There’s been a lot of talk these days about Office 365 and the many benefits it provides for small and medium-sized businesses. After all, the company's famous Office Suite has been around since 1988 and its applications - Word, Excel and PowerPoint, set the industry standards for word processing, spreadsheet utilization, and presentation software.
We've all grown up using these programs and love the familiarity they bring. Well, the good news is, Office 365 offers these same well-loved programs (plus some new ones), only there is a new version that’s available online in the cloud.
Although most have heard about Office 365, some may not know too much about it, so let’s dig in.
Here are 5 reasons why Office 365 could benefit your small or medium sized business.
1. Champion of Collaboration and Accessibility
At the heart of Office 365 is collaboration. Microsoft knows the importance of constant communication in today’s business world. The tech giant also knows that people are glued to their smartphones and laptops, working from all corners of the world. No longer are employees tied to one physical office or location. That’s why they built a product to simplify the exchange of information no matter where your employees are located.
With all Office 365 products, employees can work simultaneously in the same documents, all in real time. Plus you can work across multiple devices without having to download anything since all the services are accessible online. All your employees need is a device, an internet connection, and they are off to the races.
2. Enterprise-level cloud security
Now more than ever businesses need to make sure they do everything possible to protect their important data. If the most recent Wanna Cry ransomware attack taught us anything, it’s that security breaches can happen to any company, big or small. Microsoft has made a point of emphasizing Office 365’s built-in security features to combat security threats. We can assure you that Office 365 uses multiple security layers and provides 24/7 proactive monitoring to keep your sensitive data safe and secure. Updates and upgrades are constantly being rolled out to introduce bug fixes and address the latest security concerns. It’s safe to say that downtime will be kept at as close to zero as technologically possible, allowing no impact on your business or service delivery.
3. Cost savings and Scalability
This is perhaps the most evident benefit of Office 365 and a deciding factor for most business owners. While the latest software can help you improve productivity, it can also be quite expensive to purchase, upgrade, and scale. With Office 365, you’ll benefit from constant updates that are rolled out automatically as part of your subscription. This means your employees will always have access to the newest versions of the apps they need.
Pricing is also a flat monthly fee per user so you can easily scale your subscriptions up or down, depending on your business needs. And, since Office 365 uses cloud-based technologies, you don’t have to make any large upfront investments.
4. Exchange Online
Microsoft Exchange is another program that surely should not be overlooked. Microsoft exchange is a well-known enterprise class email service that is integrated into Office 365 on most plans so small businesses can avoid the costs of having to purchase and maintain an exchange server in-house. You’ll also enjoy access to calendars, contacts and support for any endpoint device. Plus you can even share your calendars and contacts with trusted members of your organization - making scheduling meetings and email communications a breeze.
One of the most forgotten about features in Office 365 is OneDrive, a cloud hosting service with 1TB of storage space where you can easily backup and share files. OneDrive also enhances collaboration - all changes made to work are synchronized and saved automatically in the cloud so your team will always have the latest, most up-to-date version of the document. And, as we talked about early, as long permission is granted, they can access the files from anywhere - at the office or on their smartphone or tablet. It's a great solution for a distributed office team that is on the go around the clock.
The Bottom Line
365 is a popular tool for good reason. It’s now becoming the norm among small and medium sized businesses because there are so many clear benefits to adopting it. The collaboration alone is reason enough to incorporate this tool into your business. Factor in its ability to scale as you grow without requiring an extensive learning curve and you have a productivity tool that surpasses any other on the market. What’s more is it’s secure and ultra affordable. Contact us if you’d like more information or to discuss whether Office 365 is right for your business.