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Microsoft’s Office 365 continues to gain traction as the leading business cloud service. It’s for good reason – and not just for the big business end of town. If you are a SME looking to upgrade from an on-premise environment or a start-up considering your technology options, it’s worth your while to take a serious look at Office 365. As a collaborative tool, it is both powerful and easy to use
Office is no longer just about Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook – although it is worth noting that the Business Premium subscription now comes with a 50GB mailbox that you can access via Outlook or via web access.
In our opinion, the biggest benefits for small business come from the features that enable you to collaborate better and work smarter. Here, we summarise some of the most compelling reasons every business owner should consider Office 365.
If you’re not already using SharePoint, Office 365 gives you plenty of reasons to look at this ever-improving tool and the many benefits of what is essentially a secure and agile file server in the cloud. These are the highlights:
Document version control – a great feature that previously came at a big cost.
Transition old files into SharePoint – this is something IT Smart Solutions can assist you with and can be done in the background of your Microsoft integration.
Syncing that really works – no more messing around with poor syncing, Microsoft has addressed the issues and now offers a much-improved user experience.
Outstanding mobility – your team can easily access files from home or from the office, no need to dial into VPNs, and no need for a separate server.
Premium security – this is a key issue for all businesses as outlined in our recent article about ransomware viruses. Using Office 365 is more secure than your own smaller server which anyone who breaks in can easily walk away with. This server is in the cloud and resides in a secure data centre. It also allows for two-factor authentication in its programs so security increases.
With Office365, Skype for Business gets more useful, more user friendly and offers you a greater range of options.
Skype for Business conference calls – previously you would have needed conferencing equipment with additional licensing. You can now do a Skype conference meeting with up to 250 people. They can join by Skype and by phone (with E5 licencing) easily and seamlessly.
Flexible and scalable – hook it up to your boardroom and television for a face to face conference. Use it for meetings, to demonstrate a product or for training – the options are endless.
Record sessions – a simple concept but how incredibly useful it is to be able to record a training session or discussion for future reference.
The primary purpose of OneNote is to improve communication, collaboration and efficiency and Office 365 ramps up capability in all of these areas.
Sync notes between devices – from computer to tablet to smart phone, notes are ready to access and you can create server based individual notes, as well as company shared notes.
Powerful search function – Office365 makes looking for all files and documents, through all programs, much easier. OneNote in particular has a great search function and makes finding notes easy and fast.
These tips give you some idea about how beneficial Office 365 can be for your business – and it’s only a highlights list. There is a lot more you can do. If you’re looking for new solutions as your business grows, or you’re just getting started and want to set up the best possible system from the word go, Office 365 has a lot to offer.
If this all sounds great but you’re still not 100% sure where to start, take our Small Business Modern Workplace Assessment. You’ll find out what gaps you need to fill, so you can see how Office 365 would benefit you.