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October 23, 2023

What is the difference between workstation and M365 support?

By Bobbi Seymour

As your business adopts more digital platforms and tools, your IT support must continue to evolve. One popular tool you may have implemented is Microsoft 365 (M365). With M365 usage on the rise, you must determine what type of IT support model works best for your company. Should you use essential workstation support or would specialised M365 support meet your needs better? 

In this blog post, we will analyse the critical distinctions between workstation support and M365 support. Understanding these differences can help you evaluate which approach is the best fit for your business.

We will also overview some of the most common M365 applications and examine how your support requirements may vary based on industry and company size.

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Workstation Support

Ensuring your business's computers are up and running is essential to keeping your company running smoothly. This is where workstation support comes in. 

Workstation support refers to the maintenance and troubleshooting of individual laptop and desktop computers. It involves hardware repairs and replacements as well as software installations, upgrades, and configurations. 

Reliable workstation support is crucial for maintaining smooth daily operations in your organisation. When computers encounter issues like frozen screens or software access problems, it brings productivity to a halt.

Workstation support technicians have the expertise to diagnose and fix many common computer problems. This includes troubleshooting hardware issues such as faulty memory, ageing hard drives, and device malfunctions. Technicians also manage software-related issues ranging from new program installations to printer connections and internet connectivity issues.

With workstation support, the focus is on resolving problems that arise locally on each employee's computer. This means quickly addressing any laptop and desktop performance problems, physical issues, or network connectivity challenges that disrupt an employee's workflow. 

Microsoft 365 Support

As you probably know, Microsoft 365 (M365) is much more than a standalone software subscription. It provides a comprehensive suite of productivity apps, cloud services, and device management solutions. 

At its core, M365 includes always up-to-date versions of essential Microsoft apps like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and more. You can access these through different subscription plans depending on your needs. For example, Office 365 E3 provides enterprise-grade email, file storage, and the full Office app suite. 

Microsoft also offers tailored M365 plans for businesses, families, and individuals. Microsoft 365 Business gives you device management plus Office apps optimised for small companies. Microsoft 365 Family offers parental controls and up to 6 premium Office app subscriptions. Microsoft 365 Personal provides premium Office apps for one user.

The key difference with M365 compared to basic workstation support is that it is entirely cloud-based. This means your data and settings are stored in the Microsoft Cloud instead of locally on each device. M365 support thus focuses on helping configure and optimise this cloud-based ecosystem to maximise the value you get from the subscription.


Key Differences Between Workstation and M365 Support


Scope of Assistance


Workstation Support:

When it comes to workstation support, the primary focus is on your trusted devices. Whether it's laptops or desktops, workstation support teams are dedicated to ensuring that every piece of hardware operates at peak efficiency. 

If you’re encountering issues like a finicky printer or unexpected operating system glitches, workstation support specialises in individual device maintenance. The experts adeptly navigate the complexities of hardware and software challenges to get your team back in business with minimal downtime.

M365 Support:

On the other hand, M365 support steps into the world of digital wizardry, offering guidance in the realm of cloud-based operations. 

Microsoft 365 is more than just a suite of applications; it represents a comprehensive universe of possibilities. M365 support assumes responsibility for the management of cloud-based applications and services, guaranteeing that your virtual office functions as a well-coordinated mechanism. 

Whether you're engaged in spreadsheet editing through Excel or crafting presentations using PowerPoint, M365 support ensures that your collaborative endeavours remain seamlessly efficient.

Software Focus

Workstation Support:

Dealing with persistent software crashes on your computer can be a frustrating experience. This is where the value of workstation support truly shines, equipped with a comprehensive set of troubleshooting tools and specialised expertise. 
Workstation support excels in resolving local software issues and addressing device-specific glitches. Their role plays a pivotal part in sustaining the optimal performance of your computer system.

M365 Support:

In the realm of cloud-based operations, M365 support plays a central role in overseeing the performance. Microsoft 365 applications like Word, Excel, and PowerPoint are the primary tools for end users but M365 support ensures they function smoothly. 
M365 professionals not only manage the applications but also enable seamless collaboration, a key driver for modern businesses. Their services cover not just the well-known features but also innovative tools to keep you at the forefront of technology.

Licensing and Plans


Workstation Support:

When embarking on the software journey, workstation support serves as your reliable navigator. They guide you through the intricacies of software installations and steer you through the maze of local licenses. They ensure that your workstation's software configuration is not only functional but also compliant with all licensing regulations.

M365 Support:

The array of Microsoft 365 plans offers a diverse range of options, each catering to specific needs. Choosing the right plan can be a challenging task. That's where M365 support steps in as a knowledgeable advisor, offering explanations for Business, Personal, and Family plans, along with insights into their unique features. 
With M365 support as your guide, you'll find a tailored blend of applications and services that align perfectly with your requirements.

Remote Work Solutions


Workstation Support:

Imagine a desktop that accompanies you, accessible from any device, anywhere. This is the essence of virtual desktops, and workstation support specialises in weaving this magic. 
They ensure that these ethereal workspaces materialise seamlessly, providing you with the necessary tools and insights to engage in remote work while preserving the security and performance standards expected from an on-premises workstation.

M365 Support:

Remote work is greatly enhanced by cloud capabilities. M365 support guides you into the world of Azure Virtual Desktop, a powerful innovation that provides remote access to desktop environments. 

This empowers you to leverage your workstation's capabilities from anywhere. Shared computer activation? It's the key to enabling multiple users to collaborate seamlessly in a virtual environment.

Timely Upgrades and Features


Workstation Support:

Local software deserves attention too. Workstation support ensures that your local applications remain up-to-date, eliminating any hindrances that might slow your productivity. They diligently tend to your digital domain, providing updates and patches to maintain everything in full bloom.

M365 Support:

In the domain of Microsoft 365, evolution is the governing principle. With each update comes a parade of new features, security enhancements, and performance improvements. 
M365 support takes on the role of a herald, ensuring you're never left behind from the cutting edge of Microsoft technology, and guaranteeing that your journey in the cloud is consistently illuminated by the freshest possibilities.


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The Power of Unified Support

In the world of IT assistance, it's important to know that workstation support and M365 support can make a formidable team. Let's explore how this collaboration can benefit your business:


Working in Harmony:


Workstation support and M365 support, despite their distinct focuses, can complement each other surprisingly well. This partnership harmonises your on-premises and cloud operations, simplifying your IT landscape.


All-Encompassing Assistance:


The beauty of this hybrid approach is its all-inclusive support. Workstation support ensures your local devices run like clockwork. Whether it's tackling hardware quirks, software glitches, or network optimisations, they've got it covered.

In contrast, M365 support takes charge of overseeing your cloud-based applications, which prominently include the versatile Microsoft 365 suite. 
Their primary responsibility is to ensure that your remote work environment functions smoothly and securely. They achieve this by facilitating efficient collaboration, enhancing productivity, and addressing any cloud-related issues that may arise.

Boosting Productivity and Flexibility:

This unified strategy provides a boost to your productivity and flexibility. Your team gains the freedom to work from anywhere, with access to their familiar desktop environments – thanks to technologies like Azure Virtual Desktop, thoughtfully managed by M365 support.

Shared computer activation ensures efficient collaboration among multiple users in a virtual realm, making teamwork a breeze. Your business becomes boundaryless, operating seamlessly both locally and in the cloud.


Resource Optimisation:

By uniting workstation and M365 support, your business can optimise resource allocation. Instead of dividing resources between separate IT functions, this approach streamlines the distribution of support personnel and tools. This means quicker resolution of critical issues, reduced downtime, and smoother operations.

In essence, unified support bridges the gap between local and cloud-based IT needs. By blending the strengths of workstation support and M365 support, your business can enjoy comprehensive assistance, heightened productivity, and more efficient resource management. 


Wrapping things up, we've seen how combining workstation and M365 support is where the real IT magic happens. Each has its unique strengths, but when you blend them, you get something extraordinary.

For top-notch IT performance, we strongly recommend mixing both workstation and M365 support services. This dynamic duo keeps your business running smoothly, whether you're handling local devices or fine-tuning cloud-based apps.

At SpiderGroup, we understand the importance of this collaboration. As your go-to IT crew, we offer a full range of services, including workstation and M365 support. So why wait? Reach out to SpiderGroup today, and let's supercharge your IT game together.

Don't miss out on this chance to level up your IT strategy. Get in touch with us today and experience the benefits of a well-rounded, approach to IT support.

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