Microsoft’s all-in-one productivity package has been a staple in many a company office since way back in the 1990’s and although alternatives and competing packages are available, no single other vendor has come close to replacing Microsoft Office. Why? What exactly are the benefits of Office 365 for business? Continue reading to learn more.
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What are the Real World Benefits of Office 365 for Business?
Considering that the initial release of the Office family was on the 19th of November 1990, making Microsoft’s productivity package 31 years old, familiarity is probably the first thing that comes to mind. Although MS Office (later Office 365 and now Microsoft 365*) has changed significantly over those three decades, one would be hard pressed to find anyone who has ever used a personal computer but who had no contact with one version of Office or another. Because of its ease of use, basic use of Office 365 requires little to no training and anyone who can use a computer, will likely be able to complete at least basic productivity tasks. A forgiving initial learning curve is certainly one of the key benefits of Office 365 for business. That said, it is not the only one.
Further benefits of Office 365 for business:
- Access to files anywhere an internet connection is available – long gone are the days of having to carry your files on removable storage media like diskettes, CDs or USB drives. Because modern versions of Office store files in the cloud, they can be easily accessed wherever an internet connection is available. You don’t even need to download and install the software, just login to your Office account through a supported web browser and work remotely, collaborate with external partners or present to clients, never again having to worry about remembering to bring your files with you.
- Secure, scalable cloud storage – between being stored in Microsoft’s secure, managed data centres equipped with threat detection and malware protection measures as well as being protected by security options like two factor authentication, cloud-stored Office 365 files are not only mobile and portable, but also safe.
- Streamlined communication – because all of Office 365 products are developed and maintained by the same vendor, they talk to each other exceptionally well and in a streamlined fashion, making it easier to collaborate on files, track progress and changes, establish paper trails and manage the quality of work across your teams.
- Ongoing business continuity – one additional benefit to cloud storage is that you no longer need to worry about maintaining a stable and secure information technology infrastructure at your physical location. Best yet, since your key data is stored offsite, backed up onto the Microsoft cloud servers, it is also easily recoverable in the face of a disaster. Flood, fire, or other similar events cannot destroy your data if it is kept offsite, improving the overall resilience of your business.
- Central collaboration – Office 365 really is built for sharing and collaboration which is especially important now, with the rise of working from home arrangements. With Office 365, sharing calendars, mailboxes, files and simultaneously working on documents while communicating in real time is easy.
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Packaging Options – The Benefits of Office 365 Business Premium & the Benefits of Office 365 Enterprise
Which plan you choose, is likely to depend on the size of your organisation or exactly what tools you need in your business.
Benefits of Office 365 Business Premium
Office 365 Business Premium is a step up from the general business option and by comparison with the Business plan, Business Premium would include these additional (to all the lower level inclusions) tools:
- Skype for Business
- Exchange Server
- Skype for Business Server
- A public website
- File storage and sharing
- Active Directory Integration
- Site mailboxes
- 50GB of e-mail storage per user
- And a custom domain
Benefits of Office 365 Enterprise
There are in fact three tiers of enterprise grade plans, these are Enterprise E3, Enterprise E4 and Enterprise E5.
Compared with Business Premium, Enterprise E3 would include all of the packages available in Business Premium and:
- Yammer Enterprise
- Advanced e-mail
- 100GB of e-mail storage per-user
- eDiscovery Center
- Self-Service-Business Intelligence
- And Voicemail
From level E3 up, the key difference in plans is the amount of cloud storage available for files and e-mails.
*Note: Although still often called Office 365, Microsoft’s productivity suite has recently undergone a name change and is now known as Microsoft 365 – plan names, inclusions and pricing may or may not change at Microsoft’s discretion from this point.
There are then clear reasons as to why Office 365 (or Microsoft 365 as it is known now) has remained the most prolific personal computer productivity suite for over three decades, and that’s in spite of free open source alternatives and competing solutions from other technology giants such as Google.