So many versions of SharePoint! If you have seen the licensing chart lately, it’s starting to become a game of Where’s Waldo when it comes to figuring out what features are available in which version of SharePoint. Are you On-Premises? Online? K1, E1, E3, E4? Bingo anyone?! The most common question when reviewing Office 365 licensing is whether or not to make the jump from E1 to E3. But with all 300 of the features detailed in a complicated spreadsheet, how can you make sense of all the noise? How do you know what your organization needs?
SharePoint Online (SPO) Licensing Basics for O365 Enterprise Plans
Microsoft labels its Office 365 Enterprise level licensing as E1, E3, and E4. The different levels designate the Office, Exchange, Lync, and SharePoint features that are available to your organization; where E1 is more basic and E4 is fully featured. For many companies, the decision between E1, E3 and E4 comes easy based on needs around Exchange and Lync. However, with growing flexibility around assigning licenses that can be ”mixed and matched” to individuals within an organization, there has been additional conversations popping up about who needs what.
In SharePoint terms, E3 and E4 are pretty much the same. This leaves us to describe the differences between E1 and E3. For those already familiar with SharePoint, the differences can be summed up by comparing E1 to SharePoint Standard and E3 to SharePoint Enterprise on-premises. However, while one could say the comparisons are similar, the functionality for SharePoint on-premises is not identical to SharePoint Online and so you cannot make the assumption that all functionality can be matched one for one.
When it comes it understanding why you would need to upgrade from E1 to E3, it’s easiest to look at the key features.