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4 min read

Office 365 E3 vs E5: Which one is better for my company?

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Office 365 E3 is $20 per user/month and Office 365 E5 is $35 per user/month, so is it worth the extra $15 per user/month? In this article we dive into the specific features you get for the extra money so that you can decide whether it makes sense for your company to upgrade from Office 365 E3 to Office 365 E5.

What does Office 365 E5 have that Office 365 E3 doesn't?

  • Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection
  • Microsoft Cloud App Security
  • Advanced Compliance 
  • Threat Intelligence
  • MyAnalytics
  • Workplace Analytics
  • Power BI Pro
  • Dial-in Audio Conferencing
  • Phone System (Cloud PBX)

Office 365 E3 v E5

Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection

Office 365 ATP protects your organization by preventing dangerous links and malicious attachments that come via your email, SharePoint, OneDrive, and Teams. In addition, it'll filter out all the spam mail, so that when you start your day, your Outlook is always clean with emails that should be there. Microsoft's introduction video is very concise, so please give it a watch below.


Office 365 ATP is really smart, using machine learning to analyze metrics such as senders IP, frequency of emails, whether a user has marked the sender as spam in the past. And because 6.5 billion trillions of emails are sent through Microsoft Exchange, they have been able to perfect this solution. In 2018, Office 365 ATP prevented 5 billion phishing emails!


You can purchase Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection as an add-on to Office 365 E3 for $2 per user/month, which comes included with Office 365 E5.


Microsoft Cloud App Security

This tool is a Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB), which is necessary for IT compliance, configuring how your data travels, and for visibility into security threats across Microsoft and 3rd party apps.


You can purchase Microsoft Cloud App Security as an add-on to Office 365 E3 for $3 per user/month, which comes included with Office 365 E5.


Advanced Compliance


Advanced eDiscovery

This eDiscovery solution allows you to review data that violate your organization's policies, or a regulation such as HIPAA or GDPR that triggers an investigation. These types of investigations can be complex to find the specific data or content you're looking for, but Advanced eDiscovery makes it easy, saving you stress, time, and money.


Customer Lockbox 

By default, not a single person at Microsoft has access to your data. However, in the rare even that you do need the help of Microsoft Engineers to troubleshoot, then you can securely authorize temporary and limited access to Microsoft.


Privileged Access Management

This feature allows you to control admin privileges in your tenant in order to prevent rogue admin activity or unauthorized admin access, limiting the probability of costly data breaches. Because 80% of security breaches involve privileged credentials, this makes it so every Office 365 tenant operates with 'zero standing access', meaning you have just enough access to perform the privileged task for a small period of time.


You can purchase the Advanced Compliance feature bundle as an add-on to Office 365 E3 for $8 per user/month, which comes included with Office 365 E5.



MyAnalytics for Office 365 uses data from Outlook to analyze how many hours you spend in meetings, time you spend emailing people, time you spend actually working, and time you spend working outside of normal work hours. Only you can see your own data. These insights allow you to better prioritize your time and better organize your organization. 


For example, MyAnalytics may tell you that you spend 8 hours a week in reoccurring meetings, and during those meetings, 75% of the time you are multi-tasking instead of paying attention. This insight may tell you that your meetings aren't that useful. 

You can purchase MyAnalytics as an add-on to Office 365 E3 for $4 per user/month, which comes included with Office 365 E5.


Workplace Analytics

Mostly geared towards enterprises, it's like MyAnalytics at a company-wide scale. For example, you may learn that of your 425 employees, they spend an average of 4 hours a week in meetings, but the Sales department employees spend closer to 10 hours a week in meetings. This insight could help you optimize that department. 


You can purchase Workplace Analytics as an add-on to Office 365 E3 for $6 per user/month, with Office 365 E5, it costs $2 per user/month.


Power BI Pro

For those that don't know, Power Bi is a data visualization software, similar to that of Tableau, except that it is natively integrated into Office 365, Azure, and all of your company data. It's so smart that it'll actually auto-create tons of dashboards and tables specific to the data its plugged into, so you have to do far less work.


The benefits you get with the Pro version over the free version are: peer-to-peer sharing, analyze in excel, app workspaces, embed APIs and controls, and email subscriptions to your dashboards.

You can purchase Power BI Pro as an add-on to Office 365 E3 for $10 per user/month, which comes included with Office 365 E5.


Dial-in Audio Conferencing and Microsoft Phone System (Cloud PBX)

Most people are unaware that Microsoft even provides a phone plan. You can migrate your business phones to the cloud, meaning you can make calls from your laptop, your tablet, or even from the Microsoft Teams App on your phone. 

That means your company doesn't need to give you a business phone, because you can use your smart phone to receive business phone calls without using your personal line. In addition, after years of bouncing from different virtual meeting tools like Webex or GoToMeeting, Microsoft Teams is really a no-brainer. 


Below is a screenshot of Calling Plan for Office 365 Pricing Table, which is kind of hard to read so we attached the file to the hyperlink. With Office 365 E3 the price for a domestic phone line is $20 per user/month and with Office 365 E5 it is $12 per month/user.

Microsoft Calling Plan Pricing Table


Download the Office 365 E3 vs E5 Add-on Comparison table for a side-by-side view. In addition, you can view the Office 365 features comparison table to decide which license suits your organization best.

Need more help deciding?


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