Microsoft Joins the Cloud Computing Bandwagon with Office 365

Office 365 is a productivity software and a cloud version of Microsoft Office. It is a hybrid of the free web app and desktop version which was launched in June 2011 after a beta test that began in October 2010.

This new Office not only works on desktop but also promises seamless collaboration with the use of touch screen devices like laptops running Windows 8 and tablets.

System Requirements
Choosing Office 365 is the right step for a business. Setting it up is quite simple and there’s no need for installation disc at all. What you’ll need are:

  • Windows 7 or 8
  • Mac users need OS X 10.6 or later version
  • Internet Access to install and manage subscription
  • Local system, at the very least, needs to have available hard disk space of 3GB

Breaking the Tradition
Office 365 files are also compatible with Office 2010 and 2013. One can upload and synchronize files with Microsoft’s Windows OneDrive formally known as Sky Drive. This works well when accessing files from different locations or devices that don’t have Office to view them.
Additionally, rather than buying a software to keep, the monthly or annual subscription is basically like just renting the software. While the other offices can be installed on just one computer, Office 365 can be used on up to five PC’s for one price.

Mobility and Flexibility
Roan Solutions - Office 365 Mobility and Flexibility
A small business, even without a permanent IT staff, can start with email and blast it to collaboration, website creation, and document sharing in a whole new level of flexibility and scalability like never before. This is because Office 365 combines the advantages of cloud-based computing software with that of Microsoft’s traditional base of on-premises software benefits. One can work whenever and wherever without any fuss since Office 365 is regularly updated without paying any upgrade fees.
Upon subscription, one can install and use Office on up to five PCs, tablets and phones. And because Office 365 is powered by the cloud, one can get the updated files without any glitches anywhere there is internet connection and save disk space that the traditional installable MS Office Suite uses.

Level of Security
Small and medium businesses will enjoy a greater level of security using Office 365. Offsite files are stored in specialized data centers where security is at the top of their priority. In addition, a service called RMS or Rights Management Service allows users to set permissions and supports encryption to specify who can access encrypted content and what type of access a user should have.
In line with that, all network connections to Office 365 utilize SSL/TSL over the internet while adding extra layer of controls that comply with strict FERPA and HIPPA standards.

Side by Side Comparison
Roan Solutions - Office 365
Office 365 is Microsoft’s answer to Google Apps. These two are the prominent contenders in the cloud based productivity application space.

Here are major considerations when choosing between the two:

  • One cannot deny the powerful features and flexibility of Microsoft Excel compared to that of Google Sheets. Google Sheet limit is up to 400,000 cells only compared to that of Microsoft Office 17 billion.
  • People can make the most of their downtime with Office 365 because it allows cloud and desktop users to collaborate with the very same privileges making it a more productive tool in field work.
  • Magnates who guard their privacy very well should look into Google’s privacy policy and that of Microsoft’s privacy agreement. Google’s states that information can be collected from subscribers for advertising purposes and the latter guarantees that they will not disclose any information to third parties.
  • Office 365 grows with your business. This means that it can accommodate a start-up business with a team of five until it grows to 500 employees. With Google Drive, you’ll get the same features, no matter how big the company becomes.

While these two are neck and neck from a features perspective and intuitive interfaces, one cannot deny the striking resemblance of Office 365 to that of the desktop version which employees and business owners in different organizations undoubtedly prefer more.

Office 365 for Business
Geared to aid enterprise customers and small businesses, Office 365 only charges $5 per user per month. One can choose from Office 365 Business Essentials, Office 365 Business, and Office 365 Business Premium for as low as $5 to $12.50.

Beefed up plans can also cover free website hosting with applicable tools, massive 1TBGB of storage on OneDrive plus 60 Skype minutes per month for landline calls as well as email and social networking services via hosted versions of Microsoft’s renowned products such as Lync, SharePoint, Exchange Server, and Office Web Apps.
All plans are available in monthly or annual payment rates.

To sum it all up, small and medium sized businesses have no need to worry about domain servers, email servers and file servers on top of buying the software itself. As technology expands to meet the need for a mobile office, Office 365 allows workforce to use existing Office skills, data cross platform and link devices from any location. It also reduces complexity and allows entrepreneurs and magnates to focus on their businesses more without thinking of the IT infrastructure at a very affordable price.

Call us today at 1.877.774.4647 or email us at now if you want more information about Office 365 or any other services we provide.

Posted in IT Consulting in Boston, Newsletter Articles
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