Tony DiLeonardo
Author Tony DiLeonardo

Fueling Your Digital Transformation Journey with Microsoft 365

August 21 2019 | Modern Workplace

We’ve seen firsthand from our clients how the productivity benefits and ROI of successful data transformation using Microsoft 365 greatly outweighs any initial setup effort.

Enabling the Modern Workplace comes through digital transformation. You’ve heard that phrase everywhere, but no one can deny that access to cloud-based digital services has created new ways to transform workflows, optimize business operations, empower employee collaboration, and enhance our ability to secure data. As the relationship between technology and business continues to evolve, organizations that fail to take advantage of the cloud risk falling behind, resulting in decreased productivity, security, and innovation. Luckily, Microsoft gets it and has the apps and services you need to fuel your digital transformation journey by using Microsoft 365.

You might be wondering what Microsoft 365 is, how it works, and what it looks like to get started. In short, Microsoft 365 brings together intelligent cloud services, best-in-class productivity apps, and powerful security and device management capabilities into an integrated solution to transform the way you work. The platform is based on the principles of rethinking and improving productivity and streamlining business processes by fostering collaboration, integrating workflows in a single platform, and enabling teams to work from any device, all while providing advanced threat protection and security features to protect your information and critical data. You’ll wonder how you managed without it when it’s setup and running but understanding the features and implementation can be a challenging process. Don’t worry, that’s where Blueprint can help. Let’s start with the basics.


Office 365 vs. Microsoft 365

First things first: you may be wondering what the difference is between Office 365 and Microsoft 365. They’re not the same thing, but they are connected. Office 365 (O365) is the set of familiar Microsoft products that are likely staples in your business already, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote, Publisher and Access. On the other hand, Microsoft 365 is a larger, all-in-one bundle of cloud-based products that includes the Office 365 suite with Exchange, OneDrive, Skype for Business, Microsoft Teams, SharePoint, Windows 10 Pro, and Enterprise Mobility and Security (EMS). Both are subscription-based, but Microsoft 365 is geared toward providing a holistic set of productivity and collaboration tools with enterprise-grade device management and security capabilities. What does that mean for you? Microsoft has already assembled the toolbox you need to create and operate a Modern Workplace immediately, with everything integrated from the start.


What’s in the Microsoft 365 Bundle?

Let’s dive into the Microsoft 365 bundles that exist to cover a variety of business needs. As mentioned above, the Microsoft 365 bundle includes Office 365, Windows 10, and EMS, all of which are optimized for modern management tasks and simplified end-user experience through a subscription service aimed at providing improved integration and security between Microsoft products. There are three primary flavors of this bundle: Microsoft 365 Business, Microsoft 365 Enterprise, and Microsoft 365 Education. Here’s what you need to know about each of them.


Microsoft 365 Business

Microsoft 365 Business is for small and medium-sized business with no more than 300 users that have a limited internal support presence. It includes:

  • The Office 365 suite
  • Basic security with threat detection, Information Protection policies, and continuous data backup
  • Mobile Device Management (MDM) features via Microsoft Intune
  • Windows AutoPilot to speed up device setup
  • 1TB of storage


Microsoft 365 Enterprise 

Microsoft 365 Enterprise is for larger organizations that need more robust features tailored more specifically to their environment. It comes in three distinct plans with E5 being the most robust:

  • F1
    • Standard Office 365 applications without OneNote or Access
    • Basic threat protection
    • No advanced compliance tools
  • E3
    • Office 365
    • Basic threat protection
    • Mobile Device Management (MDM) features via Microsoft Intune
    • Windows Analytics Device Health and Autopilot
    • Office 365 Data Loss Prevention
  • E5
    • Office 365
    • Advanced threat protection
    • Mobile Device Management (MDM) features via Microsoft Intune
    • Windows Analytics Device Health and Autopilot
    • Advanced eDiscovery for compliance
    • Office 365 Data Loss Prevention
    • MyAnalytics and Power BI Pro
    • Office 365 Data Loss Prevention


Microsoft 365 Education

Microsoft 365 Education has three plans designed for schools and other educational organizations:

  • A1
  • A3
    • All of A1
    • Office desktop apps (such as Word, Outlook, Delve, Enterprise Mobility Suite)
    • Better security management and information protection (Windows Server CALs, System Center Endpoint Protection, System Center Configuration Manager CML)
  • A5
    • All of A3
    • Advanced security and system tools (Publicly Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) integration, Advanced eDiscovery, Customer Lockbox, MyAnalytics, Office 365 A5 ATP, Threat Intelligence, Windows Defender ATP)


Microsoft 365 unlocks the full potential of your business   

Not sure which bundle is right for you? That’s a common pain point that holds businesses back from their digital transformation much longer than necessary and often leads to an “if it ain’t broke” type of mentality. However, we’ve seen firsthand from our clients how the productivity benefits and ROI of successful data transformation greatly outweigh the initial setup effort. In October 2018, Forrester conducted a study to examine the potential ROI that E5 enterprises may realize by adopting Microsoft 365. 45 organizations were interviewed with another 301 surveyed, totaling 5,000 Microsoft 365 users. You can take a look at the full report and white paper, but here are a few of the impressive cost-savings they found in the results. 

These are only a few ROI examples Forrester found in their study, and while these examples are at the E5 level bundle, Microsoft 365 and the benefits that come with it are just as impactful for businesses of any size. As a part of our Modern Workplace solutions, Blueprint has deep experience and expertise needed to identify the best Microsoft 365 bundle for your business and work through implementation to help get you on the road to success quickly with the support needed to thrive. Our experts specialize in navigating the waters of Microsoft 365 so you can take advantage of a Modern Workplace now without the headache of trial-and-error on your own. Get in touch with the Blueprint team today and let us know how we can help! 


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