How often have you struggled to keep up with software vital to your day-to-day business dealings and wished there was an easier, and cheaper, way to upgrade? The Microsoft Office applications we know are now cloud-synced and accessible from any device, so you’ll never be without them again.
Not all office resources give your business the same functionality. Using outdated software can slow your employees, cause confusion, and impact your productivity, ultimately affecting your bottom line.
Anderson Technologies hears many first-hand accounts of clients struggling to cope with sub-par yet well-known applications. If you’re fighting poor cloud services and incompatible programs, consider Microsoft Office 365 Business to make your company’s operations cohesive and your applications more integrated.
What Does Office 365 Offer?
Depending on your business software needs, Microsoft offers several license plans to fit your budget.
Here are three popular choices for small businesses:
- Business Essentials provides users with business email and other collaborative services such as Skype for Business, Microsoft Teams, SharePoint intranet, and OneDrive cloud storage and sharing. It is meant to help your team members work together effectively from many different locations at a reasonable price point but does not include ongoing licensing for standard Office products like Word, Excel, etc.
- Business is for those who want cloud licensing for applications such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook, but not business email or many of the collaborative options. It also offers OneDrive cloud storage and sharing services. With this option, you receive both installed and web-accessible versions of the Office product family.
- Business Premium includes everything in Business Essentials and Office 365 Business, as well as extras such as Microsoft StaffHub and Business Center.
Office 365 works well for a business that needs a variety of applications and team tools or one that merely wants reliable email and cloud storage. For a reasonable monthly cost, users receive access to a suite of applications and tools, making it easy for your business to begin collaborating with ease no matter where you work.
Why Should You Consider Office 365?
Office 365 provides:
- Full productivity, email, and applications in one integrated account
- Streamlined mobile access from anywhere on any device
- Continually updated software
- Functionality with minimal glitches or lag
Anderson Technologies works with Box as well as other providers and believes Office 365’s OneDrive/SharePoint offering provides an integrated solution for cloud services and document sharing. Some cloud services suffer from routine glitches in file sharing and lags in uploads, downloads, or collaborative real-time work. Clients who switch to Office 365 report a more satisfying and efficient user experience.
Like Google Docs, Office 365 keeps the most recent version of your document up to date and marks the location of each active user in a file so you can work together collaboratively at the same time without worrying about overriding data.
All the applications in Office 365 are designed to be used together, which saves time otherwise spent ensuring various software functions effectively together. Since Office 365 provides you with the most up-to-date version of applications, you can ensure all members of your team are saving to the same compatible file formats.
In addition to these tools, it’s wise to have an IT professional assist with the transition. A managed services provider like Anderson Technologies can make this transition as seamless as possible.
The Hidden Gems of Office 356
While the features listed above make up the bulk of Office 365’s usefulness, there are a few aspects you may not be aware of that can save your business money and hassle.
- Nonprofits: If you’re a nonprofit organization, Office 365 should be on your radar. Microsoft offers 510(c)(3) non-profits free email services and a considerable discount on all other business-related products. These are the same enterprise-grade applications and services for a fraction of the cost.
- Compliance: Ensuring private data meets federal privacy standards can be a daunting task, especially when you want to move your information to the cloud. Microsoft works to make its offerings complaint for a variety of regulations, including FISMA, HIPAA, and HITRUST.
- Privacy: Microsoft explicitly states that they are “the custodian or processor of your data.” This means that you are the sole owner of your data and Microsoft will use it only “for purposes consistent with providing you services you pay [them] for.” There is no worry that Microsoft will access your data, use it for marketing information, or hold it hostage should you chose to leave. They also offer complete control to determine who in your organization is allowed access to the data you store.
Figuring out what products work best for your business is a decision you shouldn’t take lightly. Software and cloud storage solutions are an investment, and you should consult your IT department or managed services provider before moving forward with any major purchase. Office 365 works well with other vendors, and we recommend switching if you’re not happy with your current services.