We are moving to a world where managed services will be of more value to both individuals and businesses than physical copies of software. There are pros and cons of each, but the pros of managed services outdo those of the single install.
I can list a few, and these include access across multiple devices data security as files are stored in redundant servers as opposed to your physical machine that you can even forget at that coffee shop you frequent, data synchronisation allowing you to leave your office machine there and go on with your work at home on the other machine.
Office 365 is one such product offering that makes things easier by virtue of being available everytime. We are headed to a fully connected world where netbooks make more sense and smartphones go on to become primary computing devices for many. I have been using Office 365 for a few months since it was made available in our region, and I am a firm believer that it’s a better proposition than single installs.
See below the ten reasons why you and your organization will need to look keenly at Office 365.
With Office 365 you can choose to add a device or remove from the user account such that machines you no-longer use don’t remain stuck up with your office license. Just head over to office.microsoft.com and you will see a list of machines that have your subscription installed, both PCs and Macs. With Office 365 for small businesses you get 5 machine installs for up-to 25 users for the Small Business Premium Package. And with this you install an Office 2013 package with Desktop versions of Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Outlook, One Note, Access, Publisher and Lync.
Good thing about it all is the accessibility of the files you are working on, as long as you have them either sync to your cloud storage or save them directly there you can access and edit them from anywhere with an internet connection, across an array of devices.
Web Apps – full document editing
Office 365 gives you the most comprehensive experience on the web for office documents, unlike others, you get the full meat of the document, just as you will on the desktop. No deteroriation of level of detail in any document. You will require to install a brower extension that will then allow you view and edit full office documents
Cloud Storage – sync
Office 365 comes with cloud storage, 25Gb for each user to save and sync documents and other files in. This makes the flexibilty of your office such an easy task. When you open an already synced document, even on your mobile phone and make edits, only the edits sync, so this won’t mean a dent on your data bundles is you are not on an internet connection. Cloud storage ensures you remain productive away from your office computer, complete with web apps to go on functioning like you are on your desktop.
Flexibility in pricing options
No huge one-off payments. This is quite good for a small business as cost of acquisition is broken down ensuring you won’t be needing huge capital when you are starting off. In a recent forum in Dubai, CIOs consider Cost of ownership as the most important factor when considering whether to go cloud or not. In the real sense, what should come first is alignment of the business. You need to ensure the least disruption when going in. The flexible payments bring down the cost of ownership while at the same time ensuring minimal disruption in that users can go in on the first day of business.
Collaboration with colleagues
Another quite essential factor is office collaboration. With Office 365, you can assign colleagues tasks on the same document, see changes made and by who while you all are seeing the same live document. If you work on a document and sync the most recent changes, you can share a document to a colleage even accessing on mobile and they will see where you need ammendments. This makes working easier as you won’t need to go with separate copies of the same document.
Uptime guarantee and Business class service
Microsoft gives 99.9% uptime guarantee for business users including IT admin support, geo-redundant data centres, disaster recovery, robust security and privacy controls.
No upgrades cost
When you once installed Office 2000 and Microsoft went on product launches of several iterations of Office, you always felt bad that this meant spending a new sum of money to stay with the times and ensure you have the best business tools. Not anymore with Office 365, you don’t spend a dime on upgrades, this is one single great value add you get, okay comes second to flexibility. But you get the point.
Another quite good feature you have here is ability to sign on into one account and access email, office documents on the system tray of your machine for every user. This also extends to web where if you are logged in to your Microsoft account you will access everything else in the account. Same applies on mobile.
Access via Mobile
Microsoft provides the best Office apps for the longest time and you get the same experience on your smartphone and tablet as you would on desktop. Windows tablets and smartphones already provide that experience. Microsoft recently availed Office apps on iPhones, and Android, at-least for some markets with the promise to go to many more markets in coming weeks. we all know the experience is unrivalled and the productivity they give supreme. Couple that with Skydrive syncing of files and you have a winner.
Take some time and give Office 365 for your Business a try, doesn’t require any payments set up.