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What is Office 365 and why should I care?

It’s all in the name: access all your Microsoft Office applications from anywhere, with any device, anytime you want.

Office 365 is Microsoft in the cloud: install Apps on your computer, smartphone and tablet, log in and enjoy access to all your files which are synchronized via OneDrive (Microsoft’s cloud storage service). Work on your files, even edit Word and Excel documents, on any device.

Today, many employers expect employees to do work even when they aren't at the office. As such, users expect to be able to work from a variety of devices and from anywhere. Office 365 helps with this by providing each user with multiple licenses for Microsoft Office so that Office can be used on a number of different devices. Office 365 has long allowed those with an appropriate subscription to download the latest desktop version of Microsoft Office. More recently however, Microsoft has also made Office available through the Office 365 portal for a variety of mobile devices.

Microsoft often markets Office 365 as a tool for cutting IT costs by reducing the administrative overhead. Although Office 365 does make administration easier in many cases, thinking of Office 365 solely as a form of IT outsourcing really misses the main benefit to using Office 365. That benefit can be summed up in one word -- flexibility. An end user's location, device type, and operating system becomes almost irrelevant. The user may work from the device of their choosing, without sacrificing the ability to use the same tools as, and collaborate with the other users in the organization

Automatic upgrades, patches and updates on every device

Key benefits of Office 365 include:

  1. No more maintenance
    Being in the cloud, Office 365 is always up to date, always maintained and never requires patching. No more ‘patch Tuesday’ – and when it updates, on a continuous basis, user impact is virtually zero.
  2. Office 365 scales with your business
    Like other cloud offerings, you pay for what you use. Growing company? Add Office 365 licenses. Downsizing? Remove some. Note that there are options available: if your company has a consistent headcount, choose a longer contract period to benefit from reduced pricing. But if employee numbers routinely change, go with the ‘month to month’ option.
  3. Work anywhere, from any device
    Yep, we’ve covered this already. But when you try Office 365 and see how well it works across devices, you’’ll be as enthusiastic as we are about accessing everything from any device. It just works well.
  4. No annual commitment, same monthly pricing
    One of the most recent additions to the Office 365 offering, is the option to pay monthly in local currency without having to commit to an annual agreement. This means no more hassle reconciling credit cards and more freedom to scale your business.

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