Almost every business user out there knows what Microsoft Office is. Excel and Word are two of the most well-known software applications ever. In the past the only way anyone could use Excel or Word was to purchase it from a store or a reseller. You then “owned” a copy of the application forever. Whatever version you purchased was the version you owned. Every few years, Microsoft would release a new version of Office. If you wanted any of the features in the new version, you had to buy that version. This model is nothing new to anyone that has had even the smallest of dealings with computers. While still available, this model is now obsolete. A few years ago, Microsoft introduced a new way of getting your Office applications plus many amazing features. In this series, we are going to discuss how Office 365 allows your organization to collaborate and get back to business. The first part of this series is a brief overview of Office 365.

Office 365 is the branding of multiple applications and services that are now available on a monthly subscription basis. By paying Microsoft or a reseller a monthly fee, you have access to up-to-date applications and services that are maintained by Microsoft. Gone are the days of spending thousands and thousands of dollars to upgrade to the latest version of Microsoft Office. With Office 365, you can pay a monthly fee and gain access to a multitude of amazing features and applications. What was formerly a capital expense is now a monthly expense.

Here is a small sampling of what you can get with Office 365:

  • Microsoft Word, Excel, Access, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote and Publisher.
  • The ability to install these applications on a per user basis on 5 PCs, 5 tablets and 5 phones.
  • Exchange Online – No longer does your IT staff have to maintain costly Exchange email servers.
  • Skype for Business – Instant Message your co-workers or colleagues. Setup online meetings.
  • Microsoft Teams – Collaborate in a chat type workspace. Share documents, pictures, etc.
  • OneDrive for Business – Each user can get 1 TB of data storage.
  • Yammer – Connect employees inside your organization. Connect people outside of your organization with the people in it.
  • Online Office Applications – Access Word, OneNote, PowerPoint and Excel inside your browser.
  • Planner – Create plans, organize an assign tasks, share files, chat, collaborate.
  • Sway – Create engaging web based reports, newsletters, etc.
  • SharePoint – All the power of SharePoint. None of the headache of maintaining it.
  • Yammer – Collaborate with teams and people to get things done faster.

All of these features are backed by a 99.9% uptime guarantee. Your data is secure, Microsoft regularly publishes the findings of the SOC type 2 report, something very few other organizations make publicly available. Also, since this is based in the cloud, you get the most recent version of everything. No longer must you buy, use, replace servers, upgrade, repeat. Finally, all of this can integrate with your on premise Active Directory, meaning your users don’t have to know multiple passwords to multiple services.

The focus of this series will be on the collaboration features of Office 365. If you would like to know more about any of these features, or any of the other features of Office 365 then please shoot us an email or give us a call. We’ll be happy to have any one of our experts go over what Microsoft offers with Office 365.