What are the benefits of Office 365?

Most software companies have changed their business models from selling a packaged product to ‘Software as a Service’ (SaaS) or in simple terms they are selling a subscription to use the product for a fixed period of time. Microsoft is no exception and they have created “Office 365” which effectively replaces the Microsoft Office 2016 retail packs.

As of October 2018, Microsoft has over 135 million Office 365 commercial users and over 30 million Office 365 home users.

What is Office 365 Business Premium

An Office 365 Business Premium subscription includes the latest versions of:

 

Word

Excel

PowerPoint

Publisher (PC only)

Outlook

SharePoint

OneDrive

OneNote

Skype for Business

Access (PC only)

 

When a new version of Office is released you automatically get it since it is included in your subscription.

Microsoft Office Online Apps

Microsoft offers browser-based versions of their Office programs. You can use a simplified version of Word, PowerPoint or Excel from your web browser.

In addition you also receive access to the mobile apps for Android, iOS and Windows Phone,

Stay up and running, no matter what happens

Let’s face it. If your in-house system crashes or your office building is destroyed by a fire or flood, you’re stuck. You have no data, servers or website. Statistics collected in 2015 by the U.S. Institute for Business and Home Safety showed that 25% of small businesses do not reopen following a major disaster. If you send your data to the cloud, all your business documents and applications, such as email, will always available. You’ll be up and running, no matter what happens.

Data security and control

One of the biggest misconceptions about the Cloud is that it’s not safe.

In reality, it isn’t necessarily any more or less safe than an on-premise system. It’s all in how you use O365 and what security measures you put in place.

Office 365 has a lot of built-in security features to keep your company’s data safe.

  • Encrypted email:
    This keeps anyone other than the intended recipient from reading your email
  • Data Loss Prevention:
    This is a set of policies that checks and prevents sensitive information from leaving your organisation via email
  • Mobile Device Management:
    These features allow you to control Office on your employees phones to protect company information.

    If an employee’s phone is lost or stolen, it can be remotely wiped to prevent anyone who shouldn’t have access from getting to company data.
  • Advanced Threat Analytics (ATA):
    ATA uses analytics and machine learning to detect and alert you to suspicious behaviour on your network.It will scan emails as they come into your network for malicious links and attachments and if it detects something fishy, it’ll prevent the malicious attachment from getting in. Your employees will still get the email, but will get a message explaining why the attachment isn’t there. This can go a long way to preventing a data breach due to human error.

These certainly aren’t all the security features available in Office 365, just a small sample.

Please note, these features are not available on all plans. To have everyone in your organisation covered, you’ll need to get them all on plans that include it or purchase it as an add-on.

So, go ahead and store your data safely in the cloud. Storing your data online also keeps it safe in case something happens. Imagine losing your laptop or breaking it? Thanks to 1TB of OneDrive online storage, your data is safer than ever before.

Work Anywhere

You can work anywhere at anytime!

You don’t need any special configuration or IT skills.

All you need is an internet connection and you can start working, either on a PC, Notebook, Tablet or Phone.

It doesn’t matter if you use Windows, Apple or Android – they all work, it’s that simple!

Get Organised!

Meetings, email and contact management are a big part of everyday life in a small business. When you use Office 365, email, calendar and contacts are all synchronized to work together.

Update a contact on your mobile phone and it will be automatically updated across all your devices.

Because the master copy is ‘in the cloud’, you can access the same data from any device. Save a document on your PC and continue working on it on your mobile or tablet.

Predictable Monthly Cost

Office 365 has a flexible monthly billing process that lets you add or decrease the number of users to suit your needs. You’re not locked into a contract and you change plans at any time to suit your growing business needs.

Since you don’t have to worry about upfront costs, it will be easier to fit this solution into your monthly budget.

By contrast, without an Office 365 account, you have to pay in order to upgrade to each subsequent release ($425 or more).

Microsoft currently releases a new edition of Office every 3 years. So in the long run, buying the product upfront can be cheaper than subscribing: $19.90 x 36 months = $716.40 vs. $425 one-time purchase. However, only with a subscription to Office 365 Business Premium do you get the bonus features listed above, including Business Email, 1 TB document storage and mobile apps.

Your Own Business Email Server

One of the advantages of subscribing to Office 365 Business Premium is that you get a professional business email system. This means you can create email addresses for you and your employees that feature your business domain name.

For example, if your domain is www.CanterburyComputers.co.nz, you can create the email address joe.bloggs@CanterburyComputers.co.nz

You can also create “shared” emails like accounts@CanterburyComputers.co.nz. This email address wouldn’t be assigned to a particular user, but rather to a group of employees. These users can access a separate email folder titled “Accounts” and reply to messages from their personal email address, or from the shared address “accounts@CanterburyComputers.co.nz”

Office 365 Business Premium gives each user 50GB of storage for their emails and attachments (enough for over 600,000 emails, or 50,000 PDF documents.)

No more licensing mess!

Sorting out software licenses can be a real headache for a small business owner and involves a great deal of time should your business be audited.

One of your employees might be using Office 2013, while another employee is using an upgrade of that same version. The result? You don’t know how to bring everyone up to speed so they’re all working on the same version.

Office 365 includes all licensing and it can be deployed company wide.

This means everyone has the same version of Microsoft Office, and all users will get upgrades at the same time.

Mix and Match Plans

There are several different Office 365 business plans available with different programs and features.

Not everyone in your company is going to need exactly same thing. Some employees are tied to a desk and need the programs installed locally. Other just need access to email on their smart phone.

You can mix and match O365 plans so you don’t have to pay for more than you need. It’s pretty easy to switch between plans, too, if you find that an employee needs more or less than what they have now.

What Happens When Your Office 365 Subscription Ends?

If your Office 365 subscription ends, either in the event you need to cancel or because your license expires, there are multiple events that will occur until your subscription is finally deprovisioned.

For the first 30 days after expiration, data is still accessible to all, users retain access to O365 files and applications, and admins can access the O365 admin center.

For up to 90 days after expiration, your O365 subscription is “disabled” with data only accessible by admin. Users cannot access O365 files or applications, however, admins are able to access the Office 365 admin center but unable to assign licenses to users.

After 90 days, the subscription is deprovisioned and all data is deleted.

 

Sources:

https://webhosting.net/benefits-office-365-small-businesses/
https://www.businessnewsdaily.com/10375-microsoft-office-365-business-premium-package.html
https://fitsmallbusiness.com/microsoft-office-365-small-business/
http://blog.goptg.com/blog/2016/03/31/the-pros-and-cons-of-office-365-for-business