There’s no better solution for small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs) today than Microsoft’s new Office 365. Why? Because instead of just packaging the modern applications you use (like Excel, Work, PowerPoint and more) Microsoft has taken the extra step to integrate these tools, along with others. This provides your SMB the capabilities a larger-sized business enjoys.
People Are Doing Business Differently
- 50% of business email users rely on mobile devices today.
- By 2018, 3.5 million SMBs will use instant-collaboration applications, and 2.5 million will use web conferencing.
- 71% of SMB owners believe that mobile apps will replace all solutions in the future.
With this in mind, Microsoft wanted to enhance their software solutions to support where business is going in the future. So, they developed a secure, integrated, accessible and flexible cloud-based solution—Office 365.
Worry Less, Work Easier & Work Together
When developing Office 365, Microsoft’s goal was to develop an umbrella solution that allows virtual collaboration where people can access the applications they need on their smartphones, tablets, laptops, or desktops wherever they are. Collaboration is enhanced as you can set permissions so specific colleagues or customers can access your documents and files as you require.
Microsoft has addressed business’s security concerns by offering a cloud-based solution, so you don’t have to rely on your servers, worry about data loss, or your email going down. Office 365 offers:
- Mobile Device Management to protect your organization’s information when people use their mobile devices. You can use it to set device security policies and access rules and to wipe mobile devices if they’re lost or stolen. Your data will always be secure and in your control.
- Data Loss Prevention so you can comply with business standards and industry regulations by protecting sensitive information and preventing its inadvertent disclosure. You’ll have all the compliance features you need, all in one place.
- Rights Management Services so you can always see who’s accessing your information. Plus, you’ll have 24/7 real-time support for critical issues.
With Office 365 you can work the way you want to, where you want to, by accessing applications like Word, Excel, PowerPoint and more from your phone, laptop or tablet, with:
- On-the-Go Access to files, emails and conferencing.
- A consistent, familiar and synced experience across all your devices.
- The ability to create and edit documents in real-time with colleagues.
- 1TB of online storage.
Having everything on the cloud makes it easy to share information with whom you want to, where you want to. It makes working together smooth, secure and productive.
- Create groupings for projects, and work with teams and customers via sharing sites, videos and private social networking.
- You’ll have basic, to more involved, collaboration across all platforms and devices.
- Host or join multi-location meetings with any device.
- Support your teams with relevant information for each.
With Office 365 you’ll have access to Microsoft’s primary cloud solutions like:
- Word for easy reading and writing on any device.
- Excel to create order, organize data and share insights.
- PowerPoint to make your point with clarity and style.
- Outlook so you can stay productive and connected.
- OneNote to access all your notes on all your devices.
- Publisher so you can create something that helps you stand out.
What makes Office 365 so great is that all these applications can be integrated. For example, you can post an Excel spreadsheet in a PowerPoint slide, and by linking them together, make changes on the slide that will be reflected in the Excel document.
Plus, you’ll have high-end features with the functionality you’d expect in more expensive stand-alone programs that larger-sized businesses use. This allows you to create exceptional flyers, business documents, presentations and more.
- Exchange Online: This is Microsoft’s backend email server. With Office 365 you’ll have access to Exchange Online with 50GB of mailbox storage per user. You can manage your business communications across all your devices, and share quickly and securely.
- OneDrive for Business: Put all your documents and files in the cloud, in one place for enhanced efficiency and productivity. You’ll have access to all your work from one secure, reliable place, with 1TB of cloud storage per user.
- Skype for Business: Is a video/web conferencing program that you may already be familiar with. Microsoft has incorporated Skype into Office 365 so you have access to messaging, audio and video calls, and online meetings, all from this one application.
- SharePoint Online: SharePoint is a content management system that works seamlessly with the other applications in Office 365. You can add permissions for your colleagues, employees, vendors, suppliers to selectively share ideas and work.
- Yammer: This popular texting application is now part of the Office 365 solution. Yammer allows you to create team chat rooms, allows you to send texts back and forth more quickly, send private messages to your team, share information, and organize around projects. Yammer can be incorporated into your other Office 365 applications as well.
- Groups: To enhance the work experience, Microsoft included this team-share site into Office 365. It allows you to manage projects and collaborate effectively with your team members using a shared inbox, calendar, document library site and Yammer feed. Unlike SharePoint, you don’t have to assign permissions because the group will have pre-set permissions individually.
- Office 365 Video: Now you can capture, share and discover videos from any device using Microsoft’s cloud. No more sending large video files that take forever to download. You simply stream or edit them from the cloud.
- Cross-platform experiences: Microsoft customized platforms across devices to enhance functionality. The result is a familiar, consistent experience across devices that makes on-the-go document creation, review and collaboration easy.
- Office for Mac: Some people just can’t do without their Apple computers. So, Microsoft developed Office for Mac that has a similar look and feel as Office on Windows. Plus, it seamlessly integrates with Office 365.
- Delve: Get to know your colleagues and help them get to know you. Create a profile and put documents, videos, blogs, anything you want to share about yourself with others. You can search across your organization for information and insights derived from individual user behavior, relationships to content, topics and one another.
- BI for everyone: BI (Business Intelligence) in Office 365 allows you to collect, filter and organize your company’s data in a way that helps you get information, spot trends, and focus on what matters. You can share this data with your employees and colleagues to help you make better decisions for your organization.
- Trust Center: This is a customer-focused area with a dashboard where you can access tools, online support, controls to help with archiving data, and more that allows you to access data that previously only tech people could. For example, you can archive emails for all your employees for five years by just clicking a few boxes. It incorporates the highest level of security, privacy and compliance, required for businesses today.
- Compliance Center: This tool is included the Trust Center. It allows you the control to store and archive data to meet your legal, regulatory and organizational requirements from one place. Plus, it integrates with all of Office 365’s features, including Exchange and SharePoint.
- eDiscovery: Within the Compliance Center, eDiscovery allows you to easily search for documents using specific queries. This is much easier than going file by file to find particular documents. You can find, protect and transfer content from one central point.
- Rights Management Services: This improves the security of your data with advanced encryption using RMS (Risk Management Solutions). Whether it’s your spreadsheet, financial information or other documents, you can protect them with a password, or set permissions allowing access for selected individuals.
- Data Loss Prevention: Block the transmission of your organization’s sensitive information. When credit card numbers or sensitive account numbers, etc., are keyed into an email or document, a pop-up warns the user that they are attempting to send confidential information. It relays your security policy, or can even block the transmission of this information automatically.
- Encryption: You can encrypt not only documents but also emails so only select individuals can open them.
Office 365 Benefits All Types of Businesses
Microsoft Office 365 is a valuable solution for firms in any industry, including those in:
- Financial Services—BI power gives you greater insight into your business performance, provides enhanced layers of security and an enriched customer experience.
- Healthcare has a lot to gain from Office 365 when it comes to collaboration and PHI security. Patient reports can be posted online in the cloud to provide a better experience for employees and patients. Plus, you’ll have the peace of mind knowing they are stored and transmitted securely to help you meet HIPAA compliance regulations.
- Retail—With everything in one place, employees can access inventory, documentation, HR, all from their tablet, laptop or smartphone. This reduces costs and increases efficiencies.
- Manufacturing—Office 365 can be used across different devices so your foreman can send real-time information from a tablet or other mobile device to the home office or clients. This allows for better reporting and decision-making.
- Hospitality—You can collaborate and have a share point all in one place for your restaurants, hotels and other services, in a consistent real-time way.
- Law Offices—Capture data when talking to a client and share it in real time with employees. Plus, you can save this data securely to the cloud so you can go home and finish working on a case if needed. Documents, emails, etc., can all be archived as long as necessary. And with enhanced security, Office 365 helps you meet your legal compliance requirements.
- Contractors—Manage your resources, logistics, budgets, calendars, and invite people to your groups to organize and complete projects in a timely, cost-effective way.