Office 365 is a group of subscription plans used by Microsoft that includes access to Office applications such as Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Outlook and more. It also provides other productivity services and software that can be enabled via the Internet (Cloud services). These include services and software such as Lync web Conferencing, Exchange Online hosted email services and additional online storage with OneDrive.
Many Office 365 plans also include the desktop version of the latest Office applications, which users can install across multiple devices. The Office 365 plans that are online-only are a great choice for certain business needs, and compatible with desktop versions of the latest version of Office. All Office 365 plans are paid for on a subscription basis – monthly or annually.
PROS & CONS
As with any decision in life, there are generally pros and cons; and moving over to the Microsoft Office 365 Cloud is no exception. Depending on who you are talking to, the Cloud is either the greatest thing since the invention of the wheel or a devilish ploy by big companies to wrestle away the control of your data. The truth is, many people find that the benefits of the Cloud greatly outweigh the disadvantages. Some of the benefits of moving to the Microsoft Cloud include the following:
- Outsourcing the hassle of installing, managing, patching, and upgrading extremely complex software systems.
- Having predictable and known costs associated with adoption.
- Keeping the lights blinking green and the software up-to-date and secure will fall on Microsoft which is backed by a service guarantee.
- Reducing cost in not only immediate monetary value but also in efficiency and resource reallocation benefits.
- Backing up and securing your data.
- To use the software over the Internet – simply sign up and you’re ready to go. Without the Cloud, a SharePoint deployment could take months.
- When you sign up for enterprise licensing of Office 365, you also gain licensing rights to on-premise deployments. This capability makes it possible to store extremely sensitive data or user portals on-site.
- Microsoft lets you mix and match your portals between on-site and on your SharePoint Cloud in a way that’s suited to your comfort level.
Some of the cons that come along with adopting a Cloud Solution can include:
- Relying on network and bandwidth. If your Internet provider goes down, then you don’t have any access to your enterprise software and data. Microsoft does not control how you access the Internet and therefore, cannot account for any failures.
- Having data controlled by someone other than your employees. Your data is hosted in Microsoft’s data centre. This can be both beneficial and detrimental. If you feel uncomfortable with your data out there somewhere, then it’s best to either do more research about the Microsoft data centres or to keep your data and applications in your own controlled data centre.
Contact us for more information to determine whether the Microsoft Suite could be beneficial to you and your business.