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Microsoft 365 Business Plans and Payment Options

By Maria Ioannidou – Office Manager

Microsoft 365 offers a variety of business plans designed to meet the needs of organizations in Cyprus. Whether you're a small or large business, Microsoft 365 offers flexible options to equip your team with essential productivity tools. In this article, we'll look at the different Microsoft 365 Business plans available in Cyprus, what's included in each plan, payment options, and tips for choosing the right plan for your organization's needs.

Microsoft 365 business plans in Cyprus

Microsoft 365 offers three main business plans tailored to meet different business requirements:

1. Microsoft 365 Business Basic

  • This plan is ideal for small businesses and startups
  • Includes web-based Office applications such as Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.
  • 1 TB of OneDrive cloud storage.
  • Exchange Online for business email with a 50 GB mailbox.
  • Microsoft Teams for online meetings and chats.
  • Affordable price suitable for budget-conscious organization.

2. Microsoft 365 Business Standard. Suitable for businesses of all sizes, including medium-sized enterprises. Includes everything Business Basic, plus:

  • Desktop versions of Office applications for Windows and macOS.
  • Access email, calendar, and business contacts using Exchange Online.
  • Advanced security features, including threat protection and data loss prevention.

Microsoft 365 Business Premium. Designed for organizations that prioritize security and advanced compliance. Includes everything available in Business Standard, plus:

  • Advanced security features like Azure Information Protection and In-tune for mobile device management.
  • Microsoft Bookings to schedule appointments.
  • Audio conferencing capabilities in Microsoft Teams.
  • Full compliance and archiving capabilities.

Microsoft 365 Business Premium offers several security features to help protect your business data and users. Here's a guide on how to use some of these security features:

a)       Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA). MFA adds an extra layer of security by requiring users to provide multiple forms of verification before they can access their accounts. To enable MFA for your users:

  • Sign into the Microsoft 365 admin centre.
  • Go to "Users" > "Active users."
  • Select the user you want to enable MFA for.
  • Under "More settings," click "Setup multifactor authentication."
  • Follow the prompts to set up MFA for the user.

b)      Data Loss Prevention (DLP). DLP helps prevent the accidental sharing of sensitive information. You can create DLP policies to define what types of data should be protected and how. To set up DLP:

  • Sign into the Microsoft 365 admin centre.
  • Go to "Security" > "DLP policies."
  • Create new DLP policies based on your organization's needs.

c)       Advanced Threat Protection (ATP). ATP offers protection against advanced email threats like phishing and malware. To configure ATP:

  • Sign into the Microsoft 365 admin centre.
  • Go to "Security" > "Threat management."
  • Configure settings like Safe Attachments, Safe Links, and anti-phishing policies.
  • Security and Compliance Centre:
  • This centre provides a centralized location for managing your security settings and compliance policies. You can access it through the Microsoft 365 admin centre.

d)      Information Protection. Use Azure Information Protection to classify, label, and protect sensitive information. This feature allows you to apply encryption and access controls to documents and emails.

e)      Mobile Device Management (MDM). MDM allows you to manage and secure mobile devices that access your organization's data. You can enforce security policies, such as requiring PINs or encrypting data on mobile devices.

Security Awareness Training

Educate your employees about cybersecurity best practices. Microsoft 365 Business Premium includes tools to create and deliver security awareness training.

  • Audit and Compliance Reporting. Use the audit and compliance reports in the Microsoft 365 admin centre to monitor user and admin activity, ensuring compliance with security policies.
  • Security Alerts and Notifications. Configure security alerts to receive notifications when suspicious or risky activities are detected within your organization.
  • Identity Protection. Utilize Azure Active Directory Identity Protection to detect and prevent identity-related attacks.

To effectively use these security features, it's essential to assess your organization's specific security needs and customize the settings accordingly. Regularly review and update your security policies and configurations to adapt to evolving threats. Consider consulting with a Microsoft 365 expert or IT professional to ensure that your security measures are correctly implemented and maintained.

  1. Microsoft 365 Apps for Business. Suitable for Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) and organizations with up to 300 users. Features:
  • Access to desktop versions of Microsoft Office applications like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and more.
  • Online versions of Office apps (Office Online) for use in web browsers.
  • 1 TB of OneDrive for Business cloud storage per user.
  • Email hosting with a 50 GB mailbox through Exchange Online.
  • Business-class communication and collaboration tools.
  • Security and compliance features, including threat protection and data loss prevention.

5. Microsoft 365 Apps for Enterprise. Suitable for Larger enterprises and organizations with more advanced needs. Features:

  • Includes all the features of Microsoft 365 Apps for Business.
  • Supports a larger user base.
  • Offers more advanced security and compliance features, including advanced threat protection and information protection.
  • Greater customization options for IT administrators.
  • Includes advanced features like Power BI Pro and advanced analytics capabilities.
  • Typically used by organizations with more extensive compliance and regulatory requirements.

Both plans (M365 Apps for Business and M365 Apps for Enterprise) provide access to the latest Office applications on desktop and online, but Microsoft 365 Apps for Enterprise is designed to meet the demands of larger organizations with more complex IT and security requirements.

Payment options

Microsoft 365 Business plans in Cyprus can be paid monthly or annually. Payment options include:

  • Monthly subscription. Pay a flat monthly fee for the selected plan. This option offers flexibility for short-term or small business needs.
  • Annual subscription. Sign up for an annual plan and benefit from the savings compared to a monthly subscription. This is a cost-effective choice for businesses with long-term needs.

Choose the right package

Choosing the right Microsoft 365 Business plan for your organization depends on your specific needs and budget. Here are some key considerations:

  • Size of your business. Determine if you are a small, medium, or large organization as this will affect which plan best suits your needs.
  • Security requirements. If your business deals with sensitive data, consider the Business Premium plan for enhanced security features.
  • Budget. Evaluate your budget constraints and choose a plan that fits your budget.
  • Long term or short term. Decide if you want the flexibility of a monthly subscription or savings on an annual commitment. Conclusion:

Migrating Emails to Office 365

Migrating Emails to Office 365 involves migrating your existing email data from your existing email system to Microsoft's cloud-based email service. Here are the general steps to migrate email to Office 365:

  • Evaluate your current email system. Before starting the migration process, evaluate your current email system and understand its configuration. This includes the type of mail server you use (e.g., Exchange Server, Gmail, Yahoo Mail) and the mail client (e.g., Outlook, Thunderbird) your users use.
  • Choose a transportation method. Microsoft offers several methods of migrating email to Office 365. The method you choose will depend on your current email system, number of mailboxes, and other factors.

Common migration methods include:

  • Moving forward. Suitable for small organizations with less than 1,000 mailboxes. This involves migrating all mailboxes at once.
  • Move in stages. Useful for large organizations that want to migrate mailboxes in batches.

Combined deployment: If you're using an on-premises Exchange server, you can set up a hybrid deployment that allows you to gradually migrate mailboxes to Office 365 while keeping some mailboxes on-premises.

  • IMAP migration. Ideal for migrating from non-Exchange email systems such as Gmail, Yahoo or other IMAP-based systems.

Prepare your environment: Before you migrate, make sure your Office 365 environment is set up correctly, including verifying your domain name and setting up DNS records.

  • Create an Office 365 user account. Create user accounts for each person who will be using Office 365. These accounts will be used to migrate their email data.
  • Data migration. Depending on the migration method you have chosen, you will use different tools and processes to migrate the data. This may involve using built-in migration tools provided by Microsoft, third-party migration tools, or PowerShell scripts.

Check and verify: After the migration, double-check the migrated mailboxes to make sure that all emails, contacts, calendars, and other data are transferred successfully.

  • Edit DNS records. Update your DNS records to point to Office 365. This step is essential to ensure that incoming emails are delivered to the new Office 365 mailbox.
  • Update email client. Configure email clients like Outlook to connect to the new Office 365 mailbox.

Monitor and troubleshoot: Monitor migration and resolve any issues or errors that may arise.

User training: Provide training and support to your users to help them transition to Office 365 and get the most out of its features.

  • Cleanup after migration. After confirming that everything is working as expected, you can decommission your old email system.

Keep in mind that the specific steps and tools you'll use for migration may vary depending on your organization's unique requirements and the migration method you choose. It's essential to plan carefully, back up data before migrating, and consider seeking help from IT or Microsoft support professionals if you encounter any difficulties during the migration.

Microsoft 365 Business plans offer a wide range of features and payment options to meet the diverse needs of businesses in Cyprus. Carefully evaluate your organization's needs and budget to choose a plan that provides your team with the productivity tools and security features needed to thrive in the modern business environment. IBSCY as a Microsoft Solutions partner in Cyprus can further streamline your transition and ongoing support.

Maria Ioannidou is one of the first office administrator employees of IBSCY LTD, employed back in May of 2014. She is the Office Manager and oversees the smooth running of office operation. She deals with recurring sales/renewals, invoices, maintenance agreements/NDAs, and company contracts. Currently, she is using MS apps daily and the above article was written based on her personal experience.

 

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