Office 365 – Why choose Cloud solutions?
Office 365 has become a major success with business looking to reduce capital expenditure and software management costs. Instead of using a traditional “boxed” version of software that has to be installed onto a PC (like Office 2010 and Office 2013), Microsoft Office 365 runs “in the Cloud”.
So why would you choose the Cloud-based Office 365 over the equivalent Office 2013 standalone software?
What are “in the Cloud” solutions?
To understand Cloud-based software, it is sometimes easiest to explain how it differs from traditional software.
The boxed software approach
Office 2013 (or earlier versions) needs to be installed onto a PC or laptop using the discs or download supplied. This means:
- The software can only be used on that PC. Every new PC requires a separate license.
- Depending on the license purchased, you may not be able to “move” the software to another computer.
- Without access to the computer, your staff cannot be as productive.
- You have to pay for the software upfront – multiple times for employees who have a desktop computer and a laptop.
- If you have to upgrade Office 2013 Professional at a later date, you will need to buy a replacement copy of the software.
The Cloud solutions approach
Microsoft Office 365 on the other hand is not just installed directly onto a computer. It is actually also installed “in the Cloud” so that you can access the software from your web browser. Office 365 gives your organisation major benefits over traditional boxed software:
- Software is paid for on a monthly or annual subscription basis, costing less than a standard software license. Prices start from as little as £3.30 per user per month for Microsoft Office 365 Small Business.
- Software is managed and maintained by Microsoft, helping to reduce your own IT management costs.
- Your team can access Office 365 from any device, anywhere in the world, allowing them to be productive any place, any time.
- Software upgrades are included as part of the license fee, so every new function will be available to you at no additional cost.
- You can install the top of the range version of Office Professional Plus on up to 5 devices whether they are MAC or PC.
Microsoft Office 365 comes in three versions – Small Business, Small Business Premium and Midsize Business. As your business grows, you can quickly and easily move between the versions to ensure you still have the tools you need, but without breaking the bank to buy new software.
Cloud solutions – a better way of working
Apart from the cost savings provided by Microsoft Office 365, the potential productivity gains are enormous. By being able to access productivity apps, corporate documents and email using nothing more than a web browser, your business will be able to:
- Support flexible working/home working policies more easily.
- Cope with localised disasters like flooding or snow by allowing staff to work from home.
- Collaborate with colleagues and clients more easily using shared documents and video conferencing tools for enhanced productivity.
- Increase the resilience and security of your network literally overnight