If you are a regular reader of our blog, you are already familiar with Microsoft Office 365. At its core, it is a cloud email solution. Microsoft Office licensing can be bundled with it, or even purchased as a standalone product without email should you already have an email solution you are pleased with. For now, Microsoft still allows customers to purchase Office licenses as you have in the past, with retail, volume, or OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) versions where you pay a one-time fee and are delivered that specific version of Microsoft Office. Let’s give you a quick description of these.
Retail: Retail or FPP (Full Packaged Product) licenses are licenses that might come in single-user or multi-user licenses and will have a license key specifically for those exact amount of licenses. A three-user license may be installed on three different computers, as an example.
Volume: Volume licensing is slightly more expensive, but allows a single key to be used across installations and allows licenses to be easily moved from machine to machine. Licenses can be added as needed to a volume license agreement.
OEM: OEM licenses are preloaded versions of Office that are installed on computers for sale by the manufacturer. Companies like Dell and HP pre-install OEM versions of Office that are tied to the computer. These licenses are the cheapest of the bunch but also the most limiting as the license will die with the computer it is tied to it.
Any of these methods may be the right method for your business depending on your individual needs. Today, Microsoft Office licensing can also by purchased using Microsoft Office 365 plans. At its core it is a software-as-a-service model or subscription-based pricing. Your business is charged a monthly or annual fee for the license. While this may not be appealing to some of you reading this, let me explain the advantages. The licenses are user-based licenses and can be installed on up to five devices. For example, I have a work laptop, a backup PC, and a tablet. I am utilizing the same Office license on all three devices. This results in savings for my situation over the traditional licenses.
Another major benefit is the ability to upgrade to newer versions without requiring any repurchasing of licenses. When Microsoft released Office 2016 in the fall of 2015, I simply upgraded my Office 2013 software on each device to the new version as I was ready. Patches and fixes are also made available continually and without any additional costs, so your software stays up-to-date, secure, and productive for you. After all, they don’t call Microsoft Office a productivity suite for nothing.
There are many ways and places to buy Office 365 licenses. No matter where you go, the pricing is dictated by Microsoft and should be the same. We encourage you to purchase through a registered Microsoft Partner, like Colden Company, who understands the different licensing options as well as what options are available for your business needs. There are many different Office 365 packages that include Office licenses, hosted and secure email, and even more tools to help your business.
Did you know that under certain circumstances you can short-change your license period by renewing before your old license expires? We have helped several customers who thought they were saving money by trying to navigate the Office 365 environment themselves only to discover the landscape is complex. Save your time and your money by partnering with an expert like Colden Company who can guide you through the process.Contact us today at (888) 600-4560, email us, or visit us on Facebook or Twitter.