We look at five benefits of Office 365 for Small Business. Simplicity, Value, Collaboration, Remote working and Reliability. Speak to our team about the benefits of Office 365, the costs and the process of shifting elements of your IT to the Cloud.
1 – Simplicity
It just works. A strong statement for anything IT related. With an Office 365 subscription, you get the full Office 365 office suite (including Word, Outlook, Excel and other applications), access to Exchange Online and Sharepoint. The platform is delivered from within the cloud and features high levels of reliability. Office documents can be saved directly to Sharepoint from within the application, E-mails and Calendars sync, One Drive can safely store and sync your files – and with native 2FA (through Microsoft Authenticator) – you have high levels of security.
Perhaps the most complicated part of Office 365 is moving from your existing supplier or infrastructure. Migrating to Office 365 is something we have done for countless clients; having migrated thousands of mailboxes, documents and files to the cloud. You should speak to your IT Support provider about a shift to Office 365 – or talk to MTG about the benefits, costs and process.
2 – Value
Save money, increase efficiency. Office 365 Business Premium, which includes the full office suite, Exchange Online, One Drive, Sharepoint and many other services such as Yammer and Microsoft Teams costs £9.40 per month, per user. If you already have a copy of Office or wish to use the rich web applications, prices start at £3.80 per month for Office 365 Business Essentials. For that, you get a 50GB mailbox, office licenses for 5 x devices and 1TB of OneDrive storage. These features represent excellent value for the average small business and means it becomes an easy exercise to forecast costs.
3 – Collaboration
Communicate, share and talk more. Office 365 Premium includes access to Sharepoint, Yammer and Microsoft Teams. Sharepoint can serve as a company-wide intranet, team-site and document library for your small business. Users can store their files and company documents in Sharepoint. You can control versions, permissions and access as you would on a server – but you benefit from resilient, access-from-anywhere cloud access. More info here.
Yammer is often described as Facebook for Business – which is not too far from the mark. If you want to improve communication, awareness and interaction within your business, with a tool that people are familiar with, then Yammer is a good option. You can read more about Yammer here.
Microsoft Teams is perhaps the most recent of the Office 365 collaboration tools, mixing elements of Skype, Chat, Yammer, Sharepoint and Office into one place. Teams can serve as the primary tool within your business for collaborating, particularly between Teams and other groups of people. You can read more about Microsoft Teams here.
4 – Remote Working
Work from anywhere. Working practices have changed, and the need to work remotely is vital in today’s economy. Through the use of Sharepoint, Yammer and Teams – that ability to seamlessly work remotely and stay in contact with the business is an integral part of Office 365. All Microsoft applications have both tablet and mobile apps, meaning working on-the-road is no different than working from your traditional desktop. The use of Sharepoint greatly enhances the opening, editing and viewing of Office documents, without the hassle of copying files or using remote access software such as VPN. The use of OneDrive also means your data can be synchronised between devices when you are away from the office.
With remote working, security remains a primary concern, so the use of Microsoft Authenticator for 2FA and similar security policies means you can enforce security rules for accessing business data.
5 – Reliability and Resilience
Excellent reliability. If you do not have an IT Support agreement or perhaps your IT service is not up to scratch, you may be familiar with the frustration and feelings of despair when things go wrong. In our experience managing the IT infrastructure of business; E-mail is the essential tool used by the company (or telephones, depending on the nature of your business). Even though our teams are experienced implementing and managing Microsoft Exchange – the use of a cloud e-mail service such as Office 365 Exchange Online is always our preferred choice, particularly for small business.
Why? It just works. With a 50GB mailbox, you do not need to worry about deleting e-mails, running out of disk space or backups. The cloud-hosted service means you benefit from an enormous investment in infrastructure, resilience, security, redundancy and management from Microsoft. These same levels of reliability extend to Sharepoint, Yammer and other services. As you would expect with any service, there is the occasional blip – but these instances are few and far between.
We would recommend that all small businesses consider the use of Office 365 within their company for the reasons set out above. Not only will Office 365 improve business operations and reduce cost, but it can also change the way you work – for the better. Speak to Manx Technology Group to learn more about Office 365, the benefits, and we can look after your business IT Support (and Office 365) through our managed IT services – also designed for small business.
We also undertake Office 365 Migration services as part of our Managed IT portfolio. This includes migration from hosted Exchange and Exchange 2007/2010/2013 to the Cloud. Sharepoint is also an area in which we specialise, migrating older versions of Sharepoint to Sharepoint online. Contact us for more information.