Collaboration and cloud computing are two of the hottest technology trends for businesses today. Microsoft has leveraged both to deliver Office 365, the productivity and collaboration solution available as a Web-based service for a monthly subscription.
Office 365 brings together Microsoft Office, Microsoft SharePoint Online, Microsoft Exchange Online and Microsoft Lync Online in an always-up-to-date cloud service. It is available in a wide range of service plans designed to meet the needs of businesses of all sizes.
With Office 365 for small businesses, customers can be up and running with Office Web Apps, Microsoft collaboration tools and an external web site in minutes. These tools put enterprise-class email, shared documents, instant messaging, video and web conferencing, portals, and more at everyone’s fingertips.
Office 365 for enterprises has an array of choices, from simple email to comprehensive suites to meet the needs of midsize and large businesses and government organizations. Customers can get Microsoft Office Professional Plus on a pay-as-you-go basis with cloud-based versions of leading business communications and collaboration services.
Office 365 gives organizations a secure, cost-effective way to provide employees with the collaboration tools they want and need. Built from the ground up for reliability, availability and performance, Office 365 includes robust security features and enterprise-grade, geo-redundant data protection. It also provides for disaster recovery with multiple data centers and automatic failover.
Office 365 goes beyond an “online-only” approach by offering Offline access and editing through the use of Microsoft Office, and data center level integration and coexistence with on-premises systems. Customers can have the best of both worlds and truly have access to their applications and data where and when they need them.
Office 365 takes a holistic approach to collaboration with tools that are available everywhere and work together seamlessly. And because Microsoft Office applications are at the heart of Office 365, employees can become productive right away. Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel, OneNote, Outlook and other Office applications connect to Microsoft Exchange, SharePoint and Lync to deliver a familiar, world-class solution for communication and collaboration.
The Power of the Cloud
Office 365 can lower overall costs, which are recorded as operating expenses rather than capital expenditures. As a result of these and other benefits, organizations could achieve an ROI of more than 300 percent with Office 365, according to a Forrester Total Economic Impact study released in June 2011.
Office 365 can enable organizations to postpone hardware upgrades for workers who primarily use productivity and collaboration apps. It also relieves some of the burden on IT by reducing the amount of server patching, updating or upgrading needed to support collaboration tools.
Office 365 helps boost productivity by giving mobile workers access to the applications and data they need. Tightly integrating cloud-based and on-premises workloads enables customers to maximize their current technology investments and deploy at their own pace.
At Atlantic-IT.net, we believe it’s important to look at all the options, including free services such as Google Docs and open source solutions such as Apache OpenOffice. But if your business is committed to the Microsoft platform, Office 365 is a good bet.