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Can't Decide: Office 365 Premium or Status Quo

Posted on 2016-11-24
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Last Modified: 2016-11-29
I am IT for company of 50. 25 are in main office, 25 dispersed in 4 remote branch offices.

All files are on our SBS 2008 Server and accessed locally on LAN, remotely via Remote Desktop Connection to a Terminal Server.

Besides the usual Microsoft Offices Documents and Email, we have 10 engineers that use AutoCAD and other 3D Software (these files are big), also, we have Graphics Designers and they work with Adobe Photoshop (Also BIG BIG Files).

We are updating our Office 2007 to Office 2016. Like the Office 365 Cloud scenario for easy access but I see drawback with fact that A) much of our companies data is not Office Documents and B) It is more expensive than if were to purchase Office 2016 and use it for 10 years.

What would you do??? I "think" would still need in-house servers and MS User CAL's so not like we can put everything in the cloud and not need in-house server computer..
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Question by:shood4012
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John Hurst earned 1004 total points
ID: 41900564
It is more expensive than if were to purchase Office 2016 and use it for 10 years.

This is not a good strategy at all.

You can do it either way (internally or cloud). For your size, Office 365 / Cloud would work well.

However "we have 10 engineers that use AutoCAD and other 3D Software (these files are big), also, we have Graphics Designers and they work with Adobe Photoshop (Also BIG BIG Files)."  you may need a mix because very large files are not geared to cloud use. But outsourcing Outlook and small files to the cloud is a good idea.

So think hybrid - certainly not all internal.
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LVL 43

Assisted Solution

by:Vasil Michev (MVP)
Vasil Michev (MVP) earned 332 total points
ID: 41900568
Well, there are some arguments you can make for the pricing of O365 - it comes with free updates (so after 10 years you will still be running the latest version, not lagging behind), it allows every user to install it on 5PCs and 5 devices (also 5 Macs for those pesky designers), it comes with a lot of free storage (1TB per user at minimum, some plans can even offer unlimited storage), etc.

That only covers the Office suite however, I'm not even touching on the server functionalities (replacing file shares, replacing Exchange/SharePoint/etc).
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LVL 96

Assisted Solution

by:Lee W, MVP
Lee W, MVP earned 332 total points
ID: 41900641
In my opinion, we can't answer this for you.  You need to do the analysis and decide.  You clearly need to move off SBS 2008 - Exchange 2007 will no longer be supported in less than 6 months and it's just unwise to operate a mail server that is no longer supported considering the all the threats out there.

Now, that said, Office 365 offers a great many features... but like Office itself, do you need all of them?  Do you need to always be on the current version of Office?  Or all the other features of Office 365? If you get Office 365 will you ever use the added features you get?

Do the math.  You get more... but you pay more long term.  Can you afford a large outlay right now, spending 25-50X $~400?  Another option is to get Office365 for a year and see how it works for you then a year later getting volume licenses for Office.
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LVL 23

Expert Comment

by:yo_bee
ID: 41900707
One drawback with office 365 business premium sku number that I personally experienced was the inability to leverage GPO with this office suite.  So to manage this you will need to use OCT to preconfigure all setting.

If this is not an issue you need to now figure out the cost of the number of licenses needed for office 2016 vs office 365 for your 10 year plan.

If you are fine staying on 2016 for ten years (which is not a bad idea in my opinion) is the most cost effective method, I think your discussion is made.
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LVL 5

Assisted Solution

by:Mdlinnett
Mdlinnett earned 332 total points
ID: 41901529
As part of your Office upgrade you will need to go with a new version of Exchange, whether you do that on-premise or in the cloud, as Outlook 2016 does not support Exchange 2007 which your SBS 2008 Server uses.

If you go with O365, remember that you get Skype for Business on certain packages as well, which really can be great for collaboration.

As you are using a Terminal / Remote Desktop Server you will also need either Office 2016 Standard or ProPlus, whether that is via Volume Licensing or O365 as they are the only versions of Office that permits Shared Activation as a part of the license terms.

So consider this as an example: You have 10 users accessing your Terminal / RD Server and Office is used on both devices.

Office 365 > 10 licenses required as each license allows installation on up to 5 devices.

Someone please correct me if I'm wrong, I really don't profess to be a licensing expert (or whatever comes below 'expert', but I think that if you use Standard Licensing it might mean that 20 licenses required, 10 for the Terminal / RD Server, 10 for the devices the Users connect from.  

If you have Software assurance there are some Office Roaming Use Rights, but I don't know exactly whether that will cover it > https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/licensing/product-licensing/office.aspx

According to this link, 2016 Standard or ProPlus can be leveraged by GPO > https://products.office.com/en-gb/business/microsoft-office-volume-licensing-suites-comparison

As John Hurst said, hybrid is probably your best solution.  All of our Clients will go down that route in the future as it spreads the business risk.
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Author Closing Comment

by:shood4012
ID: 41906082
Thanks everyone!
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LVL 98

Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 41906260
You are very welcome and I was happy to help.
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