If your office operates like most others across a wide variety of industries, you likely rely on Microsoft’s ubiquitous Office suite of products—including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook email, and others—to accomplish much of your daily work. And you have probably developed something of a love-hate relationship with most of these “necessary evil” programs.
Over the years, these applications have evolved to vastly improve functionality and make collaboration and remote work much easier for users. Unfortunately, it’s not always easy for businesses to keep up with the latest software versions. Staying up to date is an expensive logistical headache, especially for smaller companies with a mishmash of computers of various ages and capabilities.
Microsoft has been paying attention to your pain points, and they seek to solve them with a new “software as a service” (SaaS) generation of Office—Office 365 for business.
This subscription-based solution provides the same suite of Office products you’re used to, plus all the necessary updates as you go, for one yearly fee. You may have already tried out the home version of Office 365 and discovered the undeniable convenience. You’ll get additional security, reliability, and many other benefits by adopting Office 365 for your business, too.
These are the five biggest reasons you’ll want to work with your trusted IT managed services provider (MSP) to upgrade from your current installed versions of Office applications to the cloud-hosted Office 365 now.
Office 365 is Simple to Implement
Because Office 365 does not require a traditional Microsoft Exchange Server to get started, setup is uncomplicated and takes mere minutes to get up and running for most small business users. The solution harnesses the power of cloud computing to achieve this impressive feat.
There are several plans to choose from, and some do offer access to hosted Exchange, SharePoint, and other vital services that your business may need to function most effectively. Trying to determine the package that will be best for your operations, however, can be complicated—this is why connecting with an MSP partner to guide you in decision-making is smart.
How does Office 365 work?
Like many other SaaS applications, Office 365 takes advantage of ever-expanding virtual storage space in the cloud and lightning fast, modern internet speeds to provide remotely hosted versions of server platforms and Office applications. Computing power and speed have now improved to the point that installing programs on individual workstations is no longer the most efficient or cost-effective thing to do. Through cloud computing, you can have access to the specific Office programs you need, any time, anywhere.
Office 365 is Offers Flexible Pricing
As we mentioned, Office 365 for your business provides different plan levels—all priced per user—so you can purchase just the resources you need without paying for functionality that your team won’t use. Right now, there are 3 different main Office 365 plans for small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) with various numbers of employees and configurations. These are:
If you’re part of a large corporation that needs enterprise-level tools for collaboration, compliance, analytics, and more, there are several solutions for these organizations, too.
What does Office 365 include?
Refer to our Office 365 comparison chart to see what products and services are bundled with each plan level. As an SMB, it is likely that you’ll want to choose between Business Essentials, Business, or Business Premium plans, all of which can support teams with up to 300 users. (Enterprise plans can support larger organizations with unlimited capacity.)
How much does Office 365 cost?
Pricing is straightforward for Office 365 since it’s charged on a per-user basis. Total cost will vary based on your company’s needs, of course, but you can get an idea by checking out Microsoft’s current Office 365 cost comparison chart. Your current IT service provider can help you determine which plan is right for you, so you don’t waste money on unneeded features.
Office 365 Makes Remote Work Simple
With all plans other than Business Essentials and Enterprise E1, Office 365 allows each user to install Office applications on up to 5 tablets and 5 phones. And all Office 365 plans include online versions of the most popular Office apps. This means that you can work just about anywhere with an internet connection on practically any device.
You also gain chat, online meeting, and several other collaboration tools—in addition to Outlook email—with several of the main Office 365 plans. Since many businesses now utilize consultants, remote workers, freelancers, and other non-traditional employees, having seamless ways to get your team together, even if they’re not in the same physical building, is critical.
Office 365 is Always Up to Date
Gone are the days of having 10 different employees running 10 different (outdated) versions of Office software. No more worries about security vulnerabilities, compatibility issues, or whether you need to save as a .doc or a .docx.
Since Office 365 is cloud-based, updates are deployed directly from Microsoft to all users, much like software updates for Windows itself. You can even turn on automatic updates, so you don’t have to worry about disrupting your work to be sure that your applications are completely secure with the latest patches and upgrades.
Office 365 is Reliable and Safe
Especially when you purchase Office 365 through a Microsoft-certified MSP partner like EZComputer Solutions, your business will receive professional support that guarantees 99% uptime. How can Microsoft and their partners make these kinds of promises?
First, Microsoft backs Office 365 with geo-redundant servers and state-of-the-art security, so you never have to worry about your files going missing or being exposed to threats. Plus, your contracted IT services provider makes life even easier by delivering first-line help with any issues that do arise. Simply make one phone call to the IT partner you know and trust, and we take care of communicating with Microsoft on your behalf, as needed.
Ready to Choose a Microsoft Office 365 Plan for Your Central PA Business?
EZComputer Solutions is here for small businesses within the Lancaster, York, Harrisburg, Lebanon, and Reading areas with top-notch support and guidance for your IT needs. If you have questions about Office 365, we’re your knowledgeable local resource! Contact us now to get started with Office 365 for your business. Or, take our Small Business Tech Self-Assessment to learn more about how managed IT services can help make every workday better.