The Power of Microsoft 365 Business Premium for SMBs

By Thomas Gwyther

Following the recent updates to the Microsoft 365 Business Premium license, we wanted to highlight some key features that can help your organisation on several fronts, be it device management, security, compliance, or identity and access management.

Supporting up to 300 users, Microsoft's Business Premium plan is an ideal solution for the SMB sector, with many enterprise products being included at a preferable price point, compared with the equivalent enterprise license offerings.  

Below, we outline what businesses can expect with Microsoft 365 Business Premium, and how organisations can benefit from the rich feature set. 

Defender for Business 

Microsoft have included their business variant of Defender for Endpoint with 365 Business Premium licensing, allowing businesses to onboard devices to Microsoft's top-scoring EDR solution. 

Defender for Endpoint not only protects your Windows devices, but also extends to MacOS, Android and iOS. This native tooling protects Windows machines with behavioural analysis, as well as automated investigation and remediation. 365 Business Premium customers can also take advantage of the included web filtering solution included with Microsoft Defender for that extra layer of security and peace of mind, whilst reducing the need for third-party alternatives. 

Azure Virtual Desktop 

Included with 365 Business Premium are all the user access rights requirements for businesses to make use of an Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD) solution, allowing a straightforward licensing model to bring users into Microsoft’s VDI platform. This covers the usage of AVD in both personal or pooled solutions and allows usage of the Microsoft 365 Apps suite within those VDI environments.  

For businesses seeking to develop a modern workplace, Azure Virtual Desktop provides a full-featured desktop experience for users, while simplifying administration and management for IT departments. Businesses benefit from a standard desktop experience for users which can be tailored to suit internal functions, reducing IT complexities, reducing hardware costs, and maintaining security across the IT environment.  

Intune 

Microsoft Intune is a major inclusion in Microsoft 365 Business Premium licensing, bringing enterprise-level cloud device management to your modern workplace. Intune can replace legacy on-premise solutions such as System Centre Configuration Manager (SCCM) or bring your own device (BYOD) building and management, moving away from classic imaging technologies, and making full use of features like Autopilot for device deployment.  

Publish apps to your users from the cloud and manage device compliance and configuration to ensure devices are healthy to access your organisational resources. Intune can work alongside existing Group Policy environments, or even replace them, enabling cloud adoption for your modern workplace.  

Intune also provides improved out-of-the-box management and provisioning for MacOS, Android and iOS devices, allowing a device agnostic solution that can manage corporate and BYOD devices within the environment at the application level, giving users peace of mind their personal data and apps are outside corporate management.  

Providing greater security measures to users, wherever they are, Intune delivers advanced features to SMBs previously only accessible through more expensive, enterprise licensing.  

Azure Information Protection 

Azure Information Protection (AIP) includes several beneficial compliance features to your organisation that match very well with cyber security requirements, such as ISO27001.  

Make use of information protection with sensitivity labelling, allowing your users to label content appropriately, including visual markings or document encryption – protecting data even if it leaves the organisation.  

Ensure the governance of your data is followed with retention policies and labels. Protect sensitive content with message encryption, securing email with additional factors of authentication to validate identity.  

Add data loss prevention policies to your organisation to provide visibility and control to data egress at your organisation, prevent the data leakage of sensitive content.  

For businesses seeking to adopt cloud technologies within a modern workplace environment, information protection and compliance are vital benefits of Microsoft 365 Business Premium. 

Azure Active Directory Enhancements 

Notable improvements include the inclusion of Conditional Access policies and Dynamic groups to deliver greater control and simplified access management.  

Dynamic groups can be used to automatically group users/devices together based on variables or attributes, such as department, allowing policy assignment in other areas to be automatically assigned based on other factors.  

Conditional Access allows a fine-tuned control of organisational access control. For businesses that only use Windows devices, other device types can be blocked at the perimeter, and multi-factor authentication can be enforced, providing greater control and tighter security. Previously only accessible through enterprise licensing models, Conditional Access provides SMBs with a significant advantage, delivered as standard through 365 Business Premium licensing. 

What else Microsoft 365 Business Premium include? 

All the above are major feature expansions to your Microsoft 365 stack, but they are not all that is included.  

Users also receive Exchange Online licensing with 50GB mailboxes with Archiving, the full install across 5 devices of the Microsoft 365 Apps suite (Outlook, Excel, Word, Teams, PowerPoint, Publisher, Access) including shared computer activation for VDI/RDS environments. OneDrive for Business with 1TB per user in personal cloud storage is also included, as well as SharePoint Online with storage for your users’ intranet or document management solutions, and not least, Microsoft Teams for chat, calling, collaboration and meetings across your organisation.  

The latest additions to 365 Business Premium provide SMBs with an opportunity to level the playing field with enterprise organisations. The rich feature set unlocks opportunities to sustain a full cloud environment, developing a modern workplace with the compliance, security, and accessibility businesses need.  

Microsoft Cloud Service Provider 

Microsoft 365 Business Premium is ideal for SMB organisations, integrating enterprise tooling, and improved compliance and security features into organisations at an affordable cost.  

As a Microsoft Gold Partner and Cloud Service Provider (CSP), we exceed our customer licensing requirements, providing immersive MCAP workshops to help businesses develop a modern workplace. Additionally, our range of professional and managed services provides hard-to-find specialist skills to underpin cloud solutions, so you can focus on what you do best.  

If you would like to discuss Microsoft licensing options, click here to request a call from our team.

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