Microsoft's cloud application and email solution has been around for some time now but many are unaware of the substantial benefits which it can have on your business. Office 365 is a power house for end users which allows all teams to collaborate effectively and perform admin tasks with an easy to use approach.
The first noticeable impact is the cost to your business, starting from under £4.00 per license per month at the time of writing, Office 365 can significantly reduce your business expenses. At £4.00 per month (£48.00 per year), you are gaining access to the Microsoft Office suite, Sharepoint, Outlook, Exchange online and Teams which is excellent value for money. If you were to install Exchange, Sharepoint and the Microsoft Office Suite on your on-site servers and PC's, this would cost you in excess of £10,000 for the first year alone when you consider the cost of the hardware and software licensing.
Not only can Office 365 reduce your business expenses but it can also allow your teams to collaborate more efficiently and effectively through the use of Teams, Sharepoint and Outlook/Exchange online. A combination of these applications allows users to create documents, share documents and even present documents at the click of a button. Ever wanted the option to edit the document at the same time as your colleague while on a crucial phonecall? Well with Sharepoint that is exactly what you are able to do!
Sharepoint online allows you to store documents online, share live documents to selected people, create a news channel for specific teams and much more. These features mean that emailing documents back and forth is now a thing of the past and employee efficiency can be at it's peak. While file shares can offer similar functionality, they take up on-site storage, rely on server uptime and can easily become corrupt. Not only are file shares less cost-effective, they also don't allow for multiple users to access and edit a document live which can be an annoyance. Documents within Sharepoint are also controlled by the owner of the document which means the access permissions for any document is in the owners hands, very much unlike those pre-historic file shares whereby you had to contact IT to amend your permissions!
Microsoft Teams can not only eleviate the need for internal DDI's but also eleviate the need for external webinar software such as Zoom or Cisco's WebEx solution. With Microsoft Teams, you can screenshare, video chat, voice chat and share a Powerpoint presentation all in one place, this can be with external or internal contacts. The live call functionalities are just the beginning as with the direct messaging, channel configurations and team configurations, departmental and direct conversations can be managed with ease. This allows for ease of communication between staff without having to check your emails every few minutes and Teams is a much more inviting environment to collaborate with your team on.
While on-site Exchange and Exchange online are effectively the same for an end user, the maintenance and configuration costs are much lower for the business. This not only means less configuration time but also less downtime and less time spent speaking with your IT provider on what you need to keep your eye on. On-site solutions can be expensive to license, configure and maintain due to the complexity of having a redundant solution which can be accessed from anywhere but with Office 365, you get these features by default. This allows your business to focus on what is important and eleviates the need to even think about your email solution as it will just work.
Why aren't you already using Office 365? With the value for money being offered to you and the excellent benefits for your business there really is no reason big enough to say no! If you are concerned about migrating existing data to the cloud, you can hire an IT consultant to carry out the one time task for you and it will be like nothing ever happened, apart from the fact that you now have a tonne of additional benefits.