If you are looking for a comparison between the P1 plan and the E plans in Office 365 you might find this table of notes helpful.
Please note that the table is without responsibility. It is compiled by myself and might not be accurate at the time you read it (things change). It should only be used as an inspiration as to which features you might want to take into considerations when comparing the P plan to the E plans.
P plan customers are limited to managing their users in the Cloud Admin Interface. Many small businesses have Active Directory due to the success of the Small Business Server product line. E Plan subscribers can use the directory synchronization tool to replicate users, contacts, distribution lists, and other objects into Office 365 - P1 Plan users cannot. If you want directory synchronization, you must purchase an E plan.
Fee When Cancelling Subscription
Yes (see note)
Cancellations within the first 30 days are allowed at no fee (P plan is based on monthly payments, E on a 12-month subscription term). Cancellations within the last 11 months of the subscription term are allowed. You will be responsible for paying 25% of the remaining value of your subscription - see the Purchase and Support Guide for more - link
Combine w/ K plan
A combination of E and K workers might be less of a cost than all users on P (a 25 user scenario all on P compared to a 5 user on E1 and 20 on K1 will actually save 14%)
DNS manager on the Office 365 Admin page
Domain registrar, or on premises
A few but important differences exists in how you work with domains, set up public facing websites etc, in a P compared to an E subscription - link
Max # Org Users
If you plan to grow beyond 50 people you should not opt for the P plan. You can not switch from P1 to E plan.
P plan customers in need of support will have to search for answers on the Community section of their Office 365 portal (or call their partner if they have a support agreement)
Single Sign On
With single sign on the customer need only to provide the domain password
Administer FOPE (white list, black list)
IRM provides online and offline protection of e-mail messages and supported attachments. IRM protection can be applied by users in Outlook or Outlook Web App, and it can be applied by administrators using transport protection rules and Outlook protection rules. IRM helps administrators and users control who can access, forward, print, or copy sensitive data within e-mail messages. Note that IRM requires that you have an Active Directory Rights Management Services (AD RMS) server deployed in your on-premises organization
The ability to do direct offboarding to Exchange 2003 or 2007 or 2010 on-premises (requires Exchange 2010 CAS server)
Recipient Rate Limits
The maximum number of recipients that can receive e-mail messages sent from a single cloud-based mailbox in a 24 hour period - see "Understanding Recipient Rate Limits"
1/6/12 - in December 2011 the P1 plan increased from 500 to 1500 - link
Rich coexistence (Hybrid)
If you already have an Exchange Server on prem and needs to maintain some of the users there
Transport rules let you control the flow of and apply messaging policies to e-mail messages sent within your organization and sent in to and out of your organization. Using transport rules, administrators can define specific message attributes, or conditions, and the actions to apply to any message that contain those attributes. For example, you can use transport rules append a disclaimer to message sent outside your organization or prevent e-mail communication between specific groups of users. Transport protection rules let you use transport rules to IRM-protect messages by applying an AD RMS rights policy template.
Disclamers - see this article
Journaling can help your organization respond to legal, regulatory, and organizational compliance requirements by recording inbound and outbound e-mail communications. Journal rules are used to record, or "journal", the e-mail messages sent to or from specific recipients. When a message matches the criteria defined by the journal rule, a journal report that contains the original message is generated and sent to a journaling mailbox
You can put a litigation hold, also known as legal hold, on a mailbox to preserve e-mail messages and other mail items for an extended period. Litigation hold also prevents items from being permanently deleted. When a user's mailbox is put on litigation hold, the user can purge items from their mailbox but the items are retained indefinitely on the servers in the Microsoft datacenter. Litigation hold also maintains the version history for items that are modified
Discovery harnesses Multi-Mailbox Search, a GUI-based tool that allows legal and human resource professionals and other discovery managers to search primary and archive mailboxes across your organization for messages that match specified criteria. Because discovery searches don’t require full administrative permissions, you can assign regular users the necessary permissions to search mailboxes and limit the scope of mailboxes that a person can search. The results of a multi-mailbox search can be printed or exported to a .PST file by using Microsoft Outlook.
Yes Combined total size of 25 GB for primary and archive mailboxes
Yes Combined total size of 25 GB for primary and archive mailboxes for E1/2* 100 GB default quota for E3/4**
You can create an archive mailbox, called a personal archive, for a user's primary cloud-based mailbox. Users can use the archive mailbox to store historical messaging data by moving or copying messages from their primary mailbox to their archive mailbox. Administrators and users can use MRM (Messaging records management) features to automatically move messages that reach a certain age to the archive mailbox. Because items in a user’s archive mailbox are indexed, archive mailboxes are included in a multi-mailbox search
*E1/2 will be able to add compliance archive to the subscription as an add-on
**a default quota of 100 GB is set on the personal archive, which will generally accommodate reasonable use, including the import of one user’s historical email. In the unlikely event that a user reaches this quota, a call to Office 365 support is required. Administrators cannot adjust this quota upward or downward.
No option to add compliance archive to P plan
Voice Mail in the Inbox (no need to call up the voice mail service from your phone)
Lync Rich Client
E3/4 rich client via OPP
A limited time offer gives one licensed copy of Lync 2010 at no cost to every trial or paid E1, E2 and Lync Online standalone subscription license.
Online Meetings # participants
Online meetings – e.g. product presentations/launches
2/24/12 updated to 250 for P also - link
Integration with Messenger
Temporarily removed to avoid users using vanity or custom domain (i.e. yourcompanyname.com) with both Office 365 and Messenger being unable to access their Messenger accounts.
Microsoft Support will post updates to this article
Office Web Apps
Yes – but no editing in E1
The Office Web Apps in the E1 plan only allows for read only access to the documents
# Site Collections
If you have projects that need to be isolated from each other, you should create separate site collections for them. For example, it might make sense for the engineering department to have a site collection that’s separated from the legal department.
Each site within a site collection shares attributes inherited from the site collection such as templates that can be applied, permissions, and other settings that flow down from the site collection to the sites.
Having one site collection will probably not create a large impact for most small businesses of 25 users or less. Multiple site collections are useful when unique teams want their own workspace and separate security settings. You can still control security within sites, but there are considerations to manage, such as giving external users access to sites, which can give them access to the entire site collection.
P plan customers can publish Microsoft Access databases to SharePoint Online and share them with other users. Reduce database versioning problems, and simplify deployment of Access forms and reports, while reducing governance risks.
*E1 and E2 users are not allowed to access Enterprise Features of SPO, whereas E3 and E4 users can build and visit Access-based webpages
The missing InfoPath option in P can be mitigated by the Access Forms options
Buy Additional SPO storage
You may need more storage at some point in time. On the E plan you can purchase extra storage up to 5 TB 25 TB in total. P1 limited to 35GB.
3/8/12 updated to 25 TB
See also: Understanding storage allocation in SharePoint Online
Communities Capability (Tags, Ratings and more)
The ability to tag content (metadata) and rate content for easy discovery
*most features unavailable, but blogs and wikis supported, see: Comparing features in SharePoint Online across Office 365 Service Plans for more
E plan users are licensed to access information on on-premises SharePoint servers (important in hybrid scenarios).
Whitepaper: "Hybrid SharePoint Environments with Office 365" - link
Enterprise Features like Forms Services, Excel Services, and Visio Services as well as Business Connectivity Services (BCS)
Many business productivity scenarios opens up with the Enterprise capabilities (Electronic Forms for e.g. Timeregistration, simple BI like performance indicators, process support like Workflows and Workflow visualization)
*E1 and E2 users are not allowed to access Enterprise Features of SPO. E3 and E4 users can view and upload Visio diagram, build and view embedded Excel graphs and create/publish, fill in and submit InfoPath forms.
Business Connectivity Services (BCS) in SharePoint Online enables customers to connect to external data sources via Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) Web Services endpoints in both read and write modes (implemented in SPO Nov 2011) - link
See also: Comparing features in SharePoint Online across Office 365 Service Plans
Number of free Partner Access Licenses (PALs, "External Users")
no ability to increase cap
ability to increase cap
The "Extranet" capability is very attractive to many Office 365 customers.
The P plan does not include the ability to increase the cap beyond 500 PALs.
The My Site can be positioned as “your new C: drive – a central yet private location for your personal documents”.
SSL encrypts the traffic between your computer and the Microsoft data center hosting SharePoint Online. Since SSL is not available with SharePoint Online in the P1 plan, documents you transmit to and from the Microsoft data center are transmitted “in the clear”. This may be an important consideration in your choice of plans.
In addition, the unavailability of SSL affects several SharePoint Online features :
More information here under the heading “Plan for SSL considerations”
The Three-state workflow is built into both plans
The following four workflows are built into the E plan, but are not supported in the P plan: Approval, Collect Feedback, Collect Signatures, Disposition Approval
See also: About the workflows included with SharePoint
You can create and customize workflows in SharePoint Designer. The following workflow actions are not supported in the P plan:Start Document Set Approval Process, Capture a Version of a Document Set, Send Document Set to Repository, Set Content Approval Status of the Document Set, Start Approval Process, Start Feedback Process, Start Custom Task Process, Declare Record, Undeclare Record, Lookup Manager of a User, End Task Process, Set Content Approval Status (as author), Wait for Change in Task Process Item, Set Task Field, Rescind Task, Append Task, Delegate Task, Escalate Task, Forward Task, Insert Task, Reassign Task, Request a Change, Send Task Email - link. No workaround is available.
To use these SharePoint workflow actions, you must have the E plan - link
Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 List Component for SharePoint
No support for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 List Component for SharePoint in the P plan
In the E plans Sharepoint Online supports full integration as well allowing document management of your CRM created customers/contacts to be held within your Sharepoint online site
*service: SPO = SharePoint Online, EXO = Exchange Online, LYN = Lync Online, OfWA = Office Web Apps, 365 = Office 365