07 Aug 6 Common Questions about Office 365
6 Common Questions about Office 365
Many businesses have concerns about moving staff resources to the cloud. While Office 365 offers much in the way of collaboration, mobility and cloud services, some reservation is understandable. This article answers 6 questions that businesses commonly ask about Office 365.
Is Office 365 secure?
Your organization’s data should be secure, and you need control over your data and users. Data within Office 365 is encrypted “at rest” when stored within the data centre, as well as during transmission. Your data will always remain stored in the region you select and will be mirrored for increased protection against catastrophic data centre failures, with 99.9% uptime. On top of the actual data integrity, your files are also kept safe with services like OneDrive and SharePoint offering file history and extensive file and user permissions. Mobile Device Management enables administrators to wipe company information from lost or stolen devices.
Who else is using it?
Companies from all over the world use Office 356 for its extensive cloud capabilities and reduced learning curve with Microsoft Office integration. Microsoft Office 365’s easy and efficient collaboration capabilities eased the merger of The Kraft Foods Group with The H.J. Heinz Company in 2015. Their CIO Francesco Tinto writes, “Without Office 365, it would have taken months to create a single operating environment, instead of just a few weeks.” (Microsoft Customer Case Study: The Kraft Heinz Company, “Iconic food brands join forces, feeding innovation and teamwork with Office 365”)
Can it meet all my business’ cloud needs?
Unlike some other cloud collaboration and communication tools, Office 365 integrates directly with the Office applications you know and love. A single integrated service covering communication, collaboration and content production reduces confusion between users and technology. The security of information is increased by keeping all data within a managed environment. Many plans even include the Office product set. With OneDrive, Office Online and cross-platform versions of Word, PowerPoint, Excel and rest of the Office suite, your employees can work together on their preferred platform and location. For more information on Office 365’s collaboration tools, see our earlier post “TEAM WORK MADE FUN WITH OFFICE 365”.
Because Office 365 is being continuously updated, you automatically receive the latest updates and features as they are released (subject to you chosen plan). This video from Microsoft discusses some of the new features in the July 2017 update – including delayed email sending, a preview of Microsoft Forms, updates to Microsoft Stream and security management improvements.
What does it cost?
Office 365 is available in a variety of plans designed to suit various companies’ needs and sizes.
For businesses that only need cloud services but already have desktop Office applications, the Business Essentials plan offers cloud services on a budget. On the other side, the Office 365 Business plan provides desktop Office applications and OneDrive, without email hosting. Finally, the Business Premium plan offers all the desktop applications and cloud services.
For enterprise customers, Microsoft also offers plans that include security and compliance tools, analytics, simple application development and workflow development and increased storage space.
What’s the return on investment?
Office 365 updates require minimal maintenance and is licensed at an economical per user cost per month, making it affordable and scalable to suit the needs of your team. According to Forrester Research, the total cost benefit that came from needing less IT support to maintain technology was $498,750 across surveyed organisations. (“The Total Economic Impact of Office 365,” Forrester Research, August 2015) Cost savings aside, employee satisfaction can also increase with easier tools, leading to improved productivity and output. Organisations can expect a 156% return on investment after 3 years, on average.
Is migrating to the cloud difficult?
Migrating your business to the cloud can sound daunting with lots of data to move over, but often customers can migrate in stages at their own pace. For instance, you could choose to start using Skype for Business and Yammer, with teams moving emails behind the scenes to Office 365 for a planned changeover. At the same time, you might start putting new documents onto OneDrive, and move existing documents over after key milestones have finished.
For a tailored approach, Microsoft offers FastTrack – a professional service designed to make the transition to the cloud easier. With a team of experts, FastTrack can reduce your onboarding time up to 33%. As well as FastTrack, your Microsoft Partner will provide support to you for migration and general use.
Migrating to the cloud doesn’t have to be a nightmare, expensive or a waste of money. Office 365 is secure and provides many services to help your business and staff’s productivity.
As a managed services company and Microsoft partner, CT4 is here to provide you with our expertise and work with you in choosing the best plan for your organisation. As a first step, contact us for a discussion on getting started in the cloud with Office 365.