When it comes to cloud based productivity services, as far as we’re concerned, Office 365 is the best.

Office 365 comes with a variety of services for your business, covering email, documents, calendar and file-sharing. Each employee subscribed also receives access to the latest versions of Microsoft’s popular Office software; that’s Word, Powerpoint, Excel etc. We have found that a lot of businesses opt for Google’s services, however Office 365 offers a much simpler and integrated service that we just haven’t found with Google. There are lots of easy to use features that make things so much simpler for businesses. Here are some of our favourite things about Office 365…

Productivity

All of the Office 365 productivity tools can be accessed on the go and by multiple people, meaning that personnel can collaborate on documents and files from separate locations and in real time. With the Essentials package, you are able to access the full Office suite in your browser, however if your employees are subscribed to the premium package, the suite can be downloaded to PCs and tablets. No individual licences are required and you’ll have access to the latest versions without having to upgrade your package.

Uptime

When you are relying on certain software for your business, the availability and lack of downtime is essential. Microsoft offer a guarantee that their Office 365 service will be available at least 99% of the time, providing service credit if they fail to meet that promise. Downtime on work essentials such as email aren’t often considered by businesses when they are choosing a provider, but the recent Gmail and Google Drive outages go to show that they do occur. Microsoft’s guarantee and past record with Office 365 uptime should also put your mind at ease if you are hesitant to migrate from Microsoft Exchange.

Collaboration

Team Sites allows multiple people to work on a single document, or share folders with each other. A log of who has contributed to the document, and the exact time can be viewed and can be shared with people outside of your organisation. If you only want certain members of staff to view and work on documents, you can change permissions too. All team members are kept in sync and the latest file versions are available to those with permissions.

Connectivity

Office 365 aims to integrate and synchronise all of your communications and productivity tools and contains a few different tools for connecting your employees with each other and people outside of your business. Skype is included in the package as well as a 50GB email Outlook mailbox per user. There is an online conferencing tool and even a professional social network called Yammer. Just how useful the latter is remains to be seen, but Microsoft have tried to cover as many bases as possible, and synchronise them all to simplify the user experience.

Scalable

When businesses grow past a certain size, work processes and business products which were effective at a certain point sometimes become unworkable. Office 365 is scalable in terms of business size and aims for reliability, privacy, security and ease of use. The price point provides serious value for money too. First of all, it negates the need for an in-house server. Everything is hosted by Microsoft, with the guarantee that you will be able to access the services and files you need to whenever you want, securely and privately.

The various packages and their costs are listed on the Office 365 website. If you would like more information about Office 365 or need specific advice, we can help you set your strategy, or manage a one off project. Just get in touch!

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