causes of burnout — now a widespread issue across businesses and industries — and make recommendations to address it.

Workplace Analytics can be also used to determine how workers collaborate with internal and external parties. Suppose a member of your sales team frequently works and communicates with certain vendors. The sales team’s manager can pull up Workplace Analytics data and use it to assess whether or not this collaboration is helping the team meet targets, or if it’s causing them to miss out on other, more critical opportunities for collaboration and/or making a sale. Based on this information, the manager can also identify which employees are most likely to meet or exceed their targets and set company-wide standards accordingly.

Finally, Workplace Analytics allows managers to determine an employee’s level of engagement, and whether workloads are fairly distributed among workers and/or departments.

To ensure you get the full benefits of Workplace Analytics, partner with a reputable managed IT services provider like us. Our experts are highly skilled and experienced in implementing and managing Microsoft programs and services, so you can rest easy knowing your business is in good hands. Drop us a line today.

This post was originally published on this site

Microsoft 365 data loss protection: A quick and easy guide

Businesses of all sizes and across all sectors are turning to Microsoft 365 for the productivity-boosting benefits it offers. Many also choose the subscription service for its robust security features designed to safeguard against cyberthreats of all kinds. To make the most out of these functionalities and ensure your business data’s security, follow these tips.

Take advantage of policy alerts

Establish policy notifications in Microsoft 365’s Compliance Center to help you meet your company’s data security obligations. With these in place, your employees will receive policy tips about sending confidential information anytime they’re about to send messages to contacts outside of the company network. These preemptive warnings can prevent data leaks and also educate users on safer data sharing practices.

Secure mobile devices

Since employees often use personal smartphones or computers to access their work email, calendar, contacts, and documents — especially if they’re working remotely — securing employee-owned devices should be a critical part of protecting your organization’s data. Installing mobile device management features for Microsoft 365 enables you to manage security policies and access permissions/restrictions, and remotely wipe sensitive data from mobile devices if they’re lost or stolen.

Use multifactor authentication

Relying on a single password to protect your Microsoft 365 accounts could lead to account hijacking, which could put your data at risk of being compromised. Instead, enable multifactor authentication (MFA). MFA requires users to supply additional credentials on top of a password before they can access their accounts. This makes it difficult for hackers to access your accounts since they not only have to guess user passwords, but they also need to provide a second authentication factor like a one-time SMS code or a fingerprint scan.

Apply session timeouts

Many employees usually forget to log out of their Microsoft 365 accounts and keep their computers or mobile devices unlocked. This could give unauthorized users unfettered access to company accounts, allowing them to steal sensitive data. By applying session timeouts to Microsoft 365 accounts, email accounts, and internal networks, users will be automatically logged out after a period of inactivity, preventing hackers from taking over users’ devices and accessing private information.

Avoid public calendar sharing

Microsoft 365’s calendar sharing feature allows employees to share and sync their schedules with their colleagues. However, publicly sharing this information is a bad idea because it helps attackers understand how your company works, determine who’s away, and identify vulnerable users. For instance, if security administrators are publicly listed as “Away on vacation,” an attacker may see this as an opportunity to unleash malware on unattended computers.

Employ role-based access controls

Access management is another Microsoft 365 feature that will limit the flow of sensitive data across your organization. It lets you determine which users have access to specific files in your company. For example, rank-and-file employees won’t be able to read or edit executive-level documents, minimizing the risk of data leaks.

Encrypt emails

Encrypting classified information is your last line of defense against data breaches. If hackers intercept your emails, encryption tools will make files unreadable to unauthorized recipients. This is a must-have for Microsoft 365, where files and emails are shared on a regular basis.

Partner with us to ensure your organization’s Microsoft 365 accounts are always secure and compliant with changing data security requirements. Give us a call today — our team of experts are here to help.

This post was originally published on this site

Microsoft 365 data loss protection: A quick and easy guide

Businesses of all sizes and across all sectors are turning to Microsoft 365 for the productivity-boosting benefits it offers. Many also choose the subscription service for its robust security features designed to safeguard against cyberthreats of all kinds. To make the most out of these functionalities and ensure your business data’s security, follow these tips.

Take advantage of policy alerts

Establish policy notifications in Microsoft 365’s Compliance Center to help you meet your company’s data security obligations. With these in place, your employees will receive policy tips about sending confidential information anytime they’re about to send messages to contacts outside of the company network. These preemptive warnings can prevent data leaks and also educate users on safer data sharing practices.

Secure mobile devices

Since employees often use personal smartphones or computers to access their work email, calendar, contacts, and documents — especially if they’re working remotely — securing employee-owned devices should be a critical part of protecting your organization’s data. Installing mobile device management features for Microsoft 365 enables you to manage security policies and access permissions/restrictions, and remotely wipe sensitive data from mobile devices if they’re lost or stolen.

Use multifactor authentication

Relying on a single password to protect your Microsoft 365 accounts could lead to account hijacking, which could put your data at risk of being compromised. Instead, enable multifactor authentication (MFA). MFA requires users to supply additional credentials on top of a password before they can access their accounts. This makes it difficult for hackers to access your accounts since they not only have to guess user passwords, but they also need to provide a second authentication factor like a one-time SMS code or a fingerprint scan.

Apply session timeouts

Many employees usually forget to log out of their Microsoft 365 accounts and keep their computers or mobile devices unlocked. This could give unauthorized users unfettered access to company accounts, allowing them to steal sensitive data. By applying session timeouts to Microsoft 365 accounts, email accounts, and internal networks, users will be automatically logged out after a period of inactivity, preventing hackers from taking over users’ devices and accessing private information.

Avoid public calendar sharing

Microsoft 365’s calendar sharing feature allows employees to share and sync their schedules with their colleagues. However, publicly sharing this information is a bad idea because it helps attackers understand how your company works, determine who’s away, and identify vulnerable users. For instance, if security administrators are publicly listed as “Away on vacation,” an attacker may see this as an opportunity to unleash malware on unattended computers.

Employ role-based access controls

Access management is another Microsoft 365 feature that will limit the flow of sensitive data across your organization. It lets you determine which users have access to specific files in your company. For example, rank-and-file employees won’t be able to read or edit executive-level documents, minimizing the risk of data leaks.

Encrypt emails

Encrypting classified information is your last line of defense against data breaches. If hackers intercept your emails, encryption tools will make files unreadable to unauthorized recipients. This is a must-have for Microsoft 365, where files and emails are shared on a regular basis.

Partner with us to ensure your organization’s Microsoft 365 accounts are always secure and compliant with changing data security requirements. Give us a call today — our team of experts are here to help.

This post was originally published on this site

How to mitigate Microsoft 365 security risks

Microsoft 365 has transformed the way many organizations work by enhancing workflows, collaboration, and efficiency. But like other cloud-based solutions, this line of subscription services is not immune to security risks. Here’s what your business can do to address these challenges.

Vulnerabilities in SharePoint

Businesses typically use SharePoint Online and on-premises SharePoint sites to store sensitive information like personally identifiable data. Failing to secure SharePoint content against unauthorized users is one way to expose data and your business to malicious actors. This can be critical for companies that are required to comply with stringent data privacy and protection regulations and may face serious consequences for noncompliance.

To prevent this, limit administrator-level privileges and enable encryption. Additionally, set the necessary security restrictions per user for every application.

Unprotected communication channels

Phishing attacks and malware are two of the most common ways cybercriminals infiltrate a system, but there are other paths of attack. Microsoft 365 applications like Microsoft Teams, which can connect to external networks, may serve as a medium for ransomware and other types of attack.

Train your staff to identify potentially malicious files and links. Also, offer guidelines on how to handle and route sensitive files and communication to safe locations.

Security risks in dormant applications

Organizations using Microsoft 365 often won’t use all the tools and services included in the productivity suite. You may use one or several programs like Word, Excel, and SharePoint but rarely use OneDrive. If your business has been utilizing specific programs, note that some dormant applications may be prone to attack. This is why it’s crucial to identify the apps that aren’t being used, and have an administrator tweak user settings to restrict availability on such apps.

File synchronization

Like most cloud services, Microsoft 365 allows users to automatically sync on-premises files to the cloud, such as in OneDrive. This useful feature is not without security risks, however. If a file stored locally is infected with malware, OneDrive will view the file as changed/updated and trigger a sync to the OneDrive cloud, with the infection going undetected.

Office 365 Cloud App Security, a subset of Microsoft Cloud App Security, is designed to enhance protections for Office 365 apps and provide great visibility into user activity to improve incident response efforts. Make sure your organization’s security administrators set it up on your systems so you can detect and mitigate cyber risks as soon as possible.

Cybercriminals will continue to sharpen their hacking techniques, and your organization must keep up to protect your systems, apps, and devices. Call our team of IT experts now if you want to strengthen your business IT security.

This post was originally published on this site

How to mitigate Microsoft 365 security risks

Microsoft 365 has transformed the way many organizations work by enhancing workflows, collaboration, and efficiency. But like other cloud-based solutions, this line of subscription services is not immune to security risks. Here’s what your business can do to address these challenges.

Vulnerabilities in SharePoint

Businesses typically use SharePoint Online and on-premises SharePoint sites to store sensitive information like personally identifiable data. Failing to secure SharePoint content against unauthorized users is one way to expose data and your business to malicious actors. This can be critical for companies that are required to comply with stringent data privacy and protection regulations and may face serious consequences for noncompliance.

To prevent this, limit administrator-level privileges and enable encryption. Additionally, set the necessary security restrictions per user for every application.

Unprotected communication channels

Phishing attacks and malware are two of the most common ways cybercriminals infiltrate a system, but there are other paths of attack. Microsoft 365 applications like Microsoft Teams, which can connect to external networks, may serve as a medium for ransomware and other types of attack.

Train your staff to identify potentially malicious files and links. Also, offer guidelines on how to handle and route sensitive files and communication to safe locations.

Security risks in dormant applications

Organizations using Microsoft 365 often won’t use all the tools and services included in the productivity suite. You may use one or several programs like Word, Excel, and SharePoint but rarely use OneDrive. If your business has been utilizing specific programs, note that some dormant applications may be prone to attack. This is why it’s crucial to identify the apps that aren’t being used, and have an administrator tweak user settings to restrict availability on such apps.

File synchronization

Like most cloud services, Microsoft 365 allows users to automatically sync on-premises files to the cloud, such as in OneDrive. This useful feature is not without security risks, however. If a file stored locally is infected with malware, OneDrive will view the file as changed/updated and trigger a sync to the OneDrive cloud, with the infection going undetected.

Office 365 Cloud App Security, a subset of Microsoft Cloud App Security, is designed to enhance protections for Office 365 apps and provide great visibility into user activity to improve incident response efforts. Make sure your organization’s security administrators set it up on your systems so you can detect and mitigate cyber risks as soon as possible.

Cybercriminals will continue to sharpen their hacking techniques, and your organization must keep up to protect your systems, apps, and devices. Call our team of IT experts now if you want to strengthen your business IT security.

This post was originally published on this site

Which Microsoft 365 plan should I choose for my business?

Confused about which Microsoft 365 plan you should procure for your business? Understandable, given how complicated Microsoft packages their business solutions subscriptions. Read on to get a simplified outlook on the different plans and packages available today.

Information workers or frontline workers?

Microsoft 365 is the obvious choice if you’re running cloud-based business systems, but the main question is which suite will serve your needs best. Microsoft has packaged their Microsoft 365 offerings to fall under two types of bundles: Information Worker plans and Frontline Worker plans. Both of these plans will give you access to Office 365 and file hosting service OneDrive, but there are significant differences between the two.

Under the Information Worker suite, there are two Microsoft 365 plans you can customize as per your needs: E3 and E5. You can expand said suite with specific service sets your business needs, such as a standalone Office 365 system, Enterprise Mobility + Security tools, and even sets of the Windows 10 operating system. Meanwhile, the Frontline Worker suite (F1, F3, and F5) is more compact, with Office 365 F3 being the only available add-on.

Microsoft 365 E3 and E5 plans have unlimited archive and mail storage space. They also come with advanced analytics tools such as Delve, MyAnalytics, and PowerBI, all of which are unavailable on the Frontliner plans. Information Worker plans also include access management, threat protection, endpoint management, and other advanced tools absent in the Frontline Worker suite.

In terms of SharePoint, a collaborative platform and document and storage system, Frontline Worker plans are short on enterprise search, Excel services, and Visio — a diagramming and vector graphics app — features. Frontline Worker plans also do not have unified communications.

With these points in mind, it may seem like Information Worker subscriptions are superior — and in many ways, they are — but Frontline Worker plans are more suited for smaller companies running on a tight budget. Microsoft 365 F1 and F3 cost $2.25 and $8 per user per month, respectively, while Office 365 plans E1, E3, and E5 cost $8, $20, and $35 per user per month, respectively.

As a general rule, only consider subscribing to the Information Worker plans when your employee headcount exceeds 50 people and users require more storage space solutions and advanced analytics. Otherwise, Frontline Worker plans should suffice.

E3 or E5

Once you’ve decided to go for the Microsoft 365 Information Worker plans, you need to choose which plan (E3 or E5) suits your business requirements.

E3 offers basic solutions, such as Outlook, Word, OneNote, PowerPoint, and Excel for $32 per month. It also provides access to SharePoint Team sites, video conferencing, and Yammer for social media for businesses.

E5, on the other hand, provides all E3 features together with unified communications, PowerBI, Microsoft Defender, Application Guard, and Safe Documents. It also comes with more cloud security tools, risk-based conditional access, privileged identity management, and both automatic and machine learning-based sensitivity labels. E5 costs $57 per month.

Small- and medium-sized businesses often select E3 and subscribe to third-party applications for their cloud security and VoIP needs. But for more robust data management and security requirements, the E5 plan is the way to go.

Migrating to Microsoft 365 is not an overnight task, and if you’re still undecided about which plan to opt for, contact us today. We won’t just provide Microsoft 365; we’ll also assess your business to find the best plan that fits your budget and business goals.

This post was originally published on this site