Office 365 vs Home & Business

20 February 2018
Office 365

The evolution of the cloud has brought many business benefits. These include additional security, increased mobility of your workforce and something which can’t be overlooked – increased cashflow. This is due to its model of monthly subscriptions which are flexible to match the increase (or decrease) of your staff and company’s growth.

This change from upfront payment to monthly subscription when buying IT products and services is nothing new. However, when buying Microsoft Office products many companies still make the mistake of paying for everything upfront and buying box copies.

Although paying monthly is far cheaper, the total cost of ownership should not be the only comparison. Let’s take a further look.

Devices and Productivity

With the old method of buying a box copy of Office you could typically install the product on one device. A huge downside is that if the device fails you will need to source new hardware and a new box copy of Office.

Nowadays more and more people are utilising multiple devices in their work life. Microsoft Office 365 allows one user’s license to be deployed on up to 5 devices. This means that you can run the same version of Office 365 on your desktop, laptop, tablet, mobile or any other supporting device simultaneously. This also allows your workforce to access and edit documents whilst at conferences or events, leading to increased productivity.

Version Compatibility

Another consideration is versioning of your Office software. With Office Home and Business companies tend to have different versions as licence renewals take place at different times. This can cause compatibility issues when accessing documents from Office 2007, 2010 and 2013.

With an Office 365 subscription you have the facility to download the latest version of Office whenever it’s available at no extra cost. Having all employees on the same version of the software makes sure all the formatting of documents stays consistent within the organisation.

Licencing and Audits

As part of the user agreement with Microsoft they can demand an audit of your licences at any given time. Fines for not providing proof of purchase can be substantial – between £10,000 - £100,000.

If for example you have a 50-user estate, you must store all 50 license keys so that you can prove your purchase of them.

With Office 365 you not only get the most up to date version but your licences will always be available from the cloud for audit purposes.

With Office 365 all licences are transferable and reusable on a month by month basis. If a member of staff leaves you can move that licence to their replacement or just save the money and cancel the subscription altogether. You consume and pay for what you need at that time, not what you’ve purchased a number of years ago.

Capex vs Opex

The licence costs of £15000 for 75 box copies (£200 per user) would’ve eaten a huge chunk of their cash flow. With a supported subscription model of Office 365 users pay a small monthly fee which means the company is able to invest the capital elsewhere within the business to facilitate future growth.


As we sell both software products, our opinion is unbiased. We also appreciate no two businesses are the same. So, if your licences are up for renewal, click below and we will advise you on the best product for your business.