Some small business owners were concerned when Microsoft announced that the small business server was being extinguished from their list of products and the Exchange email component was being replaced by Microsoft’s online services. The initial uptake of Microsoft’s cloud services was slow for small and big business, however, Office 365 has proven to have given businesses competitive advantage and deliver significant business flexibility, with endless scalability and software assurance. But…what is it? How does it work?
OFFICE 365 EXPLAINED IN EASY TERMS
Office 365 is not just a cloud service. It actually goes beyond that. It’s a selection of different cloud services that are packaged in various ways so you can pick and choose from a range of options. It’s totally flexible and it allows your business to have a personalised cloud experience.
This bundle of cloud services deliver all the essentials your business needs, pushing your business forward. With full installed Office 2013 applications (Word, Excel, Outlook etc.), cloud storage, business class hosted mailbox, Skype for business and SharePoint Online 2013, your business can benefit by bundling services when compared to their individual outright cost, making use of a single proven solution to achieve a range of IT requirements.
WHY CONSIDER OFFICE 365?
It’s inevitable, “the cloud” is here to stay and sooner or later every business will have to host at least one solution in the cloud. Also, with the small business server model retiring, the landscape of buying your own IT assets and sweating them has fallen to being “the old way” of buying technology.
Welcome to the era of paying monthly for the ability to utilise and constantly receive technology based functions and services.
Take the conversation to another level from making decisions on infrastructure, servers, and other hardware to discussing solution features that really add value to your business.
OFFICE 365 OPTIONAL SERVICE FEATURES
- Migrate your email to Microsoft’s highly available cloud platform
- Receive a 50GB mailbox for each user and allow up to 25MB email attachments
- Includes Microsoft hosted anti-malware protection and anti-spam filtering
- Full support via Outlook, mobile and webmail
It’s important to keep in mind that all Office 365 packages include e-mail hosting. Why? Because having your own email server is a rarity these days and Hosted Exchange is now the most common entry point for companies to start in the cloud.
Video Conferencing, Presentations and Instant Messaging
Microsoft Office 365 Skype Business (formally Microsoft Lync) allows you to host online meetings or training with audio and video. It also allows you to send instant messaging and share your availability and online status with trusted contacts.
- Allows you to present a PowerPoint to the meeting attendees or share a program
- The conferencing facility supports meetings with up to 250 people and HD video
- Send instant messages to your contacts
- Skype Business app is support on PC, mobile and tablet for truly mobile communications
SharePoint – Intranet and doc. management
Microsoft Office 365 SharePoint provides an efficient place to manage your company documents and allows your staff to access documents when working from a mobile, tablet or laptop remotely. It can be used in a few different ways. It can just be a discussion board to discuss projects, or project site, to help deliver projects, but it can go as far as managing the companies forms and procedures in a timely manner. It can also be to use as a document library which you don’t need in the server anymore.
- Share company news, present key business information and data.
- Includes advanced document features such as access to previous document revisions
- Enables remote access to documents from mobile, tablet or laptop.
- 10GB baseline document storage included plus 500MB p/ user (Extra storage available per GB)
A new way of licensing
Office 365 provides a subscription to the latest version of Office, allowing it to be installed on up to 5 devices for each user. Every staff member in your company can have access to the latest version of Office on their office computer, tablet, mobile, laptop and more, for one simple monthly fee.
Purchase Office Suite as a monthly subscription rather than having to buy the package outright and increase or decrease the amount of Office licensing your company owns without having to commit to licenses if there is a high level of staff fluctuation.
A place to keep your large files
Office 365 provides each user with up to 1TB of OneDrive cloud storage, allowing them to share large files if required.
Grow as big as you want
One thing is clear, the bundle is much more cost effective than just having individual licences and your business gets more out of it. If you grow, just get the features enhanced and added on. As it’s a cloud service, every time a technology progresses, you will receive the latest technology and even over the next 10 years your business is still going to keep getting the benefits. There’s no need to reinvest. Just pay your monthly bill and have access to the latest features.
SHOULD MY BUSINESS MOVE TO OFFICE 365?
There are 2 main factors you need to consider when looking into moving your business to Office 365:
- Your business’ specific IT requirements. If you have or need a terminal server or if you have a hosted desktop solution, you will need to discuss different scenarios with your IT provider and check if it’s possible to move to Office 365. There’s also the option of crossing services, for example, you can have your email in Office 365 and access other services through your own server.
- If your business already has assets it has invested in you should evaluate them according to your IT roadmap, considering your existing investment, ROI and Office 365 monthly costs.
So if you liked what you read, give us a call and understand Office 365 better. We are constantly increasing our expertise and support as the new features of this solution come out. We have changed our approach from simply setting up infrastructure to actually helping deliver business technology benefits, which also includes training.
Bremmar is your one stop shop technology provider. If you are considering Office 365 we can either evaluate your IT assets according to your IT roadmap, mix or match services crossing Office 365 with other technologies or implement and support any of the features mentioned above.
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