What organizations need to know about activating Microsoft 365 E5

There are some things we need to drill down here:  

As you may know, the Microsoft 365 E5 license is always the latest or the highest subscription that Microsoft offers. When you assign this license to users, there are a lot of features that need to be activated as part of the bundles that Microsoft 365 offers.

Essentially, there are security features and functionalities that you must specify and activate. You need to assign the license in the admin portal and expand the apps container. Once there, select the multiple products that the Microsoft 365 E5 offers, to activate those features.

The offerings inside each of the licenses are the main reason that can help you decide between E3 or E5. The main difference between these two are the security functionalities each offers. Let’s give an example:

If you’re an enterprise or a company that’s looking to provide unlimited archive mailboxes that are 100 GB, you also need to increase the security on your tenant.

Also, you need security mechanisms that allows you to test emails and attachments before they are released into the mailbox. That is exactly what 365 defender achieves. This defender comes with the E5 security licenses, while E3 offers other more basic security functionalities.

What happens when you have different types of licenses for different roles? 

In a tenant you can have a mix of licenses, but you should not assign multiple licenses to a single user. We have seen instances in which a user has E3 plus other Exchange licenses even though the E3 bundles has an Exchange license within it. 

Microsoft does not restrict how many licenses you can assign to a single user, but that can be contradictory because, the higher the bundle the more features you have available at your disposal.

If you want to utilize that in a mixed environment you can do so but, you need to be aware that you don’t need to assign multiple licenses to a single user unless those are add-ons that are not included in the license bundle that you choose. 

I activated some Microsoft 365 E5 features, now what? 

When you activate security services or features, you could be tempted to think they work like it’s plug and play. In fact, it is not just activating, you also need to configure those features, especially in the security side. Essentially, you need to configure it depending to your needs, so be weary on assuming certain feature will work solely based on being available. Remember that, every new feature that you turn on in Office 365 will require validation or configuration of the service to fine tune the policy to your needs.

For many organizations this is where having a certified partner comes in handy, as we can assist in fine tuning your E5 or any Microsoft Licenses configurations.

If you have any doubts regarding Microsoft Licenses, don’t hesitate to reach out, our Microsoft certified experts can and will help you with all your configuration needs.