Is Microsoft 365 Good for Small and Medium Businesses? (Yes, here’s why…)
No doubt you’ve heard plenty about Microsoft Office 365 over the years, though stayed away because you still had indecision about using the cloud. Microsoft 365 gives you all of the old Office tools you’ve likely used in the past and provides them through your internet connection. However, is Microsoft 365 good for small business?
We think so, and here’s why.
Why Microsoft 365 for a Small Business is Good
Despite the popularity of Microsoft Office 365, it hasn’t always caught on completely with the small business crowd. Microsoft recently began to market toward this demographic through various enticement methods.
In fact, Microsoft targeted businesses with more than 50 employees and enabled an offer to use the Microsoft FastTrack service. The latter helps small businesses to easily transition to using Office 365 without excessive downtime.
Many features available in Office 365 aren’t always available through on-premise solutions. No matter how many incentives Microsoft provides, it’s time for your own business to see why Office 365 matters and how it can make your business life easier.
This works better when you’re implementing the skills of a professional Microsoft 365 managed services partner taking care of things for you.
Being Able to Work Anywhere at Any Time
Microsoft reminds all small businesses that you can work anywhere and at any time thanks to Office 365 availability through the cloud. Being mobile should always be an option for your employees, even if you work in a small environment.
Letting your employees work out in the field or at home brings more comfort level for workers if your office isn’t ergonomically comfortable. Besides, you can reduce operational costs not having employees coming into the office daily to use your on-site infrastructure.
What’s most convenient is that your employees can access applications in Office 365 at all times, meaning they can work at home during off-hours if necessary. Ultimately, this changes how you view a normal work day and when things get done.
Sharing Office Applications
Another strong aspect of Office 365 is its ability to share all applications with anyone in your small company. Again, if some of your staff work in the field, it’s essential to share documents with them in real-time if you need their opinions. Through the cloud, they’ll receive any document necessary with the ability to quickly edit or create something new.
When you put into perspective how competitive the business landscape is, you’re more vulnerable as a smaller organization. The more easily you can get everyone in your staff coordinated to work on critical projects, the better opportunity you have to move ahead of your competitors.
Looking More Professional
Just because you’re a small business doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to look professional to your customers. Office 365 uses a business-class email with your company name so you don’t look like an amateur. So, if you decide to migrate your email to 365, you’ll almost immediately appear to be more a “professional” company to your clients and prospects.
Plus, they give you customized marketing materials that are easy to create and proliferate online. After you reach new leads, you’ll be able to communicate with them using Office 365’s email and instant messaging capability. It includes social networking as well, giving you a comprehensive system for nurturing new customer relationships.
To stay alive as a small or medium business, keeping in contact with leads is vastly important, and Microsoft gives you everything you’d use in a CRM program.
Good Storage Capability
Office 365 comes with 1 TB of storage space per user, which is more than enough to get started for your business files. Because all your files get stored online, they’re retrievable whenever you need them, giving you continual clarity into what’s occurring and who’s working on what.
And if that wasn’t enough… here are some more reasons to migrate:
Reasons 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.
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.
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.
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.
To get started, it helps to have managed services available to set you on the right path. We’re here to help!