Know M365 E3 and E5 security features before you buy.

Working in recent times as an IT manager or team comes with some big responsibilities of ensuring that your organization has the right tools to maintain productivity and security. The ability to put in place the right security tools will mean avoiding data being compromised.  

The Microsoft 365 bundle, which includes a suite of productivity and security tools, is one of the options available. However, there are two different versions of this bundle – M365 E3 and M365 E5.     

In this write up, we will discuss which Microsoft bundle contains M365 E3 and M365 E5, the security features in both bundles, what factors should inform your organization choosing either bundle, the cost factor between them, and what problems you can solve using either M365 E3 or M365 E5. 

Features of M365 E3 and M365 E5   

Microsoft 365 E3 is a comprehensive cloud-based suite of workplace tools designed for businesses. It comes with tools like Office 365 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.), SharePoint, and Exchange, which are essential for keeping employees productive and organized. The M365 E3 bundle also includes several security features such as…    

  • Data loss prevention    
  • Advanced threat analytics    
  • Identity and access management    
  • Azure Active Directory    
  • Microsoft Intune    
  • Windows Defender     

Microsoft 365 E5 on the other hand, includes all the same features as M365 E3, but with advanced security and compliance tools which include…    

  • Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection    
  • Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection    
  • Cloud App Security    
  • Endpoint DLP    
  • Access Reviews    
  • Microsoft Defender for Endpoint Plan 2    
  • Azure Information Protection Plan     

The advanced security and compliance tools in the M365 E5 help secure endpoints, emails, and cloud applications, respectively.     

M365 E5 is aimed at businesses that require higher levels of security and compliance, such as those in highly regulated industries.    

How is M365 E3 or M365 E5 licensed?

M365 (Microsoft 365) E3 and E5 are licensed on a per-user basis and are available through a subscription model. Each user who needs access to the features of M365 E3 or E5 requires a separate user license.     

The pricing for M365 E3 and E5 subscriptions varies depending on the length of the subscription, and the number of users. There are also different pricing options available based on business size and contract type.  You can purchase E3 and E5 in an Enterprise Agreement or CSP / NCE to name to popular contract types of Microsoft.

To purchase M365 E3 or E5 licenses, you can go to the Microsoft 365 admin center and choose the subscription plan that fits your organization’s needs. Once you’ve selected the subscription plan, you can purchase and assign licenses to individual users or groups of users in your organization.    

M365 E5 is priced higher due to the additional advanced security, compliance and analytics features. 

Is upgrading from M365E3 to M365 E5 possible?

Yes, upgrading from Microsoft 365 E3 (Enterprise 3) to Microsoft 365 E5 (Enterprise 5) is possible. Microsoft offers various plans with different features and capabilities to suit the needs of different organizations. 

To upgrade from Microsoft 365 E3 to E5, you can follow these steps:    

  • Go to the Microsoft 365 Admin Center.    
  • Select the Billing section, and then choose Purchase services.    
  • In the Purchase services pane, select the option for upgrading to Microsoft 365 E5.    
  • Review the details and pricing of the upgrade, and then follow the prompts to complete the purchase.      

The upgrade may come with an additional cost, so it’s important to evaluate your organization’s needs and budget before making the decision to upgrade.    

Choosing between either M365 E3 or M365 E5, what to look out for    

When it comes to deciding between M365 E3 and M365 E5, there are several factors to consider. 

The first is the size and complexity of your organization. Larger organizations have more complex IT environments, deal with sensitive data and strict compliance regulations and may want to opt for M365 E5 for robust solutions.     

Smaller businesses may not require the advanced security tools found in M365 E5, so M365 E3 may be sufficient.   

Another factor to consider is the cost. M365 E3 is less in cost compared to M365 E5. M365 E5 however, requires a higher investment. Whiles you make the decision to invest in your overall IT infrastructure, have at the back of your mind what your road map is. Is your budget enough to meet your requirements like added security and compliance features?    

Your organization’s security level is another factor to consider when choosing between the two bundles. While both bundles come with security features, if your organization requires a more comprehensive security solution, M365 E5 is an option to look at. It includes some of the most advanced security features available. Other security vendors are also willing to talk to you about your security challenge. It can help to decide between Microsoft security features or another security vendor.    

The advanced security and compliance features in M365 E5 offer more granular control over user authentication, access, and identity management. The enhanced analytics and Power BI capabilities offer more detailed insights and reporting options for business intelligence needs.    

M365 E3 and M365 E5 used in your organization will be for meeting specific security and productive needs. But do you know how the cost implications of both may affect your budget over a period of time? There is a need for a deep dive internal analysis and we have the tools and experts to assist.    

There are considerations to make such us, do all your users really need to be licensed for M365 E5? There is more to consider aside the fact that you are a large organization requiring advanced security and compliance tools.   

Let’s assist you to decide on which of these two will adequately meet your peculiar needs and save on cost. Our experts are ready to assist when reached at [email protected] or visit our website to know more.    

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