Everyone is moving everything to the cloud. Ok, maybe that is a bit of an overstatement, but businesses are continuing to look at transforming both their business processes and their technology stack by finding the right place for the right application. One such transformation that has been occurring in offices across the world is the online productivity suite. Since 2011, Microsoft has grown its version of this, called Office 365, from just another web-based tool that is only usable in specialized instances, to a dominant tool in this category today. Developments in how Office 365 integrates into several cloud-based services, have opened it up to new uses in businesses when it comes to productivity and collaboration.
However, there is still hesitation by some businesses to jump ship to the next generation of Microsoft Office. We wanted to help ease people’s minds and share the seven incredible benefits businesses can get by moving to Office 365.
- Reduce/eliminate aging infrastructure – Probably the most significant benefit of migrating to Office 365 has to do with saving money. Everyone knows that as infrastructure ages, costs to support/maintain it skyrocket. Adding new features and functionality like video conferencing are sometimes not even possible if the environment is too old. With the help of a skilled service provider, a complete overhaul can usually be avoided and in many cases, existing infrastructure can either be optimized or eliminated. How does saving tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars while adding modern features and functions to your productivity suite sound? Pretty, pretty good (Larry David voice)!
- Integrate with existing tools – For businesses that have been Microsoft shops for decades and have grown to love the enhancements added to Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook (email) and Publisher, the experience is seamless. For those that use either offline or online sources for accounting, HR or customer service, it is likely that Office 365 will accompany these systems to provide a more robust toolset to operate the business. It's always nice when a relatively small change can dramatically increase the productivity of your business. #easybutton
- Work from the moon – Yeah, I know commercial space flight is still a few years away. But I’m confident that once it is possible, some ISP will put Wifi on the surface of the moon and when they do, you will be able to collaborate with colleagues via email, instant message, teams, etc. Thanks to Office 365’s ability to run from just about anything (PC’s, tablets, phones) this will all be possible without lifting a finger. I can see it now; flexible remote work schedules will take on a whole new meaning.
- Scalability WITHOUT the upfront cost – most people know that anytime companies want to implement a new piece of technology, there are frequently large upfront capital purchases to acquire the systems and space to run them. Not with Office 365, though! Companies truly grow with the toolset and pay for what they need as they need it. This is a common trend that software companies are moving towards. Rather than paying to own a version of the software and paying for each upgrade, it is now possible to “lease it” and always have the latest version. Gone are the days of executives running off the top tools while the rest of the organization is sending interoffice memos on note pads…. Unless you like that sort of simplicity.
- Security and control – no compromise – Yes, it is possible to use an online productivity suite and still have equal to or better security controls in place than with the on-prem/offline solution. Office 365 provides that same protection for documents, networks and emails used by some of the largest enterprises in the world. Right out of the box, built-in functionality is available to control file-level security on a granular level and set permissions by the employee, group or role in the organization. If a mobile device that has Office 365 installed gets compromised, companies can remotely wipe it, so the data doesn’t fall into the wrong hands.
- Best-in-class availability and data redundancy – This one is pretty important. Access what you need, when you need it and avoid delays caused by server outages, slow networks or even larger disasters (fire, power outage, weather). The indirect effect is that catastrophic data loss is significantly reduced and systems are online and redundant. While backups of online data are still recommended as an absolute precaution, the core environment stability is the first line of defense in preventing $$ lost from downtime.
- Maintenance-free operation – Microsoft guarantees 99.9% uptime and 24x7 online and phone support to all users. Also included in this guarantee is the maintenance of all Office 365 services. Therefore, businesses get this great toolset, without the need to have their IT staff keep it up to date. Can you say “more cost savings”?
With Office 365, you get a comprehensive collaboration and communication tool that enables the business to do amazing work, from anywhere at any time without disruption. Empower your employees and your organization to be in the best position to improve business performance and outcomes across the board.