What Is Microsoft Office 365 for Business?

Have you heard about Microsoft Office 365 yet? You probably have – and you may have even dismissed it because your small business already has Microsoft Office installed on all of its computers. That however would be a mistake as Office 365 is much more than just a subscription version of Microsoft Office – it is a complete work environment that you can access from anywhere. It can make your people more productive, reduce your IT costs and even keep your small business safe from ransomware.

So, what can Office 365 do for your company? Let’s learn more about how it works.

Office 365: Basic Features

The billing system for Office 365 is simple; after selecting the bundle that you want, you’ll pay a flat monthly rate for each user who accesses the service.

People within your company will receive access to certain Microsoft applications and services depending upon the subscription that you select. The applications are the same as those in the standard Microsoft Office suite. They include:

  • Outlook
  • Word
  • Excel
  • PowerPoint
  • OneNote
  • Access
  • Publisher

So all the applications you need to run your business are included, the best thing is that when new features, updates or a totally new version is released you get it at no extra cost.

Office 365: Services

Office 365 also comes with several services and this is where you can unlock real value.  Office 365 services enhance collaboration and efficiency within your business. These include:

  • Exchange: Enterprise level email hosting – secure, mobile and powerful
  • OneDrive: Provides secure online file storage that you can access from any device.
  • SharePoint: A powerful, extensible Intranet and shared storage platform that enables multiple people to collaborate on projects.
  • Skype for Business: Allows you to initiate instant, chat,  voice calls and video conferences with anyone in the world.
  • Microsoft Teams: A chat based work space that powers collaborative, contextual  teamwork.
  • Yammer: Allows your company to create an internal social network that facilitates open discussion and innovation.
  • Stream: Provides a simple way for your business to distribute videos to employees.
  • Planner: Create new plans, organize and assign tasks, share files.
  • Bookings: A simple to use online tool to create appointments with your customers.

So for one low price you are getting powerful, enterprise level IT services previously only available with a big capital expense and  the need for an IT team and the software you need – truly great value.

With tight integration between all the services and the applications you are familiar with you are able to do much more, making your business better.

How Is Subscribing to Office 365 Better Than Buying Microsoft Office?

Eliminates the Expense of Upgrade Cycles

If your business has been in operation a while, it’s likely that you have had to buy several Microsoft Office licenses over the years. When you bought Microsoft Office 2013, it was a major investment. You had to pay for licenses for all of the computers in your office. You received updates for a while – and then Office 2016 came out. You either paid for all of those licenses again, or you missed out on the latest Office features. With Office 365, there’s no need to buy new versions of Office every few years. Your subscription always gives you access to the latest versions of the Office products that your plan includes. You’ll never need to worry about upgrade cycles again!

Moving your company’s work environment to the cloud also makes your hardware upgrade cycles less relevant. In the past, you’ve probably had to upgrade employees’ computers to run a new version of Microsoft Windows or Office at an acceptable speed. When you run applications in the cloud, the remote servers handle the processing burden – and it’s Microsoft’s responsibility to upgrade its servers with the latest components to keep them running fast.

Keeps Your Business Secure

The Microsoft Cloud is one of the most secure locations in which your business can store its data. Microsoft’s data centers have 24-hour security monitoring. Its servers are impervious to malware because because they only run software from an approved list of applications. Microsoft encrypts the files stored on its servers and destroys failed hard drives after removing them from servers.

Business owners across the world have read about ransomware – the latest insidious form of malware – with fear. When ransomware infects a computer, it has the ability to encrypt all of the computer’s files. The encryption can block access to critical data unless the victim pays a ransom to unlock the files. If your businesses uses OneDrive to back up files on employees’ computers, you needn’t fear ransomware at all because you can simply format the hard drive of an infected computer and restore the lost files from OneDrive.

Makes Your People More Productive

Using Office 365 means that any employee can load an instant work environment anywhere and on any device with an Internet connection. It also means that physical distance no longer has to be a barrier that inhibits employee collaboration. These are just a few of the scenarios that Office 365 can make possible:

  • You’re in another state visiting a supplier when a coworker calls and asks for your thoughts on a new marketing asset. You log in to Office 365 and view the document on your phone. You use the phone to make a few changes to the document, and your coworker sees the changes in real time.
  • You’re at home using your computer to put the finishing touches on a report that’s due for the next day’s executive meeting. You’d like some fresh air, so you bring your tablet outside. You log in to Office 365, and your tablet automatically displays the latest version of the document so you can continue your work.
  • It’s time for your monthly sales meeting, but many of your staff are away from the office negotiating deals. Rather than postponing the meeting, you use Skype for Business to create a video conference. When one person wants to share a document, everyone else in the conference sees it on his or her screen.

Office 365 Is Great for Small Business Productivity

If your office currently runs Microsoft Office on its local computers, it’s time to seriously consider migrating to Office 365. By giving your employees a work environment they can access anywhere, it’ll make them more productive. Office 365 eliminates the need for constant hardware and software upgrade cycles. It even helps to protect your business’s crucial data from ransomware and other malicious software.

 

Better Online provides a range of solutions for small business including Office 365, click here to get started.