The cloud enterprise is the better path for businesses, especially with its scalable feature. This is best for companies looking for continuous long-term growth. And which company doesn’t want that? However, some organizations may not sing the same tune about cloud hosting as others as cost-efficiency and dollars and sense are top of their priorities list.
Some businesses then face a difficult decision when it comes to Microsoft Office. Do they buy upfront or go to the cloud and subscribe to its cloud version – Microsoft Office 365? Some organizations prefer to purchase upfront their Office Suite as that makes sense for their business. This is particularly the case for companies wanting to stick with in-house email and file storage.
However, for many other businesses, switching to the cloud to MS Office 365 would make more sense.
Here are 10 compelling reasons to do so:
1. It’s essentially the same Office, but it’s only getting better
There may be a misinterpretation that because it is the cloud, businesses will be getting the limited, cloud-based Office applications rather than the fully-featured Office applications that are installed locally on your desktop or laptop. This is not the case if you are subscribed to the Business or Business Premium plans – they offer the exact same applications as the standard Office Home and Business and Office Professional Home and Student packages.
Although it is in the cloud, storing your files and data locally on your PC or company servers of course is still an option. You’re also no more dependent on your internet connection than you would be if you used the Office Suite installed locally on your PC. You are actually getting an Office Suite that’s arguably better and have more features as Microsoft continues to create new features and rolls them out first (and potentially exclusively) to Office 365 subscribers.
2. Emails are with Microsoft Exchange Online
All users get email, scheduling and contacts management and a 50 GB inbox with the Office 365 Business plans. The best part is that it isn’t hosted on a consumer-grade webmail service but rather on the professional business-grade Exchange Online.
You can use it for everything as you would do with in-house Exchange solution, but because it is online, you significantly cut down all the work that comes with maintenance and patching. And you can even access your email, calendar and contacts on the go through Outlook Web App and as well as on your Android and iOS devices.
3. Cloud storage through OneDrive for Business
OneDrive is available for everyone to use, whether using the Office 365 or the locally-installed Office Suite. The free cloud storage provides users with 15GB or space. However, Office 365 comes with the business version where users are provided with 1TB of storage space, features to share files inside and outside the organization, and comprehensive tools to manage who can access which files and when.
4. SharePoint Online for Team Sites
Large corporations use SharePoint for intranets and document management systems. But that’s not to say that smaller businesses won’t ever have use for it. They can simply build a simple SharePoint site that can be used for managing teams and projects and this do not involve a lot of work to do. Office 365 also provides built-in guidance for adding task lists, calendars, documents libraries and form libraries, surveys, discussions and a range of other features. You can even create public sites to share info with customers or partners. This may not be the sole reason for getting Office 365, but this is such a powerful tool that you’ll be grateful to have.
5. Communicate and collaborate with Skype for Business and Yammer
Skype for Business provides easy, free communications within the office and with remote workers, clients or partners outside the office. It enables conferencing, instant messaging and voice/video calls.
Office 365 has also integrated Yammer’s business-focused social networking features, and aslo into its SharePoint Online. This means setting up a private Twitter or Facebook-like social network for your organization that’s business-focused and secure is easy.
Buying upfront Office suite for Home and Business or Office 365 Professional only covers one user on one PC. However, if subscribed to Office 365 Business or Business Premium plans, each user can use Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, etc across five PCs and Windows or iPads. Office 365 is flexible enough to not require the PC to be a Mac or Windows for its apps to be used properly. It’s also easy to remove rights from one PC and transfer them to another.
Its flexibility also shows in giving its administrator control over which versions they want to deploy and where. Not all users need the fully-featured desktop applications so a business can also save costs by giving them the plan with only the basic essentials.
7.Accessibility to work from anywhere
You don’t need Office to use Office Online but if you have files saved on OneDrive or OneDrive for Business, then this feature is great. You can edit Office documents using the familiar Office interface through your browser. Go on the internet and login using your credentials.
8.Easy and fast upgrades
When you buy a licensed Office suite, then you have the license for that version of Office. When you are subscribed to Office 365, you’ll get the next version of Office as soon as it is rolled out, and for the same cost you’re paying for each user per month.
9. Improved security and cut down on maintenance
It can prove to be a pain when you update an old version of Office that’s licensed and installed locally on the PC, even if you’re just updating desktops on a small to medium-sized business scale. And with Office 265, you don’t need to be doing updates as Microsoft rolls out updates and patches automatically.
It also takes care of maintaining, patching, and securing Exchange, Online, SharePoint Online and Skype for Business. This means that everything will always be up to date and safe all the time, without effort on your part. This is a great feature for small-sized businesses without the budget or manpower to do comprehensive security management, and thus can be safer.
10. Using Office 265 can be better cost-wise
The financial advantages of choosing Office 365 is a long term gain. It scales up or down with your business if you do month-to-month payment plans. When you employ new workers and buy licensed Office applications upfront, you will be left with unused software should you need to downsize later.
Of course, this post is not to say that Office 365 is for everyone. If you are good working on a single laptop/PC and see no problem having internal infrastructure and have another provider for email server and cloud storage space, then stick to the traditional licensed Office bundles. But of course, there are other businesses for which switching to Office 365 could arguably form a better case, especially the benefits it could give long-term.
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