Author Topic: Microsoft for Business - Office 365 and OneDrive  (Read 2079 times)

Michael in ABQ

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Microsoft for Business - Office 365 and OneDrive
« on: July 25, 2021, 02:11:58 PM »
My wife and I are purchasing an ecommerce business ( and looking to setup our IT infrastructure. Any advice or insight is greatly appreciated.

To start it will just be the two of us using our personal laptops and one or two computers for the business. I want to have all our files online so we can access everything whether in the office/warehouse we'll be renting or working from our home office. Eventually we will probably add an employee - either someone remote for administrative tasks or someone local to handle the pick, pack, and ship of products.

I'm not a fan of Google apps as they feel like neutered versions of Word, Excel, etc. I figure my best bet is using Microsoft One Drive as then we can work with actual Excel spreadsheets that can still be edited on a desktop but saved in the cloud so there's no issues with version control.

I see four options:
OneDrive for Business (Plan 1)  - $5.00/user/month -
Microsoft 365 Business Basic - $5.00/user/month -
Microsoft 365 Apps - $8.25/month
Microsoft 365 Business Standard - $12.50/user/month

Basic only has web versions of Word, Excel, etc. so that's probably not going to work. The Apps option has desktop version of those programs and 1 TB of OneDrive space with no business email. Right now the business email is through Google Workspace and I believe is grandfathered in at no charge. I'm not exactly sure what I would need to do to change that over to Microsoft Outlook and Microsoft Exchange. If we didn't have the email and calendar functions through Microsoft and continued using Google for that the Apps version would probably be adequate. Just the plain OneDrive costs almost as much as the Apps version so that doesn't seem worthwhile.

I consider myself to be fairly tech savvy but I haven't had to worry about setting up this kind of stuff before. I'm a late adopter to a lot of productivity/collaboration tools as I've worked for a mega-corp and then the government so it's pretty much been a shared drive and files on my desktop. I've used DropBox and OneDrive and Google Drive a couple of times to download some files but never for day-to-day work - and not with any true collaboration. I don't anticipate a lot of need to have multiple people working on the same file but I'll definitely be dealing with a lot of spreadsheets and want to make sure those and all the other business documents (invoices, receipts, marketing material, product photos, etc.) are all in one shared location.
« Last Edit: July 25, 2021, 02:14:50 PM by Michael in ABQ »


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Re: Microsoft for Business - Office 365 and OneDrive
« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2021, 02:36:23 PM »
To switchover from Google hosting the mail to hosting it on Office 365, you'll need to make some DNS changes (on the domain registration).  You can do that easily yourself.  You'll need a mailbox license in addition to the software licensing, which I don't think you've considered the cost of.

OneDrive (and Teams) are a great way to store/share files and have them accessible on any device from any network anywhere in the world (including your mobile phone) and collaborate.  Outlook and Word/Excel dovetail very nicely into OneDrive, too.

At this point, I'd suggest starting with the 365 Business Standard license for your two users. You can easily add more users later as necessary.  Be sure to turn on MFA, too, for added security!

For my own business, I use AppRiver (recently purchased by Zix), for my O365 hosting. You can use a reseller like this instead of buying directly from Microsoft. The reseller charges about $1 more/month, but you get free 24x7 US based tech support. I highly recommend them as the 2 times I had to call for tech support in 7 years, they were very helpful and well worth that extra $1/month.  I'm not sure what their current prices are, but they should be able to talk through your needs and devise a custom package to suit your needs. Yes, take this with a grain of salt b/c I'm already a customer of theirs. Give them a call and see if they're a good fit for you.

(I've worked in IT for over 25 years, so if you'd like some help, feel free to PM me.)


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Re: Microsoft for Business - Office 365 and OneDrive
« Reply #2 on: July 31, 2021, 12:27:08 AM »
We currently have O365 basic for some staff and standard for others. The main difference is really the desktop apps. For us, Sharepoint, OneDrive and Teams are essential for everyone and basic provides that. Most  just need to either review or do minor edits to documents, and basic works fine for that. We switched to standard for a couple of people where browser editing wasnít sufficient. Itís also easy to switch license types/reassign if needed.

We donít use O365 mail yet but it is included in both basic and standard so looking into transitioning to it. There are online docs and some YouTube videos that provide decent guidance on how to do the switch. I did a test run a while back and all seemed to work fine so will likely find a slow period to do a full switch over.

Overall I highly recommend it. For us it has made things so much simpler just by having everyone use the same tools and documents all in one place.


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Re: Microsoft for Business - Office 365 and OneDrive
« Reply #3 on: July 31, 2021, 12:17:41 PM »
Does it have to be a business edition?

I get Office 365 family via Best Buy for around $100/year.  Includes desktop versions and one drive an accounts for I think up to 5 people.