Should You Get a Microsoft 365 Business Premium in 2024?


Microsoft 365 business premium subscription

It doesn’t matter whether you’re a business owner, an IT professional, or just someone looking to improve your productivity and security. Understanding the different Microsoft 365 plans will definitely be a plus when it comes to deciding which plan to opt for.

This blog post covers the features of Microsoft 365 Business Standard and Microsoft 365 Business Premium, two popular Microsoft products that are tailored for different business needs.

We will discuss the range of tools and services every plan provides, from the necessary applications for productivity to the advanced security functions. We aim to provide you with the information and guidance that will enable you to select a plan that is appropriate for your business objectives. Therefore, let us dive into it, and unleash the power of Microsoft 365 for your company.

Key Takeaways

Microsoft 365 Business Standard

Ideal for businesses that need essential productivity tools and services for day-to-day operations with standard security.

Productivity Suite Includes Office apps like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook.
Communication Tools Offers email through Exchange and collaboration through Teams and SharePoint.
Cloud StorageProvides 1 TB of OneDrive storage per user.
Device Compatibility Works across PCs, Macs, and mobile devices.
Web and Mobile VersionsAccess to web and mobile versions of Office apps.
Business ServicesFeatures like business-class email, scheduling tools, and webinar hosting.
SecurityStandard security features to protect data and users.

Microsoft 365 Business Premium

Tailored for businesses that need robust cybersecurity measures in addition to productivity tools.

All Standard Features Includes everything in Business Standard.
Advanced SecurityEnhanced protection with Advanced Threat Protection (ATP), Safe Links, and Safe Attachments.
Device ManagementManage and secure devices with Microsoft Intune.
Compliance ToolsBuilt-in compliance features to meet regulatory standards.
Virtual DesktopAccess to Windows Virtual Desktop for remote work flexibility.
AI and AutomationAI-powered Office features, Power BI, and Power Automate for analytics and workflow automation.

What Is Microsoft 365 Business Standard?

what is Microsoft 365 business standard

Microsoft 365 Business Standard is a subscription service designed for small to medium-sized businesses that combines classic Office applications with powerful cloud services like business-class email, file storage, and sharing. It includes:

Office Applications

Is it packed with desktop versions of Outlook, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, as well as Publisher, and Access.

Online Services

You get access to Exchange for email, OneDrive for storage, SharePoint for collaboration, and Microsoft Teams for communication.

Web and Mobile Versions

Web-based and mobile versions of Office apps are included for working on the go.

Microsoft 365 Business Standard offers a comprehensive set of productivity tools, including online apps, support for up to 300 people, and 1TB of cloud storage per user. This plan extends the Basic offering by including desktop versions of Microsoft 365 apps with premium functionality, allowing your team to collaborate effortlessly across devices and platforms. Video conferencing and online meetings are also included to help your team members collaborate more effectively.

Microsoft 365 Business Standard is intended for enterprises that require both the core suite of Office apps and cloud-based file storage and sharing.

Benefits of Microsoft 365 Business Standard for Small Businesses

benefits of Microsoft 365 business standard

Comprehensive Productivity Applications

These applications are supported by 1 TB of OneDrive cloud storage per user, allowing for easy access and sharing of files from anywhere, on any device. Additionally, Microsoft 365 Business Standard provides the reliability and security features that businesses need to operate efficiently and protect their data.

Microsoft Word

Microsoft Word is a comprehensive word-processing application that enables businesses to create a wide range of documents, including reports, letters, and resumes. Its features include:

  • Templates: A variety of pre-designed templates for different types of documents.
  • Co-Authoring: Multiple users can work on the same document simultaneously, making collaboration easy.
  • Sharing: Documents can be shared directly from the app with secure links.
  • Reviewing Tools: Track changes, add comments, and manage document revisions.
  • Design Tools: Customize documents with fonts, colors, and images.
  • Accessibility Checker: Ensures content is accessible to all users.

Microsoft Excel

Microsoft Excel is a powerful spreadsheet application used for data analysis and visualization. Some of its key features include:

  • PivotTables: Summarize, analyze, explore, and present data.
  • Functions: Over 400 functions for financial, statistical, and text data.
  • Charts and Graphs: Visualize data with a range of chart types.
  • Data Analysis Tools: Features like What-If Analysis, Solver, and Data Tables.
  • Conditional Formatting: Highlight important values with color scales and data bars.
  • Power Query: Integrate data from various sources and prepare it for analysis.

Microsoft PowerPoint

Create dynamic presentations with Microsoft PowerPoint for engaging slide decks. You also get access to the following key features:

  • Animations and Transitions: Add visual effects to slides and elements.
  • Multimedia Integration: Embed videos, images, and audio clips.
  • Presenter View: View notes and upcoming slides while presenting.
  • Design Ideas: AI-powered suggestions for slide design.
  • Collaboration: Co-author presentations and share with ease.
  • Export Options: Save presentations as videos or PDFs.

Microsoft OneNote

Microsoft OneNote is a versatile digital notebook for capturing and organizing information across devices. Microsoft OneNote is excellent for:

  • Note Organization: Arrange notes with sections and pages.
  • Ink Capabilities: Draw, sketch, or write notes with a digital pen.
  • Audio Notes: Record and embed audio notes within pages.
  • Content Embedding: Insert files, links, and web content.
  • Search: Find text in images and handwritten notes.
  • Cloud Sync: Access notes on any device through OneDrive.

Microsoft Outlook

Microsoft Outlook is an all-in-one solution for email, calendar, and contacts. Its features include:

  • Email Management: Organize your inbox with focused and other tabs.
  • Calendar Sharing: Share calendars and schedule meetings easily.
  • Contact Management: Store and manage contact information.
  • Task Management: Keep track of tasks and to-do lists.
  • Advanced Search: Quickly find emails, attachments, and contacts.
  • Security: Built-in defense against viruses, phishing, and spam.

Microsoft Publisher

Microsoft Publisher is a desktop publishing application that focuses on page layout and design. It’s tailored for creating professional-quality publications such as brochures, newsletters, and greeting cards. Key features include:

  • Layout Tools: Provides precise control over page layout, including alignment guides and master pages.
  • Templates: A wide selection of customizable templates for various types of publications.
  • Graphic Design: Incorporate high-quality images, and use professional effects for text, shapes, and pictures.
  • Mail Merge: Easily create personalized communications by merging data from sources like Excel.
  • Printing: Supports advanced print settings, including batch printing and the ability to print on different paper sizes.

Microsoft Access

Microsoft Access is a database management system that combines the relational Microsoft Jet Database Engine with a graphical user interface and software-development tools. It’s useful for businesses that need to organize, access, and share data. Features include:

  • Database Templates: Pre-built templates for common business processes to help you get started quickly.
  • Data Types: Supports a variety of data types, including attachments and calculated fields.
  • Form and Report Creation: Create forms for data entry and reports for data analysis.
  • SQL View: Write and execute SQL queries directly for more advanced database management.
  • Data Import/Export: Import data from or link to data in other applications and databases.

Comprehensive Office Services

Microsoft 365 Business Standard provides a suite of services that enhance productivity and collaboration for businesses. Here’s a detailed look at each component:

Microsoft Exchange

A robust email service that offers business-class email, calendar, and contacts with a 50 GB mailbox per user, and the ability to send attachments up to 150 MB.

Microsoft OneDrive

Provides 1 TB of cloud storage per user, enabling secure access, sharing, and file storage from anywhere, on any device.

Microsoft SharePoint

A powerful tool for creating websites and portals to share and manage content, knowledge, and applications to empower teamwork.

Microsoft Viva Engage

Microsoft Viva Engage is a new employee experience platform that connects people across an organization, fostering community and conversation within the workplace. It’s part of the broader Microsoft Viva suite, which aims to support connection, insight, purpose, and growth within organizations.

Viva Engage has evolved from Microsoft Yammer, building upon its capabilities to create a more integrated experience within Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Teams.

Microsoft Teams Communication

A unified communication and collaboration platform that combines persistent workplace chat, video meetings, file storage, and application integration.

Real-Time Collaboration

Allows multiple users to work on the same document simultaneously, enhancing teamwork and productivity.

Cloud Storage

Each user gets 1 TB of OneDrive storage, facilitating easy file access and collaboration from any location.

Webinar Hosting and Attendee Registration

Microsoft Teams provides hosts of webinars with attendee registration pages, email confirmations, and reporting capabilities.

Scheduling Tools

Tools like Microsoft Bookings simplify the process of scheduling and managing appointments with customers.

Built-In Security Measures

Standard security features include data loss prevention, information rights management, and encryption of data in transit and at rest.

Device Compatibility

Microsoft 365 Business Standard is compatible with PCs, Macs, Android tablets, Android phones, iPad, and iPhone.

Lower Cost

The subscription offers a cost-effective solution for businesses by bundling essential productivity tools with security features at a lower price point than purchasing them separately.

Overall, Microsoft 365 Business Standard is designed to provide small businesses with the tools they need to be productive and secure, while also being cost-effective and user-friendly.

What is Microsoft 365 Business Premium?

what is microsoft 365 business premium

Microsoft 365 Business Premium is a comprehensive subscription service designed for small to medium-sized businesses that combines the best of Office apps with advanced security features and device management capabilities. It’s tailored for businesses that need robust cybersecurity measures in addition to productivity tools.

Benefits of Microsoft Office 365 Business Premium for Small Businesses

benefits of Microsoft 365 business premium

Advanced Security Features

Microsoft Business Premium includes a suite of security features that protect against cyber threats, safeguard data, and manage user access:

Azure Information Protection (AIP)

AIP is a cloud-based solution that helps an organization classify, label, and protect its documents and emails. This can be done automatically by administrators who define rules and conditions, manually by users, or by a combination where users are given recommendations. The benefits include:

  • Persistent Protection: Information remains protected both inside and outside of the organization.
  • Access Control: Only authorized users can access protected documents and emails.
  • Tracking and Revocation: Monitor activities on shared data and revoke access if necessary.

Advanced Threat Protection (ATP)

ATP safeguards your business against sophisticated threats such as zero-day malware, ransomware, and other advanced attacks. It includes:

  • Safe Attachments: Check email attachments for malware using a virtual environment before delivery.
  • Safe Links: Scans URLs in emails and documents to block malicious links.
  • Phishing Defense: Utilizes AI to detect and protect against phishing attempts.

Safe Links

This feature provides time-of-click verification of URLs in email messages and Office documents, offering protection in several ways:

  • URL Detonation: Analyzes the content of a linked website for malicious behavior.
  • Real-time Scanning: Continuously scans links at the time of click to provide real-time protection.
  • User Education: Warns users about the risks of visiting unknown websites.

Safe Attachments

Safe Attachments protects against unknown malware and viruses by checking email attachments before they’re delivered to the recipient. It includes:

  • Attachment Scanning: Uses machine learning and analysis techniques to detect malicious intent.
  • Dynamic Delivery: Allows users to read and respond to emails while attachments are being scanned.


The anti-phishing capabilities in ATP use machine learning models to detect attempts at impersonation and other phishing attacks. Features include:

  • Impersonation Detection: Checks for emails attempting to impersonate your users and organization’s domain.
  • User and Domain Protection: Protects against attacks targeting specific users and domain spoofing.
  • Intelligence Insights: Provides insights into the health of your organization’s mail environment.

Data Loss Prevention (DLP)

DLP helps prevent the loss of sensitive information via email and other communication channels. It includes:

  • Sensitive Information Types: Detects sensitive data such as financial, medical, or personal information.
  • Policy Tips and User Education: Informs users about policy violations before sensitive data is sent out.
  • Reporting and Compliance: Helps meet regulatory compliance requirements by protecting sensitive data.

Device Management With Microsoft Intune

Microsoft Intune is a cloud-based service that focuses on mobile device management (MDM) and mobile application management (MAM). You can control how your organization’s devices are used, including mobile phones, tablets, and laptops. Additionally, you can configure specific policies to control applications. Key benefits include:

  • Flexible Control: Manage devices and apps from anywhere, setting rules that fit the business’s needs.
  • Secure Data: Protect company data by controlling how users access and share information.
  • Device Enrollment: Easily enroll company and personal devices to set up the necessary configurations and management settings.
  • Compliance Policies: Ensure devices and users meet your compliance criteria.

Windows Virtual Desktop Service

Windows Virtual Desktop is a comprehensive desktop and app virtualization service running in the cloud. It’s the only virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) that delivers simplified management, multi-session Windows 10, optimizations for Office 365 ProPlus, and support for Remote Desktop Services (RDS) environments. Key features include:

  • Remote Work: Access your desktop and apps securely from anywhere.
  • Windows 10 Experience: Multi-session capabilities allow several users to access the same virtual machine.
  • Optimized for Office 365: Experience a smooth, integrated experience with Office apps.
  • Scalability: Scale up or down based on your needs, paying only for what you use.

Data Compliance and Control

With Microsoft 365 Business Premium, you gain tools that help ensure data compliance across your organization. This includes:

  • Information Protection: Classify and protect documents and emails with labels.
  • Compliance Manager: Assess and manage compliance risks with ongoing risk assessments.
  • eDiscovery: Search and discover content across your organization for legal and compliance requirements.
  • Audit Logs: Monitor and investigate actions taken on your organization’s data.

AI Productivity Features

AI features in Office apps can significantly enhance productivity by automating routine tasks and providing intelligent insights. These features include:

  • Ideas in Excel: Offers smart suggestions for layouts, analysis, and more.
  • Designer in PowerPoint: Provides design recommendations for your slides.
  • Editor in Word: Advanced spelling, grammar, and style refinements.
  • Insights in Outlook: This helps manage your time and contacts more effectively.

Microsoft Power BI

Microsoft Power BI is a suite of business analytics tools that deliver insights throughout your organization. Connect to hundreds of data sources, simplify data prep, and drive ad hoc analysis. Produce beautiful reports, then publish them for your organization to consume on the web and across mobile devices. Everyone can create personalized dashboards with a unique, 360-degree view of their business.

Microsoft Power Automate

Microsoft Power Automate (formerly known as Microsoft Flow) is a service that helps you create automated workflows between your favorite apps and services to synchronize files, get notifications, collect data, and more. The key benefits include:

  • Workflow Automation: Create workflows that automate repetitive tasks across multiple applications.
  • Time Efficiency: Save time and effort for your team by automating complex business processes.
  • Error Reduction: Minimize human errors by using automated processes.
  • Connectivity: Connect to over 300 data sources or any publicly available API.

Cost-Effective Business Solution

Integrates multiple services into one subscription, reducing the complexity and cost of purchasing separate licenses and security solutions.

Microsoft 365 Business Premium is ideal for businesses that prioritize security and productivity, offering a complete solution that supports their operations and growth. It’s a smart investment for businesses looking to leverage the power of cloud computing while maintaining a secure and compliant environment.

How to Choose the Right Microsoft Plan for Your Business

choose the right Microsoft plan

Assess Your Business Needs

Consider the size of your business, the industry you operate in, and the specific productivity tools your employees use daily. If your business relies heavily on collaboration and remote work, look for plans that offer robust communication tools like Microsoft Teams.

Determine Storage and Device Requirements

Evaluate how much data your business generates and the storage capacity you need. Also, consider the types of devices your employees use and ensure the plan supports them.

Consider Security and Compliance

Analyze the level of security your business requires. If you handle sensitive data or are subject to regulatory compliance, you may need the advanced security features offered by Microsoft 365 Business Premium.

Optimize Your Expenses With Microsoft Software License Assessments

Regularly review your software licenses to ensure you’re not paying for more than you need. Microsoft 365 plans can scale with your business, so choose a plan that matches your current requirements and adjust as needed.

Summing Up: Microsoft 365 Business Standard vs Premium

Microsoft 365 Business Standard is ideal for businesses that need reliable productivity tools and basic security features at an affordable cost. It includes Office apps, email, and cloud storage, making it suitable for everyday business operations.

Microsoft 365 Business Premium, on the other hand, is best for businesses that require advanced security features like threat protection, information protection, and device management. It’s a comprehensive solution that combines productivity tools with sophisticated security measures to protect your business from cyber threats.

In summary, if your business needs are straightforward and you’re looking for cost-effective solutions, Business Standard may be the best choice. However, if security is a top priority and you need to manage a variety of devices and compliance requirements, Business Premium is more suitable for these needs. Always align your choice with your business goals, operational needs, and growth plans.

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