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Is Office 365 Worth It For Business?

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Let's face it, if you're searching for a productivity suite to use in your business then you're going to want the absolute best on the market. You want the ones that have been tried and tested - and something which helps deliver success to plenty of businesses all over the globe. In the world of IT, Microsoft is usually the first name that pops up and this juggernaut of an organisation has a tool for businesses of all sizes - Microsoft Office 365. You've heard of it. You know businesses use it, so is Office 365 worth it for business?

Microsoft 365

Making the switch can be a massive jump, especially if you're diving headfirst into the deep end with no knowledge. So, you need to cover every aspect to determine whether it's something businesses should implement. Here are the reasons why Microsoft Office 365 is worth it for business:

 

Plans Are Tailored To Your Business

The beauty of Microsoft Office 365 for businesses is that you don't need to compromise to pick a plan that you think will suit your needs. While other productivity suites offer a couple of packages where you need to pick one that kind of matches your company and its requirements, Office 365 features a staggering 7 plans. Each plan offers different prices, features and limitations. You also have the ability to mix and match plans for different areas of your business. In other words, you don't have to settle for anything less than exactly what you need.

Not everyone in your business is going to need the exact same features. So, by mixing and matching these plans you don't have to pay for more than what you need (you're welcome, finance team). A plan should be meeting your needs. You shouldn't be bending over backwards to make sure you're a business that can fit into one of the plans. Microsoft Office 365 eliminates that.

Extensive Security Features

It doesn't matter how small or large your business is, security is vital. So, it's important to use a productivity suite which offers extensive security features that promise to keep all of your data safe. With Office 365 being cloud-based, you won't need to pay full-time salaries to individuals working inside of a server room. In fact, you probably won't need a server room with the latest security technology at all. That's because Microsoft 365 comes with plenty of security features that keeps data protected at all times.

Obviously, it depends on the plan that's chosen, as Enterprise plans will feature more robust security features than a Business plan. Don't let that put you off, though. Some of the most popular security features include:

 

  • Data Loss Prevention: Microsoft's Data Loss Prevention policy allows businesses to identify, monitor and protect sensitive information from leaving the organisation.

  • Threat Management: Security monitoring to prevent or detect any tampering of data. Dedicated threat management teams are always in place to anticipate and prevent malicious access. 

  • Advanced Threat Analytics: This unique feature analyses systems to detect and alert users to suspicious behaviour on the network. It scans emails as they land into inboxes for malicious links and attachments and if there's anything dangerous lurking in there, it prevents it from getting in. While the email will still appear, a message appears explaining why the attachment isn't there. Human error can finally be a thing of the past.

These are just some of the security features businesses can benefit from. Then, there's Encrypted Email, Mobile Device Management, Exchange Online Protection and Multi-Factor Authentication plus many more to ensure Office 365 keeps your organisation secure around-the-clock.

 

  • Encrypted Email: This keeps anyone other than the intended recipient from reading your emails.
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  • Mobile Device Management: A feature allowing your IT team to control Office on your employees' mobile devices to protect company information. If somebody loses their device or it gets stolen, you're able to delete all of the data without needing to use the lost or stolen device to delete data.
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  • Exchange Online Protection: Provides advanced security and reliability against spam and malware to protect information and email access.
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  • Multi-Factor Authentication: Multi-factor authentication protects access to sensitive data, such as using a phone to access data as a secondary device for added security.

Remember, just because some of these features might not be in the plan you purchase, it doesn't mean you can't get them in your business. If you want, you can purchase them as add-ons to further protect your business.

Top-Class Collaboration

Working with colleagues, different departments and even external organisations can be a big part of how businesses operate. The days of emailing Word documents back and forth are over. The Co-Authoring feature in Office 365 is a collaboration feature that businesses will appreciate. Everyone who needs to contribute or edit a document, spreadsheet, presentation or anything else can work on the same version another user has created. When edits are made, they can be seen in real-time so you know exactly who is working on what and the changes they have made. 

Office 365 Word co-authoringImage Credit: Office Blogs

This way, businesses save plenty of time. You no longer have to waste time looking for the latest version of a document and you won't be confusing yourself by seeing multiple versions floating around. Figuring out which is the correct document slows people down and harms their productivity. Instead, Office 365 provides the ability to share direct access to files, rather than sending them as attachments. With the seamless collaboration tool available to businesses, time doesn't need to be wasted.

Your Own Social Media Platform

We're not talking a platform that can rival the likes of Twitter and Facebook, but it's a platform your business can benefit from with improved communication whenever you need it. When you send important emails, there's no guarantee when you'll receive a reply. Certain Office 365 plans allow businesses to benefit from Yammer. It allows the workforce to stay connected. It provides a simple way for teams to collaborate, share knowledge and engage everyone across the business.

Yammer Office 365Image Credit: Office

Integrated with Office 365, Yammer acts as a social media network for businesses for private communication. As it allows you to set up department-specific groups, it enables employees to chat within their department in their dedicated channel without interrupting those who it doesn't concern. Your business benefits from better communication, faster responses, productivity, company culture and employee engagement.

83% of Yammer users say that they feel more engaged with their co-workers and their company because of it. It also takes a big weight off your email inbox. Then again, that's not an issue considering Office 365 plans come with either 1TB or unlimited storage.

Access To Microsoft Office 365 - Anytime, Anywhere

Wherever you have an internet connection, Office 365 is available to users within your business who are part of the chosen plan. That can range from your corporate drive right through to applications and software such as Word, Excel and PowerPoint. Not only that, but these are also available on pretty much any compatible device. 

Having 24/7 access means businesses can benefit from increased productivity. Plus, it's more efficient because Office 365 can be used across multiple computers and devices. So, remote workers can complete tasks if they're sat at home or are on the other side of the planet - they can carry on as normal.

We know what you're thinking, a poor internet connection means Office 365 will be useless. Not necessarily. Most Office 365 plans come with the ability to install the full offline versions of the Office programs. So, even if you don't have great or no internet access at all, businesses can load up a program like Excel and carry on working as normal. Once there's suitable internet connection, all of the changes are synced

Not Paying Extra For The Latest Programs

It's human nature to want something that's brand new, especially if somebody else doesn't have it. The 'problem' in the world of IT and technology is that devices, programs and software are released so frequently that it can be either difficult to keep up, or you'll be spending money you don't have to keep up with the trends. Sometimes, that can be unavoidable because there might be new software released that businesses desperately need for numerous reasons.

Additional costs for the latest programs isn't something businesses using Office 365 need to be concerned about. One benefit is that users can access software and programs they're familiar with. However, the other advantage is that the latest versions of Office 365 are always available as part of a businesses subscription.

This means a dedicated IT member of staff won't have to go around to each computer and uninstall older versions and replace them with new. Microsoft constantly make upgrades across various programs, so businesses have access to all of them. 

A Plethora Of Useful Programs & Features

Remember when we said Office 365 boasts 7 plans? Each plan has unique features. We could sit here all day and list each one and how important they are to businesses. But we won't do that. Instead, we'll talk you through some of the most popular ones but note that the features and programs all depend on the plan businesses have chosen.

Microsoft Teams: Another group chat feature which allows users to communicate in the moment and keep everyone in the know. They can stay connected with calls, meetings and chats within teams whether that's in private or small group conversations. Skype meetings, sharing files, transcriptions of recorded content and phone calls are all features integrated in Microsoft Teams that can be highly beneficial to businesses.

Microsoft TeamsImage Credit: Microsoft

Workflows: An Office 365 project management feature which allows businesses to create workflows for projects and assign individual tasks to users. Once a user ticks that they have completed their section, it automatically assigns it over to the following user. It comes with dashboards so you can easily visualise where tasks are up to and analyse times and efficiencies.

 

Office 365 Planner with WorkflowsImage Credit: Microsoft Office News

PowerMaps: Another interesting feature available to Office 365 users under the relevant plan is PowerMap - an Excel feature. This allows you to turn geographical data from Excel into a map, allowing you to easily discover and portray insights. 

 

Office 365 Power MapImage Credit: Microsoft Office Blog

Web and Mobile App Development: Enterprise E5 plans allow users to quickly build and publish custom business apps for web and mobile with PowerApps. With no coding required, it's easy to use as you can choose from templates or start from scratch.

Audio Conferencing: You can enable attendees to join Skype for Business from any telephone by dialling a local access number even when there's no access to the internet.

So...Is Office 365 Worth It For Business?

Taking everything into account, it's clear to see that Office 365 is a worthwhile investment for businesses looking to make the switch to the cloud. Not only is Microsoft a trustworthy name in the IT world, but they have also gone to great lengths to accommodate businesses of all sizes with features that simply can't be replicated. The firm favourites are still there and easy to use. But there are also some of the more extensive programs and features that today's businesses need to operate and remain secure.

That's why Office 365 gets a huge approval rating from us at Silverbug.

How Does Office 365 For Businesses Rank Against Google And Zoho?

Even though Office 365 has plenty of features that will benefit businesses, it's always a good idea to consider all of your options. We won't sit here and claim that Microsoft's Office 365 is the only cloud-based suite available. So, how does Google's G Suite or Zoho's Workplace hold up against Office 365? We've compiled a handy and easy-to-read feature comparison to help you decide which one is best for your organisation.

G Suite and Zoho do offer plenty of features themselves, and they even keep up with Office 365 in some areas too. So take a look at the comparison sheet and see where each platform shines.

Download our comparison guide

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