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Do I Want Microsoft Office 365 E3 or E5? What’s the Difference!?

By March 15, 2016September 11th, 2020Blog, Hot Technology Topics, Microsoft
Microsoft Office 365 across devices

If you haven’t heard, Microsoft has unveiled a brand new offering – Skype for Business Voice in Cloud. No longer will companies have to handle voice through an alternate provider. As of December 1st, 2015 Microsoft has consolidated voice with the Office products they’ve become known for over the years. By losing your current provider, not only will you now be simplifying your services but you’ll notice a drastic change with your bill. With two different license options available, rely on PEI to help you make the right choice.

Before we continue, keep in mind in order to achieve full voice through Microsoft you will need Cloud PBX for cloud-based call management, PSTN conferencing, and domestic or international calling. In comes option one. Office 365 Enterprise E3. The E3 license comes in at $20.00 per user per month. With the E3 license you’ll receive business class email and calendars, Task Management such as Yammer, SharePoint Online, Skype for Business for IM and Online Meetings, OneDrive for Business for personal storage. In addition to these features you’ll receive Office Online, Office Client Apps and NEW Archiving, Rights Management, Data Loss Prevention, and Encryption. Sounds great right?! Well what about voice? To achieve full voice through E3, Cloud PBX comes in at $8.00, PSTN Conferencing for $4.00 and domestic calling for $12.00 or international for $24.00. All said and done, the E3 license with (domestic) voice equates to $44.00 per user per month. When you consider a full featured line from Comcast is $29.95 per line/per month; Microsoft’s E3 with voice starts to make sense.

If that seemed like a lot of add-ons, you’ll be able to achieve all of the features (and some!) listed above from the E5. In addition to the features you receive with the E3 you’ll be receiving Advanced Security for your Data, Analytics tools with Power BI and Delve, PSTN Conferencing, and Cloud PBX for cloud-based call management to make, receive, and transfer calls across a wide range of devices. The only necessary add-on will be the domestic or international calling plans. One E5 license with domestic calling comes to $47.00 per month per user. Considering you’re really only saving $3.00 per user per month consider the E5. With either option, the E3 or E5, your saving money by eliminating costly telephony hardware, you eliminate the outside provider, all the while making your live easier and your business more efficient and productive.

What is considered to be the icing on the cake for PEI’s clients, PEI offers 8×5 or 24×7 cloud support for your Microsoft licenses through Microsoft’s Cloud Solution Provider program (CSP). At a per user cost, PEI will provide ongoing user support. Considering everything is moving to the Cloud, why wouldn’t you allow PEI to be your one stop shop?  Call us directly at (303) 823-4321!

Matt Dixon, PEI


  • but what If i have my own asterisk PBX, how can I make it work? which license do I need? I got stuck on this 🙁

    • Stephanie Hamrick says:

      Hi Giovanni, an answer from the post’s author:

      Thank you for reaching out. If you’re looking to deploy SfB as your main voice solution, you’ll need to go with the Cloud PBX add-on. If you’d like to discuss which license or which deployment (on-prem, hybrid or cloud) would fit your organization the best, please feel free to call me directly at 303-974-6826.

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