What is Microsoft 365? A Complete Overview

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  • Post last modified:September 10, 2023
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Microsoft 365 for businesses and enterprises is Microsoft’s complete set of business productivity, identity and security tools. It covers everything from user identities, emails and applications to Cyber Security, PC deployment and business continuity. And of-course, a lot more… Fundamentally it is a platform for you to build your business on, it provides everything you need to allow your business to function in a modern world.

Microsoft 365

Key Elements of Microsoft 365

It will be useful for you know to some key elements of Microsoft 365 and what services is can provide your business.


Microsoft provides their world class business email solution, built on Exchange online their infrastructure is fully managed for you. Administrators use the Microsoft online Exchange admin centre to manage their Exchange online email services, which can be accessed here: https://admin.exchange.microsoft.com. Email plans range from providing you between 50GB to 100GB of storage with unlimited archiving.


Microsoft 365 apps is a full version of the Office suite, this includes Word, Excel, PowerPoints, Microsoft Teams, Outlook, OneDrive and much more… there are different plans available but each provide you with the mentioned core applications.

Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams is Microsoft’s collaboration application which facilitates instant messaging, voice and video communication between members of your organisation and users outside of your organisation. You can create internal groups called Teams which allow specified members to collaborate together, hold meetings and share information. You can also integrate applications and develop your own to integrate with Teams and share files.

Cloud Storage

Both OneDrive and SharePoint are include with most Microsoft 365 plans, this means you get both personal cloud storage for your own account and shared cloud storage for your organisation. Your personal storage includes 1TB of space per users and you are able to save files up to 100GB in size.


Microsoft 365 Plans and Pricing

There are many different Microsoft 365 plans to choose from in which some are very cheap and some can be quite expensive. Below I have broken down some key plans you should know about.

Microsoft 365 Business Basic (£3.80 per month) – Includes most key features excluding the desktop version of the Office application. Word, Excel and Outlook etc.. as still be accessed and used through their web based versions. This is the cheapest core license that still includes Email, Communications and Cloud Storage.

Microsoft 365 Business Standard (£9.40 per month) – Includes all the feature of Business Basic but also includes all the desktop versions of the apps and Microsoft Bookings.

Microsoft 365 Business Premium (15.10 per month) – Includes all the feature of Business Standard with the addition of Azure Premium licensing, Advanced Threat Protection and Mobile device management.

Microsoft 365 E3 (£28.10 per month) – Enterprise licensing is designed for larger businesses with over 300 staff. Include in the E3 license is all the Office applications, Exchange email, Windows 11 for enterprise operating system, SharePoint and OneDrive, Power apps, Security Management and some compliance Management features.

Microsoft 365 E5 (£48.10 per month) – Enterprise 5 is the full suite of features which covers everything contained in E3 with the additional of Azure Active Directory Premium P2, Microsoft 365 Defender, Azure Information Protection P2 and the full suite of Compliance Management.

Read more on Business pricing – here
Read more on Enterprise pricing – here

Microsoft 365 Business Voice

Business Voice is Microsoft telephone system build into Microsoft 365. It utilises Microsoft Teams for a powerful feature rich telephone system that is easy to manage for administrators and easy to user for end users. As it is built into Microsoft Teams you can turn any PC into a phone system providing it has a Microphone and speakers. 

Business voice is available in over 70 different countries which can be reviewed here.

Business Voice or Enterprise Voice? Business Voice has a hard limit of 300 licenses, if you require more than that you will need to purchase Enterprise Voice licenses. You can also be more selective with your licenses on Enterprise Voice where Business Voice is a bundle of everything you need.

Microsoft 365 Compliance

Compliance allow you to setup your 365 tenant to comply with almost any legal or regulatory standard. The Microsoft 365 Compliance Centre help you manage these compliance requirements with ease. It provides; pre-built assessments, workflow capabilities, step by step guidance on suggested improvements and risk-based compliance scores for your organisation. Other great features include:

eDiscovery – Used to search and export content in Microsoft 365 from areas such has Exchange Online, SharePoint sites, OneDrive accounts and Microsoft Teams.

Auditing – The Audit log tool allows for a complete search of the unifies audit log to view all user and administrator activity in your organisation. 

Insider Risk Management – Help to minimise internal risks by allowing your to detect- investigate and act on malicious activities inside your organisation. It helps by allow you to identify these risks and at on the, if needed.

Daniel Bradley

My name is Daniel Bradley and I work with Microsoft 365 and Azure as an Engineer and Consultant. I enjoy writing technical content for you and engaging with the community. All opinions are my own.

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