Office 365 now ready for small businesses

New Office 365 plans designed specifically for small- and medium-sized businesses are now available.

Microsoft released details of its new business software plans last year and businesses can now take advantage, as the plans became available at the beginning of December. The new plans – Office 365 Business Premium, Office 365 Business and Office 365 Business Essentials − will replace the current business options. Microsoft has announced that there will be a guaranteed 99.9% uptime on all these plans and there will also be round-the-clock phone support for any critical problems that might occur while using the software.

Business Premium will be the most expensive plan; however, there is no annual commitment and this plan includes all the features available as part of the lower-tier plans. Premium users will be given access to Office 2016 and this can be installed on up to five devices, with mobile access also available. Social media and web-based tools are also included, such as OneDrive for cloud storage, Yammer for efficient internal communications and networking, and SharePoint for team collaboration.

The Essentials plan is the most affordable for small businesses but has fewer features and applications, although it does offer access to Office Online. The mid-range plan is the Business plan, which includes some of the features of the Premium plan. OneDrive cloud storage is included, for example, but not apps such as Yammer.

Microsoft has not yet announced whether it will be increasing the amount of cloud storage available.