Have you ever had the worry of losing connection to your email due to server downtime? How about having to deal with confusing licencing issues? Does it seem unnecessary to have to buy an additional server just for your email? When Microsoft set out to make Office 365, their mission was to address the business concerns surrounding email and the Office suite of products, turning this into an administrative duty rather then a technical chore. At eTop Technology, we use Office 365 internally and as a company that helps to manage email needs for many businesses, we encourage all of our clients to migrate to Office 365 and leave the headache behind. Here is why.
Maybe the most important feature of Office 365 is the Hosted Exchange paired with Outlook to provide a complete email experience. Hosted Exchange is Microsoft’s cloud based exchange service that they are using to phase out Microsoft SBS Exchange. If you have a favorite email service, Hosted Exchange will work as the backbone that supports your application whether it be Windows based or Apple mail. You can connect to your email from any device, for examply, if you have a desktop, laptop, tablet and smartphone, you are free to connect to your email from each device. Up to five devices per user. You can also use Outlook and Apple Mail interchangeably if you use a mix of devices as well.
The Office Suite
Odds are good that you are using more than one of Microsoft’s office products. Without Office 365 you are looking at having to buy the individual licence of any one of the Office products. With Office 365 you can download or long into the web portal to access Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Publisher, Access, Skype for Business, SharePoint or InfoPath. All of these are included in Office 365.
Microsoft is known for having the worlds most confusing licencing, however, light is on the horizon with Office 365. Microsoft has moved to a subscription based licencing that makes things simpler. There are different plans to choose from and each plan includes various features that are catered to include the Office products you need.
Microsoft recognized that the business environment of today needs to be mobile. Most people work on the go and they need technology that can keep up with them. If you send an email from your computer, you need to be able to find it on your phone and vice versa. If you are expecting an email, you don’t want to manually update you phone to see if the email has arrived. It should notify you as soon as a new email comes in. These are just a few of the things that Office 365 does exceptionally well.
Desktop App or Web Portal
Some people are use to working on web portals and others are use to working on desktop apps. To address this quandary Microsoft give you both. If you are out of downloads on your five devices and need to log into your account form a sixth computer, you have access to the web portal from anywhere that you have an internet connection.
Windows or OSX
No matter if you have a strict preference to one hardware manufacturer such as Google, Microsoft or Apple or if you have a mix of devices, you can use Office 365 to tie all of your devices together. Office 365 works equally well on each platform.
Most people find it hard to cope with change. Especially big changes. For example, upgrading from Outlook 2003 to Outlook 2016. The reality is that sooner or later you will have to upgrade and you will be frustrated if you wait that long. With Office 365 you have access to all of the latest versions of the applications under your plan. It is far less of a headache to adjust from updating to Office 2016 from 2013. This is just one feature that insures that your staff members are being as efficient as possible.
If hosting your email in the cloud is a concern for you it may be comforting to know that Office 365 is ISO/IEC27001 and HIPAA compliant as well as being compliant with the Federal Information Security Management Act allowing it to be used by government officials and medical professionals. Microsoft is transparent with their privacy policies which can be accessed through the “Trust Center”. Office 365 also has additional features such as the ability to sent encrypted emails that will ensure that your data remains safe. It is also important to note that Microsoft’s reputation is predicated on your data security and they have far more resources available to them to keep data safe then any one small business ever could.
Of course every platform needs a good storage solutions. Microsoft OneDrive to the rescue! Not only can you keep all of your documents and email synced across the board but you can rely on OneDrive as a backup for all of your data in the Microsoft Cloud. Most of the plans come with one terabyte of storage to the Microsoft Cloud. Office 365 also include 50 gigabytes of email storage for every mailbox. If that isn’t enough, email archiving is easy to set up.
Plans and Pricing
There are six main plans for business purposes. These plans are Business, Business Essentials, Business Premium, ProPlus, E1 and E3. With Office 365 there is another change that is notable. This transitions allows you to turn your investment from a capital expense into an operating expense. Instead of having to invest in a new server and other network hardware as well as the licensing for the software every 5 years, you are able to pay a small monthly fee per user. This allows you to leave the technical headache to Microsoft so that you can focus on your business.
The list goes on and on. These are just a few of the reasons why we recommend Office 365 to all of our clients. If you are searching for a business email solutions that will keep your data safe and insure that you remain connected, no matter where you are, then Office 365 is the answer. It does matter that this solutions is set up well in order for it to meet your business needs but once you have made the migrations, you will never look back. If you are searching for an implementation expert, give eTop Technology a call! We’re here to help!