In recent years there has been an online revolution that has begun to benefit small and medium sized businesses that are looking for more efficient ways to work. The world is becoming more accessible and at the heart of this is the development of cloud technology that means we can work on the move with greater ease than ever before.
Microsoft Office 365 is an extensive combination of software and services offered by Microsoft. It includes all the applications which are part of Microsoft Office Suite like Outlook, Word, PowerPoint and Excel, etc. Besides this, it also includes Microsoft’s Server products like SharePoint Server, Lync Server and Exchange Server. These applications are hosted on cloud and can be accessed via internet from practically anywhere in the world. Office 365 is not only simple to use, but provides you with ‘virtual’ anywhere access to your emails, documents, and people, so you can respond quickly to customers.
The great thing about Office 365 is by far the fact that it offers you the possibility to create, edit and share work. It does not matter what your current work environment focuses on; you will be able to use Word, Excel and PowerPoint across multiple platforms. These platforms include PC or MAC and even portable devices that function with the help of iOS and Android.
Pros of Office 365
One of the biggest misconceptions about the Cloud is that it’s not safe. In reality, it isn’t necessarily any more or less safe than an on-premise system. It’s all in how you use it and what security measures you put in place. Office 365 has a lot of built-in security features to keep your company’s data safe. Some of our favorites include: Encrypted email, Data Loss Prevention, Mobile Device Management, Advanced Threat Analytics (ATA), etc.
Data security in the cloud is no longer an issue. Office 365 has built-in security and continuous compliance so small businesses can focus on the right things. You always know where your data is and who has access to it. You can also remotely wipe all data if you lose your mobile device. So, go ahead and store your data safely in the cloud. Storing your data online, also keeps it safe in case something happens. Imagine losing your laptop or breaking it?
You can work anywhere at anytime
One of the biggest advantages of Office 365 is the ability to work from anywhere as long as you have an internet connection. Because it’s entirely cloud-based, you can access your email, files and Office programs (Word, PowerPoint, Excel) from any location and any device. If you have a plan that includes desktop version of Office, they can be installed on up to 5 devices per user.
Working remotely used to mean you needed help from an IT friend or cousin to set up a Virtual Private Network (VPN) so you could access your files from the office. With Office 365, this isn’t necessary. You don’t need any special configuration or IT skills. All you need is an internet connection and you can start working. It’s that simple!
Stay up and running, no matter what happens
Let’s face it. If your in-house system crashes or your office building is destroyed by a fire or flood, you’re stuck. You have no data, servers or website. Statistics collected in 2015 by the U.S. Institute for Business and Home Safety showed that 25% of small businesses do not reopen following a major disaster. If you send your data to the cloud, all your business documents and applications, such as email, will always available. You’ll be up and running, no matter what happens.
Reduced capital expenditure
At present, almost all the technology infrastructure is quite expensive to maintain on premise. The trend is slowly moving towards monthly rental charges for these services at considerably lower cost than buying and maintaining hardware and software. The server hardware you purchase today typically will be out of warranty within a few years. And then you will also face issues related to new operating systems and application software and compatibility which will also include many software updates, hardware failures and backups along the way.
Moving to Office 365 not only allows you to escape the hardware and software costs, but also enables you to evade maintenance and disaster recovery along with all backend upgrades. This kind of scalable solution might be exactly what a small business is looking for to get started in the cloud. Since you don’t have to worry about upfront costs, it will be easier to fit this solution into your monthly budget.
Meetings email and contact management are a big part of everyday life in a small business. When you use Office 365, email, calendar and contacts are all synchronized to work together. Update a contact on your mobile phone and it will be automatically updated across all your devices. This is a really cool feature to help small businesses get the most from Office 365. You can also access the same data from any device. Save a document on your PC and continue working on it on your mobile or tablet.
Cons of Office 365
If the internet is down, you may not be able to access work.
Since Office 365 is a cloud-based service, if you don’t have an internet connection, you may not be able to access your files. Your data is stored in ‘the Cloud’ in Microsoft Data Centres so you are reliant on both network and bandwidth. If your internet connection fails, you will lose access to your software and data until it is restored.
Can be hard to keep up with changing feature set
The features in Office 365 do change fairly frequently. On one hand, you always have access to the latest and great versions. On the other hand, it can be hard to keep up sometimes if you use some of the lesser known programs like Delve and Yammer You have very little control over this ‘cloud’ environment your data is stored in, whilst there are uptime guarantees any datacenter infrastructure failure can have a direct impact on the availability of Office 365.
If Microsoft or other high end Data Centre provider outages do occur, small businesses have no leverage. Microsoft has created the perfect tool that businesses can use. No matter the project Office 365 is the answer, enterprises will save money and benefit from upgraded productivity. Choose the tool that delivers the best results by connecting and transforming the business environment. Benefit from all the features of a great platform aimed at matching needs.