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A Comprehensive Guide to Office 365

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Formerly referred as BPOS, the recent developed Microsoft Office 365 is a perfect IT solution for numerous business functions. It is an alternative, Cloud based service, to the traditional Microsoft Office enterprise. The service allows users to use publishing programs, access common contacts, and also share files on an online platform. Businesses can access Office 365 services on any computer device as long as it has an internet connection.

What is Office 365?

Office 365 is a subscription service which facilitates various services and software in the Microsoft Office platform. Office 365 served as a successor of the renowned Microsoft Business Productivity Online Suite. Initially, it included various hosted versions of Exchange, Office Web Applications, Microsoft Office 2010 desktop applications, Lync and SharePoint. Office 365 also hosts an Exchange Online emailing services for businesses. It has a voluminous online storage equipped with a SkyDrive and a Skype world minutes service for domestic use. After Office 2013 was released, Office 365 was improved by adding new applications for enhanced performance. It was aimed to enhance efficiency of operations in different types of businesses. It also included new performance plans which targeted domestic users.

Office 365 Formation and Development

Office 365 was first launched in October 2010 by Microsoft. At first, it started with a private beta version for certain institutions. In later led to a public beta in April of year 2011. On June 28 of the same year, it attained a general availability status. At the time, Office 365 faced stiff competition from Google Apps, a Google application, which offered the same services. Microsoft designed the Office 365 version to bring together all Business Productivity Online Suite into an up to date cloud service. The application incorporated the Exchange Server, for sending and receiving emails, and SharePoint. SharePoint was designed to facilitate internal social networking, to allow collaboration, and also to form a public web site. Lync services in Office 365 was developed to facilitate communication, VoIP, and also for conferencing purposes.

How Does Office 365 Work?

Microsoft Office 365 works like the normal Microsoft Office 2013 suite, but with added applications. The only difference it has in comparison to Microsoft Office 2013 is that it works via cloud computing. A cloud refers to any computing services that are hosted outside an organization. When using cloud computing, all IT infrastructures of a certain organization are maintained and managed by a third party. This is beneficial to an organization as data will not be stored in the entity’s servers. Institutional servers can be expensive to maintain and repair. They can also disrupt operations of a certain organization if they fail to function. When using Office 365, information storage, software, and all computation services are managed and maintained remotely by Microsoft servers.

What Platforms and Devices can it Be Used On?Office 365 from the cloud

Microsoft’s Office 365 performs best when used with the latest versions of Microsoft Office enterprises. It performs remarkably well on Office 2010 for Windows XP, Windows 7 and Windows Vista operating systems. Its performance is also excellent with Microsoft Office 2011 in Mac PCs. Office 365 can also work with Microsoft Office 2007 but with limited functionality. Users using the earlier version of Microsoft Office suites will have to upgrade to the recent versions in order to use Office 365. Users have a choice of subscribing to the numerous Office 365 plans, which also contains the most recent versions of Microsoft Office. The plans allow automatic updates on the Office, which ensures that it will always stay up to date.

Advantages of Using Office 365 over the Traditional Office Enterprise

Office 365 Enterprise comes with a number of advantages to its users. It has eased numerous functions prevision used on the traditional Microsoft Office Enterprise a great deal. When using Office 365, a person can access contacts, calendars, documents, as well as emails at any time. The service can be accessed seamlessly via notebooks, desktops, and mobile devices that support an internet connection.

It offers all desktop productivity applications, extranets, and online portals. It also allows video and voice conferencing, unified messaging, and web conferencing services.

With Office 365, it is easy to communicate and collaborate with other work colleagues and business partners. This enhances the efficiency of the staffs.

Its ease in usage is remarkable. It integrates with all the other Microsoft Office Applications, like Office 2010, and Office 2013.

Upon subscribing to the service, a user obtains the software updates of all the other Microsoft Office applications at no additional cost.

The service allows a single sign in. The sign in runs in the system tray of a single user’s machine, and stores his password to avoid constant signing in.

Microsoft 365 offers a business class service that includes an efficient IT admin phone support. The business class service is financially backed to offer a guaranteed 99.9% uptime. This service also facilitates geo-redundant data centers, numerous privacy control solutions, and robust security features. For business users, there are many third party vendors that specialise in deploying and maintaining Office 365 Solutions across business networks. IT Support Companies and specialist cloud vendors are two good places to start. Our IT Department has been supplying Office 365 solutions for over a year now. Click here to visit their website.

The security features that come with Microsoft 365 are astounding. The Office 365 Security Trust Center guarantees privacy to all users’ data. It also offers online data security options to its users so as to protect their data from malicious online attacks.

It has convenient pricing options which give users predictability as well as flexibility for all or a fraction of an entity.

Other minor advantages of Office 365 include a clear and updated interface, and the ability to use a single license on five machines. The service has a massive power of sharing, viewing, and editing data through the cloud based platform.

Cost Effectiveness of Office 365

To obtain the Cloud Computing services in Microsoft 365, subscribers are required to pay $24 (£15.00) per user each month. This is makes the service to be cost effective for both commercial and domestic use. There are also various software versions of Microsoft 365 which can be acquired depending on the financial position of a subscriber. The provisions go as little as $6 (£4.00) per user every month. These cheap plans are suitable for small establishments.

It is also worth noting that SharePoint Online is available with certain Office 365 packages as well as a standalone product. The Small Business sector will invest tens of millions implementing SharePoint solutions this year, including SharePoint applications for CRM, Field Sales, Training and development. If you haven’t considered using SharePoint before then I strongly suggest spending some time on the internet to find out more about the platform.

Conclusions.

Office 365 is undoubtedly the best solution for all office functions. It features numerous advantages to its users and increased an organization’s performance by enhancing internal communication. It is user friendly, and new users in a business can easily adapt to its applications. It seamlessly integrates with other Microsoft Office applications which users are already accustomed. Multi-tasking various office functions can be possible and easy when using Office 365. The low cost of acquiring the service is a gigantic advantage for both commercial and domestic users who would like to acquire the service.

David is currently writing a series of technical articles for various Small Business owners throughout London. Davd LOVES to write product reviews, especially for new computer hardware products. 

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1 Comment

  1. Office 365 is a fantastic new resource. For me, being able to access all applications via the cloud is very helpful, as I am never working from the same location for consecutive days.

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