Let’s face it, we’ve fallen into a world where subscriptions are being pushed on us left and right. Two-year cellphone contracts have turned into month to month charges, and buying Photoshop for a flat rate has turned into $20 a month for single app use. Reason says a flat charge up front is more cost effective in the long run, but is that really the case? We are taking a look at two products: Microsoft Office Professional 2016, and Microsoft E3 to discover which is more cost effective, as well as beneficial for a user’s business needs.
Office Professional 2016 Features
Let’s start with Office Professional 2016, a product that is familiar and beloved by individuals. For a flat fee, users get all of basic tools of Office including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Publisher, and Access. Office Pro also allows collaborative workspaces so individuals can view, edit and work together in real time. Some of the features most beneficial with Office Pro 2016 include:
- Enhance your reading experience with Insights, powered by Bing, which shows you relevant information from the web when you’re reading an Office file.
- Let one of the templates from the Start screen do most of the setup and design, so you can focus on your ideas and data.
- Pull content from PDFs straight into Word. Open PDFs and edit paragraphs, lists, and tables just as you do in familiar Word documents.
- Share your PowerPoint presentation over the web by sending a link to it or using the free Office Presentation Service to deliver it, so your audience can join you from anywhere.
- Embed Excel spreadsheets, diagrams, audio clips, videos, and almost any other kind of file in your OneNote notebooks. Your notes are saved, searchable, and synced to OneNote apps on your other devices, so you can use or share them from anywhere.
- Respond faster with inline replies—replies positioned right within the body of the original message—in Outlook. Just type your response in the Reading Pane.
- Save time with the online photo printing options in Publisher.
- List and summarize data from a related table or query fast in Access. Simply click an item to open a detailed view of that item.
Office Pro 2016 seems best suited for home businesses or very small businesses, because of the restrictions that come with a flat-rate license. The Microsoft retail purchase of Office Pro 2016 runs at $399.99, and that’s it. One flat purchase gives you all of these features however, what if you want an upgrade? What happens when an updated version of Word comes out? Users of Office Pro 2016 have the advantage of using software they are familiar with but don’t have the opportunity for automatic upgrades. With a flat-rate purchase, users are committing to that software, and any upgrades must come with a whole new purchase of updated software. So it may be more cost effective for individuals to purchase Office Pro 2016 up-front, but expect to be committed to that purchase for at least a few years to make the cost worth it.
Microsoft Office 365 E3
How does the shiny new Office 365 compare? The immediate turn-off for individuals would be the subscription-based payment. For $20 per user per month from Microsoft, up-front the cost is unappealing unless you have a medium to large-scale business with multiple users. Beyond the pricing, Office E3 has incredible benefits, one of the top being that it is completely cloud-based. Users simply need a Microsoft account, and they can have access to their workspace from any device at any time. The subscription also has automatic updates for apps, so if a new version comes out, users have immediate access to the latest and greatest. But another downfall at first site is the loss of familiarity. Users who make the switch may be overwhelmed by the sheer quantity of apps and functions. With a little research however, E3 has amazing benefits for businesses including:
- Advanced email: Use archiving and legal hold capabilities, plus unlimited storage, for compliance needs. And use data loss prevention (DLP) policies and policy tips that educate your users for additional compliance enforcement in email.
- Document and email access control: Rights Management Services enables you to restrict access to documents and email to specific people and to prevent anyone else from viewing or editing them, even if they are sent outside the organization.
- Online Meetings: Host online meetings with audio, HD video, and web conferencing over the Internet. Join meetings with a single touch or click from the smartphone, tablet, or PC of your choice.
- Meeting Broadcast: Broadcast Skype for Business meetings on the Internet to up to 10,000 people who can attend in a browser on nearly any device. Optionally include Bing Pulse for real-time polling and sentiment tracking, and Yammer, to enable dialogue during the broadcast.
- Hub for teamwork: Connect your teams with Microsoft Teams in Office 365, where chat, content, people, and tools live together, so your teams have instant access to everything they need.
- File storage and sharing: Get unlimited Tooltip with information about OneDrive for Business unlimited storage plans OneDrive storage that can be accessed from anywhere, on any device. Easily share documents with others inside and outside your organization and control who can see and edit each file.
- Corporate social network: Yammer collaboration software and business applications allow your employees to connect with the right people, share information across teams, and organize around projects so they can go further, faster. Learn more
- Work management: Planner makes it easy for your team to create new plans, organize and assign tasks, share files, chat about what you’re working on, and get updates on progress.
- Enterprise management of apps: Simplify management of apps in your organization with Group Policy, Telemetry, and Shared Computer Activation.
- Web and mobile app development: Quickly build and publish custom business apps for web and mobile with PowerApps. Choose from templates or start from scratch to extend your business data – no coding required.
This is really just scratching the surface with E3. Administrators have the ability to assign apps to individual users, so that their workspace has only the essentials and less clutter. There are advanced IT controls to manage and automate tasks. While the cost seems like it would take a toll, the monthly or yearly subscription gives you a ton of features that could transform the way you do business.
In the end, it still comes down to preference. Users who want familiarity, consistency, and cost-effective planning can stay married to their software purchase with Office Professional 2016, and users looking for more features, more flexibility, and more progression can purchase Office 365 E3 for their business.
For the full list of features, check out Office Professional 2016 and Office 365 E3. Still unsure of which license suits your needs best? Chat with member of Trusted Tech Team now or call 855-202-8140.
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