How much are you spending on Microsoft Office software licensing, upgrades, support, and email hosting? In the past, businesses purchased individual Office licenses for each computer, which was installed once and then that version was used for years until the computer was replaced. Over time, this practice led to employees using different versions of Word, Excel, email, and more, creating compatibility issues with shared documents and maintenance nightmares for IT staff. In addition, the management and reporting of licensing becomes challenging when Microsoft requests a license review (which is happening more and more).
In addition to the challenges of updating Office software, some businesses used disparate email services to manage custom domain names (i.e., email@example.com) or depended on generic Gmail, Yahoo, or ISP provider email addresses that lacked professionalism.
Cloud-Based Office 365
Office 365 is a cloud-based subscription model that always provides the latest desktop versions of Microsoft Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, file sharing, and much more. Let’s look at what’s included in the most common Office 365 plans:
|Office 365 Tool||What Does It Do?|
|Outlook||Professional email client. Office 365 hosted email services allow for custom domains. A 50 GB email inbox is included.|
|Microsoft Word||Create documents online and offline, co-author and collaborate on documents with other employees.|
|Microsoft Excel||Powerful spreadsheet software with built-in data analysis capabilities that exceed Google Sheets|
|PowerPoint||Create slide decks for sales pitches, internal and external training, and more.|
|OneDrive||Securely share files with 1 TB of online storage.|
|Microsoft Teams||Online meetings and video calls for up to 250 people, share files, and schedule daily tasks for your team|
|Outlook Customer Manager||Lightweight customer relationship management (CRM) software|
|Security||Reduce spam and malware threats|
|MileIQ||Real-time, accurate mileage tracking and reporting in the palm of your hand with MileIQ|
Standardizing on the latest version reduces the costs associated with patching, upgrading, and maintaining your software licenses. It also eliminates compatibility issues when your employees share and collaborate on documents.
Does Office 365 Work Offline?
We recommend customers use a version of Office 365 installed on the desktop similar to previous non-Cloud versions. The software is installed on your computer and managed via O365. This provides the benefits of cloud-based software management and collaboration, but permits offline use with a fully-installed desktop version of the Office tools so that your employees can continue working even when the internet is down. Each Office license allows the application to be installed on up to 5 PCs or Macs or Mobile devices that belong to that user.
What else is available through Office 365?
Microsoft delivers many products through Office 365 and the details are beyond the scope of what you probably want to read in our newsletter! But, there are some key products we’ve been keeping our eye on and recommending to our customers. Here are a couple:
|Office 365 Tool||What Does It Do?|
|Cloud App Security||
A highly sophisticated security tool that provides Information Protection, Threat Protection, Discovery and Compliance Assessment. MIcrosoft says “… gain visibility into all your cloud apps and services leveraging sophisticated analytics to identify and combat cyberthreats. Control how your data is consumed, no matter where it lives.
We are using Cloud App Security today to protect and alert us of attempts to compromise / hack business critical email accounts.
Microsoft Cloud App Security protects not only Office 365 but many third party applications such as Salesforce, G-Suite, Tableau, AWS, Dropbox Slack and more.
|Microsoft 365 Business||
In addition to everything included in Office 365 Business Premium, Microsoft 365 Business adds on:
Check out this Microsoft video to learn more about Microsoft 365 Business
The arielMIS Advantage
Migrating to new software and hosting service can be intimidating when you’ve invested years into your current email services and domain name. We’ve done many Office 365 migrations for businesses like yours, including complex email migrations. We help small businesses and nonprofits choose the right Office 365 license bundle for their unique needs and budgets, plan and complete the migration, and then support the service. When you need it, arielMIS provides additional email encryption services, network security, and employee training to help secure your business against email phishing, cyber attacks, and ransomware.
Rest easy with arielMIS monitoring and maintaining your Office 365. Learn more about our Office 365 services.
arielMIS is a Managed Service Provider (MSP) providing businessCARE™ IT services designed to keep you and your employees productive and safe. Contact Us if you're interested in learning more about our services.