I’m sure by now you have a heard a TON of cool stuff about Office 365.  It’s new, it’s packed full of nifty collaboration features, you can access is from any device, anywhere AND no large upfront cost. What’s not to love?

Truth is, Office 365 – awesome as it is – is not for everyone. When looking at the newest, latest, and greatest tools, we always start with the same two questions.

“What problem are we trying to fix, and does this solve that problem?”

Office 365 is great for individuals and companies that:

  1. Use the Office Suite (That’s outlook, word, excel, and powerpoint) on multiple devices, from multiple locations.
  2. Frequently work with team members to edit documents and often wonder if they are working on the most current version.
  3. Want to automatically update to the latest and greatest software as soon as it is available.

Office 365 may not be for you if you:

  1. Primarily use the Office Suite on a single device.
  2. You only occasionally use Microsoft Office to create or edit simple documents.
  3. You pay for essential third party software to work alongside the Office Suite. (There may be a lag between when Microsoft rolls out an update, and your application catches up.)
  4. Share a single computer with multiple staff members. (Office 365 requires that each user have their own unique login.)
  5. You don’t have need for the more complex document features available in newer versions of Office.

So if not Office 365… then what?

The good news is you have A LOT of options. The bad news is… you have A LOT of options! But more good news: we always look out for what’s best for you.

Ask yourself: What do you need from Office to do your job better? Anything? If not, let’s KISS. Keep It Simple, Stupid. You can just keep using your current version of Office.

You can do a hybrid solution.

If you have staff members that you expect to work from home and on the road – sign them up with Office 365.  They can download the software on up to 5 devices, and it will make their job a ton easier, especially when it comes to collaborating with other team members on reports and important company documents. If the person leaves the company – we can simply disable their account and they no longer have access to your company in the cloud.

For your office staff members that share a computer, purchase and install the newest desktop Office Suite. At about $230 a license, it is good for all users on 1 PC, and can be transferred to a new computer when you upgrade.  By purchasing the newest available version, you ensure to get the most out of your money, as it will be relevant for several years. If you only use 1 application in the Office Suite – let’s say Outlook – you can purchase this separately for about $80.

If you have many desktops and many staff members, but most of them only read or make simple changes to documents, you can install Apache Open Office or the Google Docs App for Chrome – completely free! If they end up needing more features, you can always purchase a license or key for them down the road.

Just take the Plunge.

Office 365 is awesome. It’s intuitive, convenient, always up to date. No more emailing the same document back and forth between different devices.  Save important company files in SharePoint so all (or select) team members have access to the most current version. Make an attractive presentation in a snap with Sway. Multiple team members can make changes to the same document at the same time, making collaboration between team members from multiple offices a breeze. Save money (and time, and thus more money) on transportation costs by using Lync, instant messaging and video conferencing service that also allows for the fluid sharing of document during meetings.

Still not sold?

Here are some of the main concerns we have heard from our clients:

Is it secure?

Microsoft has top of the line cybersecurity systems and staff in place – certainly far better than most of us can afford. BUT they are Microsoft and every other hacker in the world is trying to break through. Although your systems might not be as comprehensive, the best hackers are going after the biggest businesses – not your small office. So is it possible Microsoft could be hacked? Absolutely. The reassuring thing is: it will probably be by MicrosoftREAD: Microsoft continuously attempts to hack Office 365 to make it safer for commercial use.

Is it Affordable?

Consider this: Office 365 is quickly becoming one of the most profitable products in Microsoft history, and it’s not because it saves you money! Essentially, you are renting software.  After three years of paying for software: you own nothing.

BUT

If it fills a need, think of it this way: You are actually renting cloud storage, and you get to use the Office software for free as long as you are a cloud customer.

Is it Compliant?

Yes! Office 365 has been independently verified as compliant with ISO 27001, EU model clauses, HIPAA BAA, and FISMA. In addition, they are continuously tracking standards and regulations and building in solutions into their services.

 

Have more questions, or want to get more information on the right solution for your business? Contact us!