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Do this to save big on software costs as a Remote-First company

Last updated: July 21, 2022 6 min read

Money. Which company does not want to cut back on it while remaining profitable? We know the age-old saying, "kill two birds with one stone." But in this case, how about using two stones to kill a whole flock of birds?

Many of us already know the myriad benefits of shifting your company to any remote work model. According to Global Workplace Analytics, businesses can cut back on up to $11,000 in expenses per employee in a year by simply going remote for half the time or adopting one of the hybrid work models.

But what if you could save significantly more while operating remotely? What if there was a way you could cut your software costs by up to 50%?

I implore you to continue reading to find out how you can do this. And no, it is more than just hiring from low-cost countries as previously discussed in an earlier article.

Get the Vineforce App and a Microsoft 365 Subscription

As you may be aware, Microsoft 365 is a comprehensive suite of productivity apps that optimizes you and your team's productivity and the way you collaborate.

And since our app, Vineforce, is built upon this platform, it helps you get the most out of your workflows without sacrificing your work/life balance and helps cut down on software needs and expenses significantly.

What the Vineforce app does is, as a complete toolkit, it pulls all your work, meetings, and other affairs from Microsoft 365 into one place, making work seamless and more efficient. Together they have all the equipment you need for you to win at remote work.

You name it, from internal communications to document management to team schedules, MS365 and the VF app replace a handful of apps, so you will not have to break the bank.

Let's do a rough breakdown of how much MS365 and Vineforce let you save big on software expenses. Let's say you have a team of five people for argument's sake. Microsoft 365 has several plans, but you may purchase the 'Business Standard' plan for this example. And let us say you bought the yearly VF plan per user.

Cost Breakdown for MS365 and Vineforce

a. Microsoft Business Standard cost: $12.50 per person

For a team of five: $12.50*5= $62.50

For one year: $62.50*12=$750

b. Vineforce yearly: $189.99 per user. So then $189.99*5= $949.95 for 5 users

c. VF and MS365: $750+$949.95= $1,309.8 

So, your total annual expense using Vineforce and MS365 would be $1,309.80 for a team of 5 people.

What Microsoft 365 Covers

Below are the following functions MS365 would cover as well as the software it would replace.

1. Internal Communications

For any company, especially remote-first ones, the mode or medium of internal communication is particularly important. You must have the best practices for your team and technology in place to support those practices.

Let us say your primary mood of communication within your virtual workspace is Slack and for online meetings, it is Zoom, and you have a team of 5 individuals across different countries and time zones.

Most people are aware of Slack as they were the leading communication medium for many remote teams until Microsoft Teams, in recent times, came and stole that spotlight.

Microsoft Teams interface

Every and anyone can access Zoom so it may be the number one choice for most.

Here is a breakdown of the costs for Slack and Zoom compared to Microsoft Team:


a. Free version: Has limited features especially if your team is seeking better collaboration and an opportunity to scale,

b. Pro Plan: At just $6.67 per month this is a better fit for small teams, offers additional value, and is the second-cheapest plan. For a year it amounts to $400.2.


a. Free version: Has limited features with no cloud storage

b. Paid Plans: Varies according to the needs of your team. The Pro plan is $149.90 annually, and the Business plan at 199.90 yearly.

MS Teams

a. It is included in your MS365 subscription.

2. Appointment and Document Management

Instead of Calendly (used by most small businesses) to manage your appointments, why not utilize Microsoft Bookings, a much cheaper option, which would already be included in your Microsoft 365 subscription along with your other productivity apps at an affordable price?

And instead of DropBox or Google Drive (available with Google Workspace) for document management, you would already have OneDrive/SharePoint with your Microsoft 365 subscription.

Cost breakdown for Calendly

a. The free version has basic features

b. Professional plan (Most popular): $12 per month for the whole team

c. Yearly rate: 12*12=$144

Cost breakdown for DropBox Pro

a. Professional plan: $16.58 per user per month

b. Yearly: $16.58*12= $198.96

$198.96*5= $994.8 (For a team of 5 people annually)

3. Automation

Every company needs business process automation to eliminate the need to do manual, repetitive tasks so you can focus on more important ones.

Power Automation by Microsoft is free with the Business Standard plan, unlike more popular names like Zapier. See the breakdown of prices for Zapier below:


a. Team plan: $299 USD per month (billed annually). It would amount to $3,588 for a year. This plan allows 50 thousand tasks to be automated per month.

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4. Online Forms and Web Management

Online forms eliminate paper use and come in handy for remote customers who wish to apply for and purchase your products or services.

Microsoft Forms is free once you have an MS365 subscription but offers premium features paid-for features with the family or personal plan. However, as shown below, other favorable online forms like JotForm and Pabbly would cost you more.

JotForm cost breakdown

a. It has several plans ranging from free to ‘Enterprise’ plan. The enterprise plan offers unlimited features; you can find out the cost by contacting their sales department.

b. Gold plan: $29/month

c. Yearly rate: $29*12= $348

Pabbly cost breakdown

a. $10/month per form when paid annually

What the Vineforce App Covers

Below are the functions Vineforce covers and the alternate apps it replaces as well.

1. Project and Work Management

By making Vineforce your go-to app for project and team management, as mentioned earlier, you would only pay $949.8 annually.

See image below depicting project/work management.

This is significantly less than brands like Basecamp ($99 flat per month, which is $1188 a year) and Asana’s Business plan at $24.99/month per user, which is $1499.4 a year for five persons.

2. Work Planner

From start to finish, the VF app as your smart planner helps to develop your workday by suggesting tasks and pulling meetings and appointments from your Outlook calendar to your daily agenda. Furthermore, you have the option to do so manually as well with minimal effort.

In this area, Vineforce replaces planner apps like Sunsama with a rate of $16/month per user when billed annually, costing you $960 a year for five users.

3. Work Reporting

With daily check-outs, teams can share their accomplishments, challenges, and plans for tomorrow.


Our app efficiently streamlines this process in an effortless manner that helps you end your day on a visual note highlighting all your accomplishments, not to mention a seamless check-in process that gets you started for work immediately.

 With these features, we have eliminated additional expenses for check-in software like DailyBot for $5 or more per month per user.


4. Leave Tracking

Vineforce’s leave tracker, Leaveforce, lets your team and external contacts know when anyone is away on vacation or taking a few days off. Meeting requests will automatically be declined, and you can set your out-of-office messages, ensuring that those who send you via email or Teams are aware of your availability.

In addition, it allows the admin to create and manage policies that assist in organizing yearly holidays and scheduling/approving employee leaves. 


5. Work/Team Scheduling

As an admin for the Vineforce app, you can create work schedules that allow team members in different countries to collaborate regardless of time zones. 

6. Team Management

With Vineforce, you have complete control over your remote team, no matter where they are. Real-time visibility lets you stay informed about who is available and when team members plan to take time off. In addition to quickly creating work schedules and monitoring daily tasks and progress. 


So, if you were considering Status Hero to monitor what everyone is doing at any given time, this should definitely cause you to reconsider. The plans for Status Hero start at $3 per user per month when billed annually.

7. Team Directory

Our built-in team directory highlights who is who, what they do, their country of origin and current time, their schedule and break period, and how long they have been working in the company. 

There is, however, no need for additional software like Pingboard, which has an informative team directory feature. For a small team, this app costs $119/month for up to 50 users.

9. Automated Notification/Reminders

Vinny, the Vineforce bot, notifies you with automated reminders of when to take breaks when meetings are about to start and check-out reminders for work/life balance at no additional cost.

Therefore, you can toss out the idea for similar software like Reminder Bot at $6 per month and $64 per year for 10 users.


If you were to do the math of all the other alternate software/apps mentioned in contrast to those of Microsoft 365 and Vineforce, you would be left with a hefty price to pay on a monthly and yearly basis. The communion between the two will save you hundreds, if not thousands in software expenses.

Because Vineforce was built upon the MS365 platform, managing files, tracking meetings related to projects, planning your day, you name it, is simple, easy, and works seamlessly with all the MS365 applications. It is the ultimate all-in-one software toolkit you need to be cost-efficient.