No matter what business you’re in, it’s important to always be evolving your processes and looking for ways to be more efficient and productive. One way to do this is by implementing Office 365 into your company, giving you access to features like free email services and cloud storage in addition to the traditional Office suite of applications. Whether you have no employees or over 1,000 people, there are many benefits of implementing Office 365 into your business that can help boost productivity across all levels of your organization.
Setting up an Office 365
If you’re going to be using Microsoft Word, Excel, and Outlook on a daily basis for your business, you may want to consider implementing Office 365. For starters, it offers cloud-based access to all your favorite programs through a web browser.
It can also synchronize files across multiple devices that use it—perfect for when you need to work on projects from multiple computers or locations. And since it’s constantly being updated with new features and tools, chances are very good that you’ll enjoy many more of its benefits as time goes on. Most importantly, if your company is already paying for an enterprise version of Microsoft software—or is considering switching to one in the near future—Office 365 is likely much cheaper than an upgrade would be at full price.
Downloading the Office 365
In general, Office 365 downloading a trial version of the software is one of my least favourite things to do because it can take so long. It’s kind of like trying on clothes when you know none will fit you. Also, there are typically pages and pages of complicated terms and conditions that most people skip through to get to actually installing their new product.
But at least with software, once you have what you want installing and have chosen your settings, then it’s done. I knew as soon as I opened up Microsoft’s website and saw that they offered a free 30-day trial version, though I didn’t expect it would take me less than five minutes to download!
Connecting to the Microsoft Office 365 Account
In order to get started with your Microsoft Office 365 implementation, you need to log into your account. This can be accomplished through a web browser or via an application on a smartphone. To make sure that everything goes smoothly, double-check that you are logged in with both devices.
Since many people use their smartphones to make purchases these days, having both devices connected is very important. After all, if you’re not careful, you might purchase an app twice on accident!
What are the benefits of using Office 365?
If you’re a small business owner and don’t have a lot of employees, you might wonder why you should use Office 365. And that’s completely understandable: it can be hard to find time to maintain multiple programs like Outlook, Excel, Word and more when you have an active business to run.
One way around these challenges is by utilizing hosted business software like Microsoft® Office 365, which allows your employees to access all their applications through one central platform. Here are just some of the benefits of using Office 365 for your business .
1) Easy Data Management Maintaining data storage for every employee can be difficult—especially if most of them work remotely.
Using Office 365‘s data management tools enables you to back up files so they’re protected in case something happens; whether it’s a theft or natural disaster, having access to copies of your data makes recovery much easier and faster.
2) Security Software attacks happen frequently these days; but instead of waiting until one happens and scrambling to fix things after they’ve already gone wrong, utilizing security tools from office 365 means knowing where every aspect of your business stands as far as online safety goes at any given moment.
3) Widely Supported Devices The majority of customers prefer to do business with businesses that support a wide range of devices, such as mobile phones and tablets. Since Microsoft has provided Office 365 on various platforms since 2008, implementing such services gives customers confidence that their experience will be positive wherever they choose to access information about your business.
4) Increased Productivity Working on an outdated system with unresponsive components is frustrating for any type of user, let alone an individual who has responsibilities outside of his job description (i.e., making sales pitches). Giving users intuitive technology increases productivity because people can complete tasks without being forced to stop and troubleshoot constantly.
Pros of Office 365
Microsoft is adding more and more applications to its new cloud-based system every day. One of their main competitors in cloud services, Google Docs, only allows you to use their apps with your own data stored on Google Drive. Microsoft’s Office 365 includes SkyDrive, which is a service very similar to Dropbox but still retains complete compatibility with all of Microsoft’s software.
Now that nearly every app you will ever need for creating documents and spreadsheets can be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection, there really is no reason why you shouldn’t implement Office 365 into your business or home setup.
Cons of Office 365
As with anything, there are cons of utilizing Office 365. Your biggest concern should be to ensure you can maintain compliance with your organization’s policies for document retention and storage. All documents stored in OneDrive for Business are subject to Microsoft’s service level agreement, which states that files will be maintained for a minimum of 30 days after a user account is closed or terminated, regardless of whether it is paid by subscription or on-premises software.
As such, depending on your organization’s own data retention policies and practices, you may have no choice but to adopt a cloud-first philosophy if moving forward with an enterprise collaboration system.
Does Office 365 meet my needs?
Benefits for your business include more flexibility, seamless integration, and a powerful set of productivity tools. The cloud-based architecture provides advanced security and eDiscovery to meet even your most stringent compliance requirements.
And of course, there are cost savings, as well. Since you only pay for what you use—per user, per month—your fixed costs are eliminated and you pay only for what’s right for your company today and in years to come. So now that we’ve covered the benefits of using Office 365 overall, let’s look at how each service specifically can improve how your business works
Free vs. paid options for Office 365
There are two types of plans to choose from with Microsoft Office 365. One plan is free and includes Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, Lync Online, and an unlimited amount of storage in your OneDrive account. If you want more email addresses or help with anti-spam/anti-malware solutions, you can pay for an extra fee to receive these services through Office 365.
The second plan for Microsoft’s cloud-based software suite is on a monthly or annual basis depending on your company’s needs. There are also some add-ons that come with paid plans like a telephone number (so customers don’t have to go through a separate service such as Skype) and more options for protecting against malware attacks.
Which mobile devices are supported by Office 365?
To work on their PC or Mac, users will need to have Microsoft Office 2010 or later installed. The applications support Windows Vista and Windows 7 as well as Windows 8 and Mac OS X 10.6 or later. They will also work with Apple iPads, iPhones and iPod Touches running iOS 4.2 or later, but they won’t be able to edit documents on these devices in Word and Excel (only read them).
On Android devices that support Chrome apps and smartphones running Android 2.3 or later, users can read documents in Word, Excel and PowerPoint when they’re connected to a Wi-Fi network; editing is not supported for Android devices at this time.
What kind of support is available with Office 365?
Is there 24/7/365 support via phone, email, or chat? Do they also provide service-level agreements with guaranteed uptime and response times? Is it available in multiple languages and are Microsoft experts in my region available to help me if I have problems?
How long does it take for a Microsoft expert to respond when I do need help? Can I talk to them about anything I want: setting up Skype for Business, configuring Exchange Online mailboxes, or deploying SharePoint Online sites with team wikis and blogs (or whatever features you’re using)? This will vary by product so make sure you know what is and isn’t included.