For those of you who have a small business, “moving to Office 365 is a no brainer,” a client told me. You can have all the tools of a Fortune 500 company with a fraction of the costs. Microsoft has created a paradigm shift In Software as Services (SaaS) when they created Office 365. With several options on what to access the possibilities to create a professional image, use what you already know, and keeping your data secure; Office 365 truly is the only choice for moving your small business IT to the cloud. Office 365 can also integrate seamlessly with other Cloud-based services like Microsoft Dynamics, PayPal, and other tools that your company may use. Let’s look at this in more detail.
Do away with those pesky free email addresses that scream hobby. You can have your email sent to and from you own domain name, using Microsoft Exchange Online. This ensures that your email looks like a professional business. Office 365 also comes with SharePoint online which can be used to create a professional-looking web site. Lync Online is used to host online meetings that can be set up with Outlook. These and many more features are available to you with Office 365
Keep using what you know
The time that you have already invested in learning Microsoft products has not been wasted. If you like to use outlook, then you still can. Microsoft has developed office 365 to more offer a cloud service with products that you already know. Another Example is that Microsoft Word knows when you are connected to SharePoint Online and you are able to check out documents into Word with no other configuration. The best thing is that you can use the benefits of Office 365 without changing products that you already use.
Work in or Out of the Office
With Office 365, you have not tied to the Office anymore. Data, files and security are hosted in the cloud. You need to access it through a Browser. Email through outlook web application; documents through Office Web Applications; you can even use your mobile phone to access data and files in the cloud. This will give you the freedom to concentrate on your business from anywhere you have access. Imagine the flexibility of a workforce that has this freedom.
When you host your own equipment and servers, you are subject to outages, equipment failures, local ISP connectivity security problems and not having the correct updates for smooth operations. Microsoft has invested millions of dollars to set up premier data centres that host thousands of customer’s data and have set up a 99.9% uptime with a financially backed SLA. Meaning if your services are down for less than 9 minutes a year, you will get a credit onto your account. That is commitment. Have you ever had a virus come through Email? With Office 365 Exchange Online, virus scanning is done on every email and file that comes through. That is just one less thing you need to worry about
Office 365 allows a small business to increase their professionalism, use training that you already received, work anywhere with connectivity and provides a secure work environment. These attributes make Office 365 the best tool and set of IT infrastructure that a small business can get with a small upfront cost.
John Abrams is a Microsoft Office expert and he has been working in the technology industry for the last 5 years. As a technical expert, he has written technical blogs, white papers, and reviews for many websites such as www.office.com/setup