3 Reasons for Small Businesses to Choose Office 365
Cloud computing has been a wonderful development for small businesses by making technology more affordable and accessible than ever before. With the recent changes to Office 365 plans, small business owners may want to take another look at the value proposition offered by Microsoft’s subscription-based Office 365.
Here are three compelling reasons why an Office 365 subscription may make sense for smaller businesses.
3 Reasons to Choose Office 365
1. Low upfront cost
Small businesses can sign up for an Office 365 plan (and there are several, depending on your needs) for a predictable monthly fee. Compare that to setting aside funds to purchase new hardware servers, software licenses and CALs for the requisite server operating system and Exchange Server – a hefty, upfront investment that will cost a small business many thousands of dollars.
Office 365 subscription plans offer a monthly fee that can go as low as $4 per user/month for businesses interested only in hosted email. In addition, small businesses can buy subscription-based access to the desktop version of Office 2013 productivity suite for about $12.50 per user/month under the Office 365 Business Premium plan.
2. Multiple licenses
Another reason to go with Office 365 is that the desktop apps can be installed on up to five PCs or Macs per user. This is perfect for businesses that embrace BYOD, as it allows employees to install the Office productivity suite on a second laptop or Windows 8 tablet. The Office 365 Business Premium plan, for example, costs $12.50 per user/month and includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote, Access, Publisher, Lync and InfoPath.
3. Exchange online
Hosted Exchange used to cost about $20-$25 per user/month when Microsoft first made it available. The increasing demand for, and popularity of, cloud services, however, has forced Microsoft to redesign Exchange for the cloud. This market pressure has resulted in a robust, Microsoft hosted, Exchange Online service at a highly competitive price: as low as $4.00 per person per month.
Unless your company has compelling legal or compliance concerns, Exchange Online offers a far more appealing cost-of-ownership proposition than an on-site Exchange deployment. Moreover, Exchange Online also includes spam and malware protection, which costs extra if you buy an on-premises solution, and a robust suite of potential add-ons such as email encryption, archiving, and data loss prevention (DLP) to name a few.