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Benefits of Migrating to Office 365

According to Forbes, the newest offering of office productivity suites by Microsoft, Office 365 for business, goes above and beyond. From offering cloud-based document creation, sharing, and storage to providing easily managed IT systems for businesses, Office 365 is a sleek solution for businesses interested in saving money, reducing headaches, and maintaining productivity. However, many aren’t sure if they should, or can, consider moving to Office 365, especially with competitors, i.e. Google Apps, on the market.

Advantages of Office 365

Businesses interested in Office 365 benefits will find perks stacked on perks with the latest Microsoft offering. Comparing Office 365 with its predecessor of Office 2013 is like comparing snail mail to email. As noted in PC World, Office 365 offers multiple advantages over the old school Office systems, in addition to everything you’ve come to expect from your Office software.

In addition to being able to have Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Access, Publisher, Outlook, and Lync, you get so much more for your money. Among other benefits of Office 365 is that it operates via the cloud, which frees you from your desktop. You can access and edit files from anywhere with web access via your Microsoft account, so no more worries of lost documents if your desktop crashes. For businesses, this point seals the deal in convenience.

Compare Office 365 vs Google Apps

The office productivity giants of Google Apps and Office 365 are entirely different beasts of the same nature. While both provide cloud-based document creation, editing and sharing capabilities, these two products are as different as night and day. Google Apps is akin to a minimalist’s dream, while Office 365 features all of the bells and whistles you’ve come to expect with office productivity applications.

Google Apps 101

As noted by Info World, Google Apps sticks to bare bones. If you want to open a document, type within the text, save it on your computer, and share it with others, then mission accomplished. Products offered via Google Apps include Gmail, Docs, Google+, Hangouts, Drive, Calendar, Sheets, Forms, Slides, Sites, and Vault. You also receive admin capabilities, which is vital for a business owner.

The thing about Google Apps is that you can already access all of their programs via your computer as-is, without the need of purchasing Google Apps for Business. Of course, the capabilities with the program are going to be interoperable via a secure network when you purchase the product, as is Office 365. For those who are interested in doing more than sharing, storing and collaborating, there remains the need for a more robust office productivity system. Even Time Magazine agrees.

Office 365 Comparison

Enter the world of Office 365. Located on the other end of the spectrum, Office 365 offers a packed toolbox filled with the office productivity tools that you demand for creating, editing, storing and sharing documents, presentations, emails, note taking, web page creation, social networking, and video conferencing. Just for comparison, for those businesses who are writing and editing documents; utilizing language capabilities for letters to international clients; and creating stylized posters, brochures and banners, Word knocks Docs out of the water. The way that Office 365 offers personalization, detail orientation, and security of data creates a much richer way of approaching office productivity in comparison to the minimalist approach of Google Apps.

Google Apps for Business vs Office 365: The Security Issue

Tech Republic points out another key issue with Office 365 versus Google Apps. While Microsoft ensures customers that they will not share your data via scanning or with third parties, Google is not so considerate. Google’s Privacy Policy notes that the information they collect on your behalf is applicable for their advertising uses. If you are ok with sharing your personal and private business data with your office productivity provider, then by all means Google is the way to go.

Considerations for Businesses

As for Office 365 costs, the amount you were paying for your previous Office products is exorbitant compared to Office 365. Compare the cost of a license for Office 2013 Pro at $400, which is only good for one computer. Via Office 365 you have options to pay monthly or for an annual license, and your cost for any of the Office business plans provides you with licenses for up to 5 devices. Best of all, these licenses can be used for 5 different Microsoft accounts aka users. If you are running an SMB this is the option that allows you the greatest flexibility.

Let's talk about the increased mobility of Office 365. No worries of being without Word if one of your desktops crash. Never again stress about not having access to a computer with Outlook capabilities. Office 365 works on your PCs, Macs, iPads, Windows tablets, iPhone and Android devices. Take your work with you to edit and share on the fly with the use of the web thanks to the cloud capabilities of Office 365. Plus, with Office 365 you receive 20GB of SkyDrive cloud storage space, as well as 60 monthly minutes of international Skype calls. You can’t do that with the stationary and obsolete Office 2013, period.

Moving/Migrating to Office 365

When moving your data to the Office 365 platform, there is little to actually move. For example, your Word documents and Microsoft compatible files are going to open and function via the new system. The basic thing that you need to do is set up a Microsoft account, i.e. Hotmail email account, which will allow you to log in to your Microsoft account from your computer or another device. While the business plan gives you up to 5 licenses for your use, you can open and basic-edit documents from any computer via the cloud-based Microsoft window. Of course, you won’t have the full editing and managing capabilities, but compared to Google Docs, you are right on par.

Info World discusses the ease of migration and set up of Office 365 to computers via Click to Run capabilities (C2R). If you already have a computer with a Microsoft Office license, then you will have a quicker conversion process. The Office 365 apps will simply upload and run using your existing system. What will happen if you end your subscription to Office 365? Nothing. You will still have access to all of your Microsoft documents and files, save that you won’t be able to do any editing or managing as you could with the Office apps. For those without an existing Microsoft Office license on your computer, your setup is equally as efficient for those devices supported by the system.

Choices

If you are an Office user, then by all means, make the leap into the cloud-based system of Office 365. You are already on the way to being obsolete, as cloud-based computing systems are the latest offering by everyone from Microsoft to Google to Amazon. Otherwise, those interested in making the most of their office productivity through document creation, file sharing, networking and IT systems should consider an investment in Office 365. In addition to providing the latest capabilities in collaboration and data sharing, Office 365 rules in terms of flexibility and mobility.


Posted: 1/27/2015 11:44:31 AM


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