Office365 is being heavily promoted by Microsoft but what does it really offer for business customers?
For anyone who is vaguely aware of the IT market it is difficult to miss Office 365. Current hedlines are that Office 365 will be offered free on mobiles and Microsoft adverts reference the many customers who have already signed up - British Airways, Aston Martin and most importantly - Glasgow Whisky Tours.
Office365 is a subscription service with fees that are annual or monthly. There are a bewildering range of subscriptions plus special packages for charity and small businesses. We have already come across people who have been badly advised and have bought the wrong package. So it worth giving us a call and checking if you are considering this route.
Office 365 is a cloud service, served via an internet connection. That is one of the key benefits - you can work from the office, home, the internet cafe or wherever with the same interface. I guess the downside is when the internet is offline, so are you
There are mail only options (Exchange Online) which work with Microsoft Outlook - offering mail, calendar and contacts. All mail options have built in anti-spam and anti-malware which is very useful.
The higher functionality packages offer the full Office suite - Word, Excel, Outlook, Publisher, One Note, PowerPoint. Before Office365 the way to get these services was via a licence - OEM, Retail or Volume. All of these had their own set of restrictions but the Office 365 is realtively felxible allowing you to use your package on up to 5 PC's or MACs
Office365 is not just a replacement for the existing Exchange Server/ Office combination - it offers online meetings and other features aimed at increasing productivity.
Overall, Office365 has much to offer but aking advice on how and when to deploy 365 is a must.