E3 and E5 Licenses

When making the move to Office 365, there are two common licenses catered to businesses, E3 and E5. With a variance in the price of only $15, commonly asked questions are, “What’s the difference between the E3 and E5 licenses?” and, “Is the $15 upcharge really worth it?” 

To answer those questions simply, the major differences can be put into three categories:

  1. Security 
  2. IP Telephony  
  3. Analytics 

1. Security 

From a security standpoint, there are a few key differences that set the E3 and E5 licenses apart. The E3 license comes with Microsoft’s basic anti-spam and anti-malware. While, the E5 license comes with those basics and Microsoft Advanced Threat Protection software which guards your company against malicious threats in email messages, attachments, and links.  

The E5 license also includes a way to run a test that will give insights on what to expect from your end-users. This phishing attack simulator allows you to send out fake spam emails to your users and see full analytics of who clicked on what. The results will shed light on which users may need extra training to help them identify spam.  

Another great benefit to the E5 license is the password attack tool. This tool tests user passwords against a list of commonly used passwords. 

In addition, the E5 license has O365 Cloud App Security which gives you control over what users can download and what apps they can sign into.  

The security tools included in the E5 license provide extra layers of security resulting in peace of mind. 

Anti-spam & Anti-malwareXX
Advanced Threat ProtectionX
Phishing Attack SimulatorX
Password Attack ToolX
O365 Cloud App SecurityX

2. IP Telephony 

The E5 license includes the ability to replace your current phone system with Microsoft’s Teams Phones. This is a robust IP telephony solution that can save your organization up to 75% over competing IP phone solutions. This capability is not included in the E3 license. 

Teams Phones through Microsoft Teams Desktop App

Teams Phones has all the features of a regular phone system, for example: 

  • Hunt groups – directs incoming calls to a group of extensions, enabling a user in the group to answer if another line is busy 
  • Call in menus – recorded greeting that gives callers a list of routing options 
  • Follow me – incoming calls will attempt to reach you on each of your devices 
  • Voicemail to email – sends voicemail messages to your email inbox 

The capabilities are aligned with a regular phone system, the phone lines are simply operated and provided through Microsoft.  

This technology includes a conference call-in number for Teams meetings. As a result, people can cancel their Zoom or other conference call service subscriptions, resulting in savings and a more streamlined solution.  

You can operate Teams Phones in a variety of ways: 

  • Through a computer, with the microphone and speakers 
  • Utilizing headsets connected to your computer 
  • Using traditional desk phones that integrate with the system 
Desk phone that integrates with and operates using Microsoft Teams

Additionally, you can download the Teams app to a smartphone and receive calls wherever when you have data service on your cell.  

If you are already paying $35 per user for an IP Telephony solution, and an E3 license for O365, your savings would be immediate by moving to the Teams Phones solution. 

3. Analytics 

Office 365 comes with two analytics tolls: MyAnalytics and Power BI Pro. The E5 license is the only plan that offers Power BI Pro. 

Advanced AnalyticsE3E5
Power BI ProX

MyAnalytics provides each end-user with insights as to how they work, such as the amount of uninterrupted “focus time” they have each week. End-users are given the tools they need to stay on top of tasks and emails before their weekly calendar fills up. This is accomplished through AI-powered suggestions in Outlook, such as recommended time slots to schedule “focus time”.  

Example of “Focus” in MyAnalytics

PowerBI Pro allows you to create a data-driven culture in your organization by turning data into interactive visualizations. This type of data mining enables professionals to make decisions based on facts, not instinct.   

Example of a Power BI dashboard report

So, is the E5 license worth the extra $15 a month? We think so! The additional features keep organizations secure and productive, making it well worth the additional cost. In some cases, this license saves you money by eliminating the need for phone services through a third-party provider.

Contact a specialist to learn more about each license and determine which one is right for your business!