The best technology for businesses to manage their data, documents, and email is to do so in the Cloud with Microsoft Office 365. We’ve been implementing this for many of our business clients to replace local servers and networks, simplifying and streamlining their systems.
Storing, accessing and editing documents in ‘The Cloud’ means that your data is stored online as opposed to on your local network or server. Microsoft calls this ‘Sharepoint’, and it comes with a whole list of benefits:
Access – If you have your email with Outlook or Gmail, for example, you’ll probably already be accessing it from multiple devices and from anywhere where you can get an internet connection. Now imagine that all of your work documents and data are available in the same way. You could work from home in the middle of the night, from a cafe, from overseas. You wouldn’t even necessarily require a set office space anymore, hot-desking becomes possible and your work becomes a whole lot more flexible.
Collaboration – When documents are stored in the Cloud in SharePoint, multiple users can access the same source document and edit a single version. You can even do so at the same time. Changes are saved automatically and are listed on the activity pane so if someone makes a change you don’t like you can change it back; prior versions are available. You can easily ‘Share’ any document or file saved in SharePoint with anyone who has access. Think of it like the old local networks, except that SharePoint can be logged into from anywhere with an internet connection.
Applications – Microsoft Office 365 comes with all the classic Microsoft applications we’re all familiar with; Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Publisher etc. Depending on the package and the device you’re using you may have access to the full applications on your computer, as well as online versions. So I might produce an Excel spreadsheet on my desktop computer and then take my tablet to a meeting during which I might edit the same spreadsheet using an online version of Excel. I could have even held the meeting over Skype for Business (with the right package), and Shared the spreadsheet in advance with all of the attendees. There are also a range of mobile apps available for phones and tablets. Applications are also automatically updated to the latest versions.
Security and Back Up – Office 365 is extremely reliable and secure. Local networks and servers are susceptible to breakdown, infiltration, and the usual limitations of standard hardware but Microsoft Office 365 boasts 5-level security and guarantee 99.9% up-time. Automatic document saving (with prior versions) means that you never need to lose anything important ever again.
We recommend the Business Premium package. It includes the following applications: Outlook, Word, Excel, Powerpoint, OneNote, Publisher (PC only), Sharepoint, OneDrive for Business, Skype for Business, Access (PC Only). It’s an annual subscription service and you pay by the User. Each User can access it on up to five PCs or Macs plus up to 5 tablets and 5 smartphones.
If you’re starting a new business or thinking of upgrading we would certainly recommend Office 365. The clients that we have on it are loving the flexibility and reliability it provides. If you would like to know more we can provide a free, one-hour consultation to discuss how Office 365 could enhance the way that you do business. Please contact Kerrin on firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 07 827 7119