Click here for the quick and dirty chart with the main Office 365 plans.  We put it together to help clients see it as a quick view.  Office 365 (or O365 as some type it) offers many options for companies entering the “cloud universe”.  Microsoft hosts their software on their servers throughout the world.  This has allowed Microsoft to better track license efficiency with their customer base while providing a platform of real time up to date services and software.  Whether you like it or not, this is the way of the world now.  Cloud services for monthly or annual fees.  That isn’t to say that Microsoft no longer offers “on-premise” solutions because they do!  But the cloud option can help alleviate high infrastructure costs on hardware, security and up keep.

Office 365 can be purchased with either annual or monthly licenses. Here are some of the differences.

• There is a small savings in price when yearly.
• You pay upfront for yearly (one lump sum for x amount of licenses).
• Monthly has a soft 1-year contract, meaning you can add, deduct, or cancel licenses anytime.
• With yearly, you will not be credited for the remaining months that was paid if you cancel the service in the middle of the year.
• Less flexibility with changing between licenses on the yearly option.
• Annual licenses purchased in addition of the year are not retro- active on the next annual payment. It begins a new annual payment for those licenses.

You can cancel both the monthly and yearly the same way by calling Microsoft but there is a cancellation fee.

An advantage to yearly would be in a scenario where you know x amount of licenses will be needed for sure and you don’t want to have regular monthly payments. The small savings of the annual though may not be worth it if cost was the only thing in the decision. UNLESS, of course, it was a large number of licenses being purchased. Typically we suggest going with the monthly option as it does provide more flexibility.

Blue Sky IT provides migration services, support and sales for any of the Office 365 packages.  You can follow this link to read more details.

More O365 Stuff!