Office 365 advantages include substantial productivity rise and a huge potential of savings in your deployment and maintenance costs. Microsoft Office 365 can give your organization opportunity to deploy same solutions which some of leading companies in the world are using in a short span and at a fraction of cost – irrespective of the number of employees that you have.
Here are some of the key Office 365 benefits for your business.
- Anytime – anywhere access to emails, documents, contacts, and calendars on any device. You can access the services seamlessly from your desktop, notebook, or mobile phone.
- Complete offering of solutions including desktop productivity applications (Office Web Apps), online portals, extranets, external web site, instant messaging, voice and video conferencing, Web conferencing, e-mail, voice mail and unified messaging
- Simple easy to use communication and collaboration with colleagues and partners.
- Integrates seamlessly with Microsoft Office and other Microsoft programs.
- Flexible pricing options that gives you predictability and flexibility for all or part of an organisation. Convert Capex into Opex.
- Business-class service including IT admin phone support, financially-backed 99.9% uptime guarantee geo-redundant data centers, disaster recovery, robust security, privacy controls and standards
- Latest version of software being upgraded at no additional cost
- Single sign on – running in the system tray of each user’s machine, storing their password to avoid constant sign in
In addition to the benefits above there are still more reasons why Office 365 makes sense for business of all sizes.
When choosing a cloud solution security is one of the most important factors to look at. With that in mind Microsoft Office 365 applications are accessed through a secure connection. Back-end systems are also maintained with multiple layers of Anti-Virus/Spam protection for files and emails. Regular monitoring for suspicious activity and security audits are apart of the platform.
Next to security this is another very important factor to be considered. Microsoft Office 365 has a 99.9% up-time guarantee and provides a Service Level Agreement (SLA). Microsoft’ has multiple data centers, located all over the world, hosting redundant network architecture. If there is an outage at one data center another can act as a backup.
Compliance with government and industry regulations is a big deal in today’s business world. Microsoft Office 365 services have been certified as compliant with ISO 27001 standards, completed SAS70 Type I and II audits, and achieved the EU Safe Harbor seal. Microsoft has also added controls for helping customers comply with HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) and FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act).
In today’s economy, many companies can’t upgrade all of their desktop systems to the latest operating system. That’s not necessary to use Office 365. Microsoft Online Services supports not only Windows 7 and Vista (SP2), but also Windows XP SP3. Even XP Home edition or Media Center edition can be used, although it doesn’t support federated identity. Mac users can also access the Office 365 applications, using OS X 10.5 (Leopard) or 10.6 (Snow Leopard).
The online Web portal for administration works with Internet Explorer 7 or later, Mozilla Firefox 3.x, or Apple Safari 3.x. The Outlook Web App can also be accessed with any of those browsers or with Google Chrome 3 and later versions.
Up to date versions
With Office 365, companies and their users get all the features and functionality of the very latest versions of Microsoft’s server products. The services run on Exchange 2010 SP1, SharePoint 2010, and Lync. Client software is Microsoft Lync 2010 for Windows (Communicator for Mac), and the enterprise edition includes the licensing for Office 2013 Professional Plus.
Exchange Online gives you the benefits of Exchange Server 2010 without the cost and overhead of deploying it in-house. User mailboxes up to 25 GB are supported (administrators can reduce the capacity on a per-user basis), and personal archives provide more storage space. Attachments up to 25 MB are allowed. Users can restore deleted items, including items deleted from the Deleted Items folder. Even if an item has been permanently deleted or manually purged, it can be recovered if you enable Single Item Recovery (disabled by default). And if you, as administrator, delete a user, you can request that the mailbox be recovered for 30 days after the deletion.
Users connect to Exchange Online via Outlook 2007 or 2010, with such features as Outlook Anywhere (RPC-over-HTTP) and Cached Exchange Mode. With Outlook 2010, you get all the new Exchange 2010 features, such as conversation view, ignore, MailTips, personal archive, protected voicemail, and voicemail preview.
Users can also connect via Outlook Web App if they don’t have the Outlook client installed, over any of the most popular Web browsers. There is a Light version that supports older and alternative browsers.
Mac users can use Microsoft Entourage 2008 Web Services Edition (free update for those who use Entourage 2008). IMAP and POP access are supported, and Exchange Active Sync for mobile devices (Windows phones, Palm devices, iPhone/iPad, and some Android and Nokia devices) is also supported.
SharePoint Online makes collaboration easy. You get 500 MB of storage per user account with a storage quota of up to 100 GB per site collection. Your company can have up to 1 TB total storage. Your SharePoint sites work with all Microsoft Office 2010 applications, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, Outlook, InfoPath, SharePoint Designer, and SharePoint Workspace. Sites can be accessed via IE 7/8, Firefox 3, or Safari 3.1.2 and through mobile devices including Windows Mobile 6.5.x, Windows Phone 7, Apple iPhone 2.0 and above, and Nokia E and N series.
With Microsoft Office 2010 applications and SharePoint Online, two or more users can edit the same document at the same time. If you don’t have Office installed, you can use Office Web Apps to work with your documents in a Web browser. Also supported is PowerPoint broadcasting, which lets you broadcast your slide shows across the Internet even to people who don’t have PowerPoint. And you can manage documents offline and have everything automatically synchronized back to the server when you reconnect — a big plus for those who worry that cloud computing means being unable to get work done if you don’t have an Internet connection.
Your SharePoint sites are protected against viruses and malware by Forefront Security for SharePoint.
Office Web Apps
Microsoft Office Web Apps is part of Office 365, but it doesn’t take the place of the full-featured Office applications; it supplements them. For sophisticated document creation and manipulation, you need a rich local application. But there are times when you’re away from your Office-equipped computer and need to do a quick edit. That’s where Web Apps come in. No matter where you are or what computer you’re using, you have access to Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote, and you can create or edit content and post it to your SharePoint site or save it in your SkyDrive folder.
You get the same familiar interface you’re used to with traditional Office applications, and documents display the same way they do in the desktop apps. You can even view files on many popular mobile devices, including Windows phones, iPhone, Blackberry, Nokia, and devices with Opera Mobile 8.65 or Openwave 6.2 and later.
Supported file types include both older Office formats (.doc, .xls, .ppt) and the new XML-based formats (.docx, xlsx, pptx). Users can print Word documents and multiple users can edit a document simultaneously.