75 User Exchange On Prem vs. Office 365 Cost Comparison



  • @Dragon3303 said in 75 User Exchange On Prem vs. Office 365 Cost Comparison:

    Also, even though we don't currently have Teams or Sharepoint, and I don't think they actually add the value

    That's a negative to me. I'd hate my team thinking that they could start using Teams or Sharepoint, I'd see their usage as sucking value out of our people. Such bad tools. SP used to be way better, I feel like it's fallen behind. Teams is actively really inefficient.



  • I don't know if your company has kicked around not using Exchange at all, but keep in mind that there are other products out there - including ones that at least here we feel are quite superior and come in far cheaper.

    We use Zoho here at it's just $1/u/m, so 25% of the cost of O365 email only. And if you compare to the $12.50 plan from O365, then the Zoho equivalent is $3. So about 25-28% cheaper in each case. We used to get O365 for free as part of an MS partner program and found Zoho to be better value even when we had to pay for it versus getting O365 for free. So when we say we think it's better, we really mean it. We find their email better, their messaging way better, their office suite we like better but is online only, there is no on prem version.

    It's not the only option out there, just saying, Exchange is an incredible premium on price for, what many would say, is actually getting less than what is otherwise industry standard.



  • I've looked at some the different options but part of the challenge is getting the management team onboard when they're all used to using Exchange and Outlook along with Microsoft Office. We also do have a fair amount of macros in use that I don't know what it would take to replicate those types of things in another suite. I'm open for that and have made suggestions to alternatives but there's a pretty good amount of resistance towards the unknown at this point. I don't know if there's a good way to run Zoho or something similar simultaneously with what we have to show how it would work?



  • @Dragon3303 said in 75 User Exchange On Prem vs. Office 365 Cost Comparison:

    I've looked at some the different options but part of the challenge is getting the management team onboard when they're all used to using Exchange and Outlook along with Microsoft Office.

    Have you used math and talked to the CFO? Sometimes getting the CFO to understand the cost of being unwilling to change is all that it takes. As IT, it's our job to inform finance of the cost of things, then let finance do its job.

    So in this case, for example, a few management people unable to adapt to something any middle school student should be able to adapt to in a few minutes without any assistance, would have a price tag of $8,550 per year. That's not an insurmountable number, and maybe other factors play in, but as a CFO I'd sure like to know that there is an annual line item that large that is tied to the belief that the management team is unable or unwilling to make trivial adjustments to the applications that they use. As an owner, if a senior manager came to me to tell me that he'd thrown away nearly $10K of my money because he didn't want to use a program that's so easy that he should have been able to simple start using it without any training .... I'd be pretty unhappy. Even if you earn a million a year, $8,550 isn't something you want to just throw away without good reason, especially every single year. And the mindset of "let's just throw money away" tends to happen in lots of places, not just one, so when you see this kind of thing happen, often its happening in ten different places and the amount being thrown away might be many times higher when everything is audited.



  • @Dragon3303 said in 75 User Exchange On Prem vs. Office 365 Cost Comparison:

    We also do have a fair amount of macros in use that I don't know what it would take to replicate those types of things in another suite.

    Macros exist to make people trapped. Whoever started using them is a problem. It's not that they are 100% bad, but it's a big deal to being locking any company in to something expensive in that way (how much money are macros potentially costing!), are difficult and risky to support, and generally (but not always) are a flag that MS Office is being used for inappropriate purposes. If you have someone considering programming on top of Excel, they likely should be just programming in a professional way that empowers the company rather than crippling it. Again, not always, but it's something important to consider.

    Also, put a number on what it would take to recreate a macro. $8,550 is enough money to hire a firm to do macro work for you and get things fixed.

    Put on your owner hat and imagine owning a company and finding out where money is going and the logic behind where it is going and things look very different.



  • @Dragon3303 said in 75 User Exchange On Prem vs. Office 365 Cost Comparison:

    I don't know if there's a good way to run Zoho or something similar simultaneously with what we have to show how it would work?

    Just set up and account and try it out. It's $3 for the first account (actually the FIRST one might be free) and play around. A TINY investment in learning a lot.



  • One other limitation with the Zoho Suite in particular is that it doesn't appear to have the ability to be used offline for Sheets. The spreadsheet functionality is one that users are using offline when they're working with or supporting some of our customers. So that would be a big one where we'd need something. LibreOffice or something similar but we again run into areas where they're using macros to push data across to other applications from their spreadsheets so there would be that to work out.



  • https://www.zoho.com/workplace/pricing.html

    This is the plan that has the office suite included. However, we use the cheaper $1 plan and get at least five or ten users with the office suits included. So maybe the free mail only account will actually do what you need for testing. Try the free plan first, anyway, before you spend a penny.

    Things that we really like....

    • Clean, modern email (blows the doors of anything MS or Google make, by a huge degree.)
    • Great mobile apps, not hugely better than others, but we like them a lot.
    • Desktop options, but a truly amazing web based interface to everything.
    • The price, you just can't beat it.
    • The integration, it truly all feels like a single app.
    • The ease of use and flexibility of the office suite, @romo and I prefer it over anything else.

    Things we don't like...

    • Account management is a train wreck, O365 is so much better (as far as like clarity and simplicity)
    • That there is no offline installable office suite. We know why they chose this, but it's not great for us.
    • Lack of a wiki-like functionality in the $3 product. They sell a wiki, but at great cost that doesn't make sense.
    • Connect, the Yammer like piece, is paid only past 25 users. It's really nice, but.... should be included with the $3 package IMHO.


  • @Dragon3303 said in 75 User Exchange On Prem vs. Office 365 Cost Comparison:

    One other limitation with the Zoho Suite in particular is that it doesn't appear to have the ability to be used offline for Sheets.

    It IS, kind of, but you have to select the sheet to be available in the cache.



  • Keep in mind, while we love love love the Zoho Office Suite, we're currently choosing LibreOffice and NextCloud as our solution for that. Zoho Email / Cliq messaging at $1 (and the included 25 users on Connect) is amazing for us and we can't find any way to beat it, including running our own tools. But the office suite, we haven't been able to justify moving to, as much as we'd like to. It's on our roadmap to reconsider with growth, but for now, we aren't using it. But those of us that get access to it all prefer it.



  • @Dragon3303 said in 75 User Exchange On Prem vs. Office 365 Cost Comparison:

    LibreOffice or something similar but we again run into areas where they're using macros to push data across to other applications from their spreadsheets so there would be that to work out.

    Have you tested OnlyOffice? That would be my best guess at a chance to directly support that.



  • @scottalanmiller said in 75 User Exchange On Prem vs. Office 365 Cost Comparison:

    @Dragon3303 said in 75 User Exchange On Prem vs. Office 365 Cost Comparison:

    LibreOffice or something similar but we again run into areas where they're using macros to push data across to other applications from their spreadsheets so there would be that to work out.

    Have you tested OnlyOffice? That would be my best guess at a chance to directly support that.

    Have not tested that yet. I'll have to take a look at it. Thanks.



  • @scottalanmiller said in 75 User Exchange On Prem vs. Office 365 Cost Comparison:

    Macros....are a flag that MS Office is being used for inappropriate purposes.

    Amen to that.

    The job required a scalpel but all you had was a hammer so that is what you used. Excel is the hammer.



  • @scottalanmiller said in 75 User Exchange On Prem vs. Office 365 Cost Comparison:

    Teams is actively really inefficient

    How so? We're using it more and more, including to collaborate with external people and everyone seems to like it now they've got the hang of it.

    My kids also use it all the time at school.



  • @Carnival-Boy said in 75 User Exchange On Prem vs. Office 365 Cost Comparison:

    @scottalanmiller said in 75 User Exchange On Prem vs. Office 365 Cost Comparison:

    Teams is actively really inefficient

    How so? We're using it more and more, including to collaborate with external people and everyone seems to like it now they've got the hang of it.

    My kids also use it all the time at school.

    Very hard to see and follow alerts and conversations. A lot more clicking around and searching for messages than with other platforms. We find for people using it actively, that it causes a lot of missed communications and lost time as people spend their time looking for messages rather than reading and responding compared to Slack, Rocket, Mattermost, Cliq, etc.



  • @Pete-S said in 75 User Exchange On Prem vs. Office 365 Cost Comparison:

    @scottalanmiller said in 75 User Exchange On Prem vs. Office 365 Cost Comparison:

    Macros....are a flag that MS Office is being used for inappropriate purposes.

    Amen to that.

    The job required a scalpel but all you had was a hammer so that is what you used. Excel is the hammer.

    Exactly. Good to have a hammer, sometimes you need it. But when someone says "now, take your hammer and be very, very delicate" you might want to ask if maybe another tool would be better.



  • @scottalanmiller said in 75 User Exchange On Prem vs. Office 365 Cost Comparison:

    @Carnival-Boy said in 75 User Exchange On Prem vs. Office 365 Cost Comparison:

    @scottalanmiller said in 75 User Exchange On Prem vs. Office 365 Cost Comparison:

    Teams is actively really inefficient

    How so? We're using it more and more, including to collaborate with external people and everyone seems to like it now they've got the hang of it.

    My kids also use it all the time at school.

    Very hard to see and follow alerts and conversations. A lot more clicking around and searching for messages than with other platforms. We find for people using it actively, that it causes a lot of missed communications and lost time as people spend their time looking for messages rather than reading and responding compared to Slack, Rocket, Mattermost, Cliq, etc.

    When you start sharing files within Teams, efficiency evaporates. We have an OK handle on it as an IT department, but once this is unleashed to everyone else, it will be a . . . challenge.



  • @EddieJennings Handle it now while you can. We did not and let's just say its the wild west trying to wrangle it all back in



  • @scottalanmiller said in 75 User Exchange On Prem vs. Office 365 Cost Comparison:

    Very hard to see and follow alerts and conversations. A lot more clicking around and searching for messages than with other platforms.

    I agree, as a messaging app it seems very poor and MS definitely need to work on this.



  • @jt1001001 said in 75 User Exchange On Prem vs. Office 365 Cost Comparison:

    @EddieJennings Handle it now while you can. We did not and let's just say its the wild west trying to wrangle it all back in

    Is that a weakness of Teams though, or a weakness in internal controls, training and workflow?



  • @Carnival-Boy said in 75 User Exchange On Prem vs. Office 365 Cost Comparison:

    @jt1001001 said in 75 User Exchange On Prem vs. Office 365 Cost Comparison:

    @EddieJennings Handle it now while you can. We did not and let's just say its the wild west trying to wrangle it all back in

    Is that a weakness of Teams though, or a weakness in internal controls, training and workflow?

    All of thee above.

    Of course it would be just fine with proper use and management.

    My current and former positions both leverage teams as the main communication system. I've yet to figure out how to manage file shares in it properly. They all just get dumped into the same bucket and good luck finding what you need.



  • @travisdh1 said in 75 User Exchange On Prem vs. Office 365 Cost Comparison:

    I've yet to figure out how to manage file shares in it properly. They all just get dumped into the same bucket and good luck finding what you need.

    It's essentially just a front-end for Sharepoint isn't it? With each Teams channel being a Sharepoint site.

    I have to confess that I've never had success using metadata to organise Sharepoint files and still organise everything into folders and sub-folders. I then regularly use Windows Explorer to manage those files and folders, which I find much easier than Sharepoint (poor) or Teams (terrible). IIRC, @scottalanmiller has preached against using folders in Sharepoint, but it's the only solution that has consistently worked for me. Maybe I'm just too old to learn new tricks, but I think Windows Explorer is an awesome application and hasn't been bettered (on Windows), despite its age.



  • One potential benefit to using Teams is that since it's included in the cost of the Microsoft Business Standard level is that it could maybe replace any other webmeeting/screen sharing software that is currently be used. I don't know that it's always that easy to get anonymous users in the Teams meeting however, so it may not fit the need for that. Our users have not had good experiences with Teams so far when they've had to interact with other organizations utilizing that.



  • @Dragon3303 said in 75 User Exchange On Prem vs. Office 365 Cost Comparison:

    One potential benefit to using Teams is that since it's included in the cost of the Microsoft Business Standard level is that it could maybe replace any other webmeeting/screen sharing software that is currently be used. I don't know that it's always that easy to get anonymous users in the Teams meeting however, so it may not fit the need for that. Our users have not had good experiences with Teams so far when they've had to interact with other organizations utilizing that.

    We work with some companies that use teams, but they really only use it for the webconference stuff.



  • @Dragon3303 said in 75 User Exchange On Prem vs. Office 365 Cost Comparison:

    One potential benefit to using Teams is that since it's included in the cost of the Microsoft Business Standard level is that it could maybe replace any other webmeeting/screen sharing software that is currently be used. I don't know that it's always that easy to get anonymous users in the Teams meeting however, so it may not fit the need for that. Our users have not had good experiences with Teams so far when they've had to interact with other organizations utilizing that.

    The integration piece is great, and that it is free (when you have O365) is great. But there are free options that we like better like Rocket and Mattermost. More effort, since you run your own server, but having used both I'd prefer the effort of MM or Rocket over the effort of Teams.



  • @Pete-S said in 75 User Exchange On Prem vs. Office 365 Cost Comparison:

    @Dragon3303 said in 75 User Exchange On Prem vs. Office 365 Cost Comparison:

    One potential benefit to using Teams is that since it's included in the cost of the Microsoft Business Standard level is that it could maybe replace any other webmeeting/screen sharing software that is currently be used. I don't know that it's always that easy to get anonymous users in the Teams meeting however, so it may not fit the need for that. Our users have not had good experiences with Teams so far when they've had to interact with other organizations utilizing that.

    We work with some companies that use teams, but they really only use it for the webconference stuff.

    We've got a big one that went to it because they wanted to be "all in" Microsoft. A decision that has bitten them over and over again, Teams being a very minor component of it. It's not been a good experience.



  • @Carnival-Boy said in 75 User Exchange On Prem vs. Office 365 Cost Comparison:

    @travisdh1 said in 75 User Exchange On Prem vs. Office 365 Cost Comparison:

    I've yet to figure out how to manage file shares in it properly. They all just get dumped into the same bucket and good luck finding what you need.

    It's essentially just a front-end for Sharepoint isn't it? With each Teams channel being a Sharepoint site.

    I have to confess that I've never had success using metadata to organise Sharepoint files and still organise everything into folders and sub-folders. I then regularly use Windows Explorer to manage those files and folders, which I find much easier than Sharepoint (poor) or Teams (terrible). IIRC, @scottalanmiller has preached against using folders in Sharepoint, but it's the only solution that has consistently worked for me. Maybe I'm just too old to learn new tricks, but I think Windows Explorer is an awesome application and hasn't been bettered (on Windows), despite its age.

    Yup, that's me. Not that folders are broken or don't work, it's just that the power of Sharepoint gets exposed when you use metadata instead of folders. Sharepoint can be a pain to adjust to, but when you embrace it completely, it does offer a lot of power and flexibility. But it doesn't connect in that way with Explorer so you'd lose that power using that tool in that case.



  • Plus, I'm not sure if Teams works with metadata. Which is the kind of thing that frustrates me a bit with Teams - its a front-end for SharePoint, but a hobbled front-end. Meaning you keep having to select "Open in SharePoint" to do anything complicated.

    But generally I find the advantages of "going all in" with Microsoft outweigh the disadvantages.

    I've also found Teams getting used more and more by companies compared with Zoom. At the start of the pandemic it was all Zoom.



  • @Carnival-Boy said in 75 User Exchange On Prem vs. Office 365 Cost Comparison:

    But generally I find the advantages of "going all in" with Microsoft outweigh the disadvantages.

    It's definitely alluring.



  • @Carnival-Boy said in 75 User Exchange On Prem vs. Office 365 Cost Comparison:

    I've also found Teams getting used more and more by companies compared with Zoom. At the start of the pandemic it was all Zoom.

    Zoom was very much the "I don't know what to do but people are talking about this Zoom thing" fallback.


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