Microsoft’s Office software is as flexible as it is useful, and there are plenty of ways it can benefit your daily business operations
In recent years, the way businesses operate has transformed beyond recognition. Gone are the days of 9 to 5 in the office every day, working on the same PC at the same desk.
Today, thanks to the digital revolution of the past 20 years, businesses operate more flexibly and widespread than ever. More people are working from home, or working remotely, and actually travelling into the office is no longer necessary in order to contribute to the day’s efforts.
And because of how dramatically things have changed, businesses are constantly exploring new ways to meet the ever-changing status quo and thrive within their shifting industry. This means making use of new software, tools and programmes designed to make things easier for the modern business.
One such tool is Office 365. According to research published by Microsoft, if your business is no longer constrained by purely office-based work, your productivity could increase by 30 to 40 percent by switching to Office 365.
But what exactly is Office 365, and how can it help to boost the effectiveness and speed of your business operations? We’re going to take a look at everything Office 365 has to offer, and provide all the information you need to determine if it’s right for your business.
What is Office 365?
Office 365 is a suite of software solutions that are available from Microsoft on a subscription basis. The suite can be used both as a personal service and, more commonly, for businesses, and it is designed to make things smoother and simpler for today’s business organisations.
In their own words, Microsoft describes Office 365 as “an integrated experience of apps and services, designed to help you pursue your passion and grow your business.”
Office 365 makes use of a range of handy apps like Word, Excel and PowerPoint. These can help you create documentation and complete projects in the most suitable format, and Office 365 also provides the means to share these documents securely and without much effort.
The software is also regularly updated with the latest features and security updates. You can use cloud-powered email services, collaborate in Microsoft teams, save files in secure online storage and run your business via tailored apps.
All services included in Office 365 come with a 99.9% uptime guarantee, and are financially backed.
The many benefits of Office 365 migration for businesses
There’s no doubt that Office 365 comes complete with a whole host of features, but what is it that makes the popular platform so useful to modern businesses?
From improving flexibility to speeding up processes to making sharing easy, Office 365 is designed to support businesses in the 21st century. Let’s take a look at some of the ways Office 365 can benefit your business operations on a daily basis.
Office 365 lets you make use of the Cloud
The cloud has completely changed the way businesses operate, making it easy to access, share and save important documents and projects from a range of devices and locations. Businesses no longer need to worry about having enough storage on their hardware, or printing off documents in order to share them, because the cloud makes sharing easy.
Office 365 comes with access to Microsoft’s OneDrive cloud hosting service, which provides users with 24/7/365 access to emails, projects and documentation wherever they are in the world.
Data is encrypted and highly secure
Office 365 meets all industry standards and necessary regulations when it comes to security and privacy. Despite being a sharing platform, the cloud only allows access to people who have been authorised, meaning security threats like hacking are less likely to occur.
As well as being encrypted, your data is stored on Microsoft’s physically secure servers. These servers are further protected by security monitoring and continuous threat management.
Back in 2014, Microsoft became the first cloud provider to receive approval from the Article 29 Working Party. This is an independent advisory body established by the European Parliament which is focused on data protection.
Office 365 is available on multiple devices
Unlike old fashioned hardware, Office 365 isn’t restricted to a single device or PC. In fact, it can be used across a wide range of devices and from various locations.
Each Office 365 user can sync up their license to as many as five different devices. This includes any PC and any Mac, as well as any iOS, Windows or Android device.
The possibilities of this are endless: join a video conference from your sitting room, edit a presentation on your tablet in the back of a taxi or stay in touch with colleagues via email on your smartphone while soaking up your favourite coffee house.
You can enjoy a huge amount of storage
Storage is key to a smoothly run business, and Office 365 comes with heaps of it for both mailboxes and files.
In the past, businesses often had to worry about whether a particularly large file would clog your inbox or take up too much room on your system. If your physical server was approaching capacity, there was always the chance that you wouldn’t be able to access certain files.
However, Office 365 cloud storage offers an exchange mailbox storage of 50GB, as well as a massive 1TB of file storage.
This means it’s easy to store and back up all your large, critical files online and access them anywhere – improving your overall productivity in the process.
It provides simple and fast communication
Having access to the cloud on multiple devices and across multiple locations means that communication between colleagues, employers and clients is more streamlined than ever.
You can keep everybody up to date with everyone’s whereabouts, tasks and activities with shared calendars that your entire team can access. What’s more, instant messaging services make it easy for team members to stay in touch and work together even if they aren’t in the same physical location. No matter where your team are, you can keep in touch with them.
It comes with its own networking tools
As well as familiar programmes like Word, Excel and PowerPoint, Office 365 also delivers a range of other platforms that you may not be familiar with. SharePoint is one such feature included with Office 365 which is designed to make it easy for team members to work on projects together, whether or not they’re in the office together.
Through SharePoint, you can rest easy that your team is working on the latest versions of ongoing projects. Through SharePoint, you can plan and monitor projects on shared calendars and task lists. You can also create and automate workflows, as well as developing your own useful business tools such as blogs and company surveys.
Video-conferencing and co-authoring features are designed to make collaboration easy across your business.
You can tailor your plan to your business
One of the best things about Office 365 is its flexibility. In the past, making sure you had enough storage and tech for your business operations was a costly process. It meant investing in numerous devices and PCs.
But with the likes of Office 365, you can start out small and expand your storage if and when you need to. Office 365 is available in a range of different subscription plans, meaning you can customise the available features in order to best serve your business size and needs.
It can save you money
As we’ve already touched upon, choosing Office 365 as a storage solution instead of physical hardware can save you money in both the short and long term. In terms of basic cost-cutting, investing in Office means saving on hardware, additional IT support, third-party software and even unnecessary travel costs.
This increase in both saving and productivity was shown in a survey by HBR-Verizon. The company’s report found that 61% of companies who had moved their email and data to the cloud had seen an increase in productivity levels.
Migration is easy
Another key benefit of switching to Office 365 for your business is that the actual switching process itself is easy. Migrating all your existing mailboxes, documents and calendars to a new cloud-based platform might sound like a big task, but actually a lot of the hard work gets done for you.
Office 365 migration can be completed easily, and getting the help of IT Support London Specialists Syntax is a great way of ensuring the whole process runs smoothly.
Once you’ve migrated to Office 365, you no longer need to worry. Office 365 updates automatically so there’s no need to waste time on multiple migrations.
Office 365 provides insights into your business
They say knowledge is power, and nowhere is this more true than when it comes to your own business. Having a good understanding of how your business is performing and why is key to making positive changes and reaching new levels of success. Office 365 can help you do just that.
Microsoft Power BI is a feature that allows you to access multiple resources that refresh in real-time, showing how your business is performing across a wide variety of areas.
This data can be displayed in reports, charts and accessible graphs that you can use to highlight your performance to the rest of your team.
You’re protected against data loss
Only email addresses that have been given access to the cloud can access the information you store there. Office 365 doesn’t let you send sensitive information to an email address outside the company domain or to public cloud storage like Dropbox or Google Drive.
Any malicious or accidental attempt to send sensitive information will be immediately thwarted, and the tech can actually determine which files are confidential, crucial or sensitive. This helps to protect files from being shared or transmitted to unreliable sources.
Simplify your booking system
Another feature of Office 365 for business is Microsoft Bookings, which is a collection of online booking systems that allows you to organise customer information, including meetings, calls, emails, notes, deals, deadlines and tasks.
Customers have 24/7 access to Microsoft Bookings, and the platform offers confirmation email services, calendar invitations and complete flexibility when it comes to cancelling or rescheduling.
Information stored in Microsoft Bookings can be shared with other team members, so it’s easy to keep consistency amongst your employees in terms of the service they provide.
Even the bookings form on your website can be customised in order to reflect your business’s personality.
Get clarity on upfront costs
With Office 365, what you see is what you get. Subscription to Office 365 is available at a fixed rate, so once you’ve chosen the plan that best suits your business, you’ll know exactly what you’re paying and when.
Complete clarity is a welcome benefit for any business owner. Office subscriptions make it easy to win certainty over software expenses and allow you to budget your business accurately.
Even better, Office seamlessly manages its own upgrades and the introduction of new features, so you don’t need to worry about manual migration processes.
It builds organisation
Having team members separated by distance or departments used to make things difficult when it came to working collaboratively, but cloud-based platforms like Office 365 mean it’s now easy to work together regardless of distance.
One major benefit of this is the sense of organisation it brings to a business. There no longer needs to be any mystery about what different team members are working on at any given time. Colleagues, clients and employers can now stay in touch with each other anytime, anywhere – and that’s great news for business productivity.
Streamline your IT operations
Keeping on top of any business’s IT infrastructure is a daunting task, especially with dangers like hacking, phishing and viruses being very real threats to IT safety. Updating any single aspect of IT can be a long and arduous process if you don’t have the right tools or expertise for the job on-hand.
When you migrate to Office 365 however, you can streamline your IT operations. This conveniently outsources your responsibility and gives you peace of mind about the efficiency and security of your business operations.