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Microsoft 365 Business Premium provides a cost-effective alternative to secure on-premises solutions. Because Business Premium is a cloud-based solution, your customers can purchase the service level that makes the most sense. And you can easily scale them up or down anytime they want.

Every managed service provider (MSP) has customers who are only looking for essential productivity services. But they also have customers who need something more. Those customers want a solution that keeps their remote or hybrid workers productive and connected and also provides enterprise-grade security.

Offering your customers that kind of premium service used to mean building some pretty serious on-premises infrastructure. As a result, these types of secure solutions were once beyond the budget of many of the SMB customers that MSPs work with.

This article will explain what is included with Microsoft 365 Business Premium and exactly how you, the MSP, and your customers will benefit from switching to it as their primary productivity platform.

What you get in Microsoft 365 Business Premium

For starters, Microsoft 365 Business Premium includes all of the productivity apps that come in the Business Standard package. That includes the Microsoft apps like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Exchange. Standard and Premium also both come with collaboration tools, like Teams and SharePoint, to keep remote workforces on track and productive.

What sets Business Premium apart are the advanced security features for managing data, workers, and devices. Among other security features, Premium includes powerful mobile device management tools, multifactor authentication, and security tools to protect against malware and other threats.

That combination of productivity and security tools is good both for your customers and for you. If you can leverage all of the plan’s features to their fullest, Microsoft 365 Business Premium can be one of the most powerful productivity platforms on the market.

7 key benefits of Microsoft 365 Business Premium

Here are some of the key benefits you and your customers will gain by switching to Business Premium as their productivity platform.

1.     Customers can access files anywhere

The Business Premium plan includes file storage for individual users in OneDrive and teams in SharePoint. In addition, users can access and share files from any device with a network connection

When your users keep everything online, it simplifies teamwork and makes them more productive. Nothing gets lost. Nothing gets left on an offline device back at the office.

2.     Enhanced security for cloud storage

Those file storage services—OneDrive and SharePoint—are more secure under a Business Premium plan. You can protect your customer’s data with tools like multifactor authentication and advanced threat detection right out of the box. That capability is important because research has shown that as much as 60 percent of all SMBs wouldn’t know how to deal with a cloud security breach on their own.

3.     Centralized communication tools

The core of Microsoft 365’s communication toolset is Teams. Teams pulls together voice, video, chat, calendaring, and file sharing, all in a single app. As a result, users can stay in a single app, switch less, and stay productive.

4.     Easy mobile device security

The mobile device management (MDM) tools in Business Premium prevent Bring Your Own Devices (BYOD) from becoming security liabilities. For example, customer BYOD frequently have connections to both work and personal cloud accounts. The MDM tools in Business Premium can prevent users from saving work files into personal cloud services or locally onto the device.

You can also prevent copy and paste functions, so sensitive data can’t find other ways out of your control. As well as selectively wipe managed mobile devices when an employee leaves the organization.

5.     Enhanced access protection

Over the past two years of COVID lockdowns, the shift to remote work has underlined the need for better remote access security for all kinds of end-user devices. Remote employees need secure, easy access. Fortunately, multifactor authentication (MFA), included in Microsoft 365 Business Premium, has been shown to thwart 99 percent of all identity-based attacks.

6.     Cloud-based subscription services keep costs predictable

Switching to a subscription service, like Microsoft 365 Business Premium, helps your customers keep their IT costs predictable. They don’t have to worry about high annual license renewal costs. They can also scale services up or down as demand changes.

Then there is you, the MSP. Subscription services help you keep revenue predictable. You won’t need to hop from project to project to maintain income when you have more reliable streams of monthly recurring revenue coming in.

7.     Better data protection for better risk management

Moving your customers to cloud-based storage mitigates the risk of data loss because less data will sit on end-user devices or on-premise infrastructure. Business Premium also includes dedicated tools for data protection, like Microsoft Defender for securing endpoint devices, Data Loss Prevention (DLP) policies for your storage volumes, and Exchange archiving and data recovery tools.

How to determine if Microsoft 365 Business Premium is the right plan for your customers

Microsoft 365 has been a flagship productivity software for nearly a decade. These platforms have helped MSP customers of various sizes and sectors take their business to the next level. But Business Premium is not necessarily the right fit for every customer.

If you’re not sure whether Microsoft 365 Business Premium is the right plan for your customers, then these are the questions you need to ask.

What are they currently using?

What software are your customers currently using for basic office productivity? Google apps? Microsoft365 Basic? Are these apps going to scale as this customer’s business grows?

What services do they use?

Don’t think in terms of applications. Think services and how they can be used throughout an organization. Are they just looking for email and spreadsheets? Or do they want to move toward secure, real-time collaboration? Competitive, modern companies work at a fast pace and want to attract intelligent workers who are used to cloud-based services, like Microsoft Teams collaboration software.

If your customer wants to be agile and competitive, they need high-performance and secure business software to support them.

What do they need?

What are your customer’s business goals? Are they looking to expand? Are they going to have a larger, distributed workforce? Companies looking to grow, especially those that will work nationally or internationally, will benefit significantly from the added security features in a Microsoft 365 Business Premium plan.

Want more insights on selecting the right software for your customers? Join Sherweb’s partner program today for more tailored guidance on the Microsoft partner ecosystem.

Written by The Sherweb Team Collaborators @ Sherweb