Why all business owners should understand Microsoft Office365

Cloud computing is essentially running applications or your servers in a secure data center rather than a traditional route of building server rooms in your office.

Why is this better for business? It means that you are no longer restricted by the Internet speed of your local office, its more reliable (as data center internet connections and power has lots of redundancy) and it’s usually a lower cost model to buying hardware and maintaining it. But what is there to understand about Microsoft Office365?

Microsoft Office365According to latest industry research, most companies have cloud computing as part of there IT strategy, whether a complete move to cloud computing or a Hybrid mix of on premise IT with certain applications delivered via the cloud.

Providing your employees with computers that are functional and fast will help everyone avoid the stress that could come from technology playing tricks on them. You should always make sure that you have the latest updates for all the MS software by employing a Microsoft Office product key that will allow you and your team to access all its features. Installing licensed products will help keep your office software running as it should without any problems, and let you forget about any errors or features limits that unlicensed or trial products have.

Microsoft launched Office365 on 28th June 2011. In its infancy its fair to say it was pretty basic and had continual service outages. This year therefore see’s its fourth anniversary and its fair to say that things have moved on at pace. There is every chance that your competitors are using Office365 to lower IT expenditure, so we believe every business owner should understand it.

So what is it?

Well first of all it licenses your employees to use Office 2013 on their PC/Mac/Tablet. It also will allow them to upgrade to future versions at no additional cost as it’s a subscription service.

However that is not where the benefits stop. It provides an email server (similar to the one in your server room) that is based in Microsoft’s data center. This is a great product and hit maturity with minimal outages over the past two years. No more server hardware, software upgrades and IT operations expense. That is quite a saving!

Finally depending on subscription you also get access to MS Lync (an application that sits on users PC’s) this tool allows quick access to Instant Messaging, Video calling and other collaboration tools that make employees more efficient in their day to day job. (Improves Employee Productivity).

So what are the drawbacks?

You will need to feel comfortable that your data will be held in either Ireland or Denmark (these are the two core data centers). There are alternative providers with UK Data Centers – feel free to discuss these with us

There are still outages – however with so many users affected in an outage they do not last long

It is a commitment to Microsoft. Some companies are looking at Google Apps and other applications.

You will have to migrate your current email systems to Office365

The cost?

Microsoft has a number of easy subscription plans available depending on the number of employees in your organisation and the applications you wish to deliver. They start at £3.10 per user per month up to £15+ per user per month.

However – consider the migration costs to get your data from your existing service to Office365. It will be a one off cost depending on the user count (assume from £30 per user)

So – why should all business owners understand Office365?

It is a way of driving down the cost of business IT and improves employee productivity overnight. If you aren’t considering it your competitors probably are, which means they will have a cost advantage on you.