“Advancing in tomorrow’s world requires the strategic adoption of technology today.” Jeremy Wanamaker, CEO of Complete Network

Businesses often approach us looking to clear the confusion in delineating the different apps, services, features, and benefits of Microsoft 365 for business versus enterprise. Although there’s a great deal of crossover between both plans, each is designed with the specific needs of a target market in mind.

Simply put, Microsoft 365 for Business caters to small and mid-sized businesses with fewer than 300 users. For larger companies and SMBs with more complex use cases regarding security, compliance, and customization, Microsoft 365 for Enterprise is the optimal solution.

This article aims to help remove all confusion and make it easier for IT decision-makers to choose the appropriate plan that fits their organization’s unique goals and objectives.

Let’s dive in.


Overview of Microsoft 365

With the proliferation of cloud computing taking off around the early 2010s, many companies began transitioning from one-time payments for their products and services to a recurring subscription model. One of the first from Microsoft, which bundled Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, was released under the brand Office 365.

In the years since, the company has launched myriad other products and apps like OneDrive, Teams, Exchange Server, and Yammer as subscription services. Starting in 2017, the company began to neatly restructure these dispersed offerings into a unified brand called Microsoft 365 (MS365). Today, Microsoft 365 encompasses dozens and dozens of various products, apps, and services covering everything from device management, email, cloud storage, and workforce collaboration to IT support, project management, webinars, and advanced threat protection.

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Benefits of Using Microsoft 365 for Your Business

Next, let’s explore the core benefits that Microsoft 365 brings to the table and uncover how this expansive suite of tools has the potential to completely transform your business.


1. MS365 is Cloud-Native

The flexibility offered by Microsoft 365’s cloud-native apps and services aligns perfectly with the evolving nature of work. MS365 promotes a culture of agility and responsiveness, where employees can contribute meaningfully to projects and tasks regardless of whether they’re on mobile devices or sitting behind a desktop machine.


2. MS365 is Disaster Resistant

Hosting your critical resources in the cloud is more than a matter of convenience—it’s about resilience. MS365 provides a unified, accessible, and secure environment that assists organizations in navigating disruptions with quickness and finesse, making it an indispensable asset for business continuity.


3. MS365 is an All-in-One Solution

How often do you try to rediscover that nugget of company information or insight you read last month? Yeah, you jotted it down on a sticky note, but that got trashed, and now you can’t remember if what you’re looking for was in an email, Slack, or some document buried deep in the company’s intranet.

The intelligent search capabilities of MS365 allow you to locate information easily since it brings coherence to an otherwise scattered abundance of apps, tools, files, documents, and services.


4. MS365 Liberates Your Maintenance

Since MS365 handles day-to-day maintenance, patching, and upgrades, your IT team can channel their expertise into strategic initiatives, innovations, and proactive measures that significantly impact the organization’s overall efficiency and security. In turn, this shift in focus not only optimizes IT productivity but also drives increased IT ROI.



Differences Between Microsoft 365 Enterprise vs Business

This next section dives into the specific apps and pricing that divide business and enterprise plans. Microsoft 365 for Business offers three unique tiers, which include:

  • Microsoft 365 Business Basic
  • Microsoft 365 Business Standard
  • Microsoft 365 Business Premium

“Basic” is the simplest plan offering businesses access to a handful of core Microsoft apps useful in completing everyday business tasks. Starting at $6.00 per user, this plan includes web and mobile versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook, in addition to cloud access to

OneDrive, Teams, SharePoint, and Exchange.

Starting at $22.00 per user, “Premium” is the topmost plan in this category, offering a wider range of apps and features, including desktop, web, mobile, and cloud access to all apps in the “Basic” plan in addition to:

  • Clipchamp – a user-friendly editing platform to create engaging videos.
  • Loop – a teamwork service that simplifies creating, editing, and organizing content collaboratively.
  • Defender – antivirus protection for real-time threat detection and response.
  • Entra – employee identity and credential management service.
  • Information Protection – tools for classifying, labelling, and protecting data privacy and compliance.
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Microsoft 365 for Enterprise offers two tiers, which include:

  • Microsoft 365 E3
  • Microsoft 365 E5

“E3,” priced at $36.00 per user, is the simplest Enterprise plan where users get access to everything found in the Business Premium plan as well as notable additions such as:

  • OneNote – collaborative note-taking app to create and organize notes and multimedia content
  • Microsoft Bookings – a tool for customers to schedule appointments, bookings, and services.
  • Microsoft Publisher – a desktop publishing app to create professional brochures, flyers, and newsletters.
  • Microsoft Lists – collaborative workforce app to create, share, and manage lists for tasks, inventory, and issues.
  • Sway – storytelling app that enables users to create interactive, web-based presentations and reports.
  • Visio – Vector graphics application to create diagrams, flowcharts, and organizational charts.
  • Power Apps – low-code development platform to create custom business applications without extensive coding.
  • Power Automate – helps streamline repetitive tasks and processes by automating workflows.
  • Power Virtual Agents – a chatbot-building platform that enables companies to easily create intelligent chatbots.
  • Microsoft Viva – an employee experience platform to enhance employees’ overall well-being, productivity, and engagement.

“E5,” Microsoft’s top-of-the-line plan, offers everything from E3 in addition to Power BI Pro to create interactive reports and dashboards, transforming raw data into actionable insights. Pricing at this level starts at $57.00 per user.

In addition to the aforementioned plans, the company offers Microsoft 365 Apps for Business ($8.25 per user) and Microsoft 365 Apps for Enterprise ($12.00 per user).

Rebranded from Office 365, MS365 Apps for Business includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and OneDrive in addition to 1 TB storage and anytime support via phone or web.

On the other hand, Microsoft 365 Apps for Enterprise is a souped version of MS365 Apps for Business. In fact, it includes the same core apps and services, with additional security, communication, or administrative features layered on top.


Microsoft 365 Business vs Enterprise


Feature Comparison of Microsoft 365 for Business vs. Enterprise

For this section, we’ll go beyond the differences in apps and pricing to take a closer look at how compliance, security, support, and customization features separate both plans.


1. Compliance and Security

Microsoft 365 for Business delivers fundamental security, such as basic threat protection, encryption, and access controls; however, its limits are readily apparent concerning advanced threat capabilities and compliance tools.

In contrast, Microsoft 365 for Enterprise is designed to address the heightened security demands of large and complex organizations. It offers various advanced security features to fortify digital infrastructures, including robust threat protection mechanisms, identity management, and advanced protocols for user authentication and access.

Moreover, MS365 for Enterprise incorporates compliance features such as data loss prevention (DLP), eDiscovery, and audit logging.


2. Support and SLA

The advanced support options available to MS365 for Enterprise subscribers include priority access to support technicians, faster response times, and dedicated support resources.

The SLAs associated with enterprise-level plans are designed to ensure high availability and responsiveness, aligning with the stringent requirements of large enterprises, where downtime, service disruptions, or technical issues can significantly impact operations.

Microsoft 365 for Business doesn’t provide the same level of comprehensive support and SLAs. Business-level support options usually include access to online resources, community forums, and basic customer assistance.


3. Customization and Integration

Microsoft 365 for Enterprise offers a more robust suite of customization and integration capabilities, such as customized user experiences, deploying corporate branding consistently across applications, and configuring intricate settings to align with specific business processes. Microsoft 365 for Business has fewer customization options and less control over apps.


4. Analytics and Business Intelligence

MS365 for Business furnishes basic analytics and reporting capabilities suitable for smaller organizations. MS365 for Enterprise elevates the analytical toolkit by offering more advanced software like Power BI to harness the full potential of your data and drive informed decision-making across complex and diverse business environments.


Microsoft 365 Business vs. Enterprise: Which One is Right for You?

Choosing the right MS365 plan can make a world of difference for your organization and its workforce. Choosing the wrong plan, however, may result in unnecessary spending on apps and services that offer little value.

You’ll find Microsoft 365 for Business is an excellent fit for organizations with straightforward requirements. Suppose access to Microsoft’s world-class productivity and collaboration tools like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneDrive, and Teams is all you need. In that case, this is the ideal price, functionality, and ease-of-use plan.

Conversely, Microsoft 365 for Enterprise is a better choice for businesses seeking to coalesce the various products and services they subscribe to under one umbrella. Rather than paying for a hodgepodge of apps and services from many different vendors, Microsoft 365 for Enterprise combines a full suite of productivity, collaboration, identity management, compliance, business intelligence, analytics, and security tools, creating a unified environment that enhances organizational efficiency.

If a unified experience for your apps is not of the utmost importance inside your workplace, but you still require tools such as Word and Excel for day-to-day business, Microsoft 365 Apps for Business is your best option. However, for greater control and capability with these tools, Microsoft 365 Apps for Enterprises is the way to go.


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Ready to unlock the full potential of Microsoft 365 for your organization? Our dedicated team specializes in helping you procure and deploy the right MS365 products, offering customization, strategic planning, and ongoing support.

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The Complete Network team helps businesses in Albany, New York, Charlotte, North Carolina, Savannah, Georgia, and Bluffton, South Carolina can help you migrate to the right Microsoft product, while keep costs and migration complexity under control. Contact our friendly team any time at 877 877 1840 and [email protected]. We look forward to speaking with you!


How To Supplement Your Internal IT Team.

In an ideal world, technology would be a consistent source of competitive advantage and benefit for small and midsized businesses. The reality is that many fail to realize that confidence.

Without the right resources and support, even a highly skilled technology team can become overwhelmed by the growing list of technology management duties. When important tasks get neglected, it creates ripple effects throughout an organization that damage productivity and efficiency.

The co-managed IT services model solves these problems by providing your existing IT team with all the support and resources they need to successfully plan, manage, and defend your network technology.

This guide covers:

  • • Aligning technology with business goals
  • • Reducing churn while preserving institutional knowledge
  • • Empowering your staff to maximize productivity
  • • Achieving the highest level of cybersecurity defense

Download it for free by filling out the form here.