Microsoft 365 for Business: The Basics

Microsoft 365 for Business Basics

Modern businesses are rapidly evolving – and so are the tools they use to get things done. As workforces have become more mobile, they rely more than ever on digital technology to stay connected with distributed teams, collaborate across devices, and combat complex security threats. Microsoft has risen to the occasion with Microsoft 365 for Business, a cloud-based office platform that integrates advanced applications, online services, and business-grade security solutions into one seamless package of productivity.

While just about anybody with a computer has a basic knowledge of the core Office applications like Word and Excel, the updated platform has new features that may be unfamiliar to business owners. That’s why we’ve created this basic guide to help you make the most out of Microsoft 365 for Business.


Microsoft 365 (previously known as Office 365) is a cloud-based productivity package designed to meet the varied needs of small and medium-sized businesses. It is the modern evolution of Microsoft Office, offering new versions of iconic Office applications (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) as well as additional features like cloud-based file storage, business-class email, strengthened security, amazing new applications, and more.


Microsoft 365 for Businesses is available in tiered subscription plans that offer progressive levels of features and functionality. Exactly which services and applications your Microsoft 365 subscription includes depends on which plan you choose.

Of course, there are some commonalities between the plans. Every Microsoft 365 Business subscription includes:

  • Cloud-based versions of Word, Outlook, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote. Each package includes web and mobile-based versions of the platform’s most iconic applications. Because these versions are cloud-based, you’ll always have access to the latest versions of each application on up to 5 phones and 5 tablets.
  • Exchange Online. Every Microsoft 365 subscriber in your organization will receive a 50G mailbox that can be accessed via web browser or Outlook app across a variety of devices. You’ll also receive Exchange Online Protection to protect your emails from malware, spam, and other known threats.
  • OneDrive for Business. Microsoft 365’s cloud-based storage application allows you to sync files across different devices and access them anywhere. Each subscription provides 1TB of cloud storage that can be upgraded for an additional fee.
  • SharePoint Online. SharePoint is a web-based tool that allows an organization to create intranet websites to share, manage, organize, and store internal information.
  • Microsoft Teams. Your “hub for team collaboration” keeps your team connected wherever they work. You can host virtual meetings, chat online with colleagues, collaborate on projects across devices, and more.
  • Dedicated Support. Every Microsoft 365 subscription includes a 99.9% uptime guarantee. 24/7 web and phone support is also included, should you ever hit a snag.
  • Built-in Security Solutions. Each Microsoft 365 subscription includes more than 1,000 security and privacy controls to protect your company data. This includes password policies, security groups, custom permissions, and more.
  • Deployment. You can add up to 300 users on each plan, and each one will be licensed for commercial use.


While the Basic plan for business includes a staggering amount of services, upgrading your subscription can offer even more features and functionality. The Standard and Premium plans include desktop versions of the Microsoft Office apps for up to five PCs or Macs per user. They also include additional applications such as Microsoft Bookings, an app that lets you schedule and manage appointments, and MileIQ, a mileage-tracking service. The Premium plan also includes advanced security solutions and dynamic options for device management to protect your data and simplify your IT processes.


Of course, migrating an IT system can pose challenges for any business. If you want to make the switch to Microsoft 365, the professionals at Business Information Solutions can provide expert guidance and services to help ensure a smooth transition. After the upgrade is complete, we’ll continue to help by providing training, support, and additional security monitoring. 

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