Microsoft Office is the de facto standard when looking at any office productivity software solution. Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Access are used by professionals in every industry. These Microsoft Office programs have been steadily developed and improved for 30+ years. There are two options when purchasing Microsoft Office solutions – subscription-based Office 365 or buy-once app suite.
The various iterations have been reliable for years, but versions become obsolete with the advent of new hardware, OS structures, user application and mobile technology, to name a few factors. The difficulties and costs involved with upgrading and migrating the traditional ‘buy-once app suite’ have proven to be a hassle and have left users and businesses stuck with outmoded functionality. The good news: Microsoft Office has now moved to a cloud based solution, Office 365, which eases the ability to stay on top of updates and minimize costs while maintaining user efficiency and homogeneous workflows. The benefits of Office 365 include security, collaboration, individualization, and always having the latest, most up to date programs.
- Security – Office 365 offers several security benefits that allow users to create and share documents without the concern for unsecure network shares or email attachments. Office 365 administrators have the ability to use active directory to authenticate users while providing on demand access to their documents. OneDrive and SharePoint, both Microsoft products, allow users to securely synchronize and share files using user and group permissions within your organization and to share documents with external users on a per-document basis with nuances such as read only or editing permissions. No longer do you have to email, ftp, or otherwise share documents while being concerned about unwanted modifications or copying.
- Collaboration – Office 365, along with OneDrive and SharePoint, allow users to collaborate on documents in real time. This functionality provides sales teams, for example, the ability to update a PowerPoint presentation seamlessly with better communication than traditional methods. Word documents and Excel spreadsheets can be shared in the same fashion. Users no longer have to filter between multiple iterations of a document to establish a finalized copy. Additionally, edited documents can be configured with approvers, such as a manager, to finalize the finished product.
- Individualization – Another benefit of Office 365 is the ability to use the programs on various devices at any time. The license or seat your users have can be tied to their email addresses and accounts. They can download and install Office 365 on up to five devices and sign in to activate at any time. This allows for increased freedom and flexibility in working hours, office space, hardware costs, and oversight for administrators. Users with this power can adapt their workflows with their work habits and location.
- Updates – Office 365, because of its cloud based technology, gives users the latest updates with minimal interference. Microsoft will release updates on a regular basis for all of their products, including Office 365. These updates are installed automatically, but allow for administrators to apply policies that can direct individual updates depending on business preference or security concerns. This functionality is important to make sure users have the latest and greatest software technology so they can work in ever changing environments, specifically with mobile devices or alternate hardware and operating systems. Updates, although not always needed, will provide an end user with the ability to open the newest document types, secure their documents with the most recent standards, and establish standards for their businesses that are on the cutting edge of cloud based solutions.
Office 365 is a premier solution for any office productivity software suite. The benefits described above are only the tip of the iceberg. Licensing is made easier by using an online administration site and costs are minimal compared to upgrading on an individual, as needed/wanted basis per the traditional Office solution. Sharing and collaboration are featured with higher security and ease of access for all your documents. Using the cloud, users can use multiple devices in multiple locations without the hassle of using VPNs or IT support while ensuring up to date security measures. Overall, Office 365 provides large or small businesses with a low cost, low maintenance, and user friendly solution for all of the documents that have become standard for all professional users and businesses.
ConnectWise IT can help you migrate your productivity applications to the cloud with both annual and monthly options. Contact us for more information!