Office 365: A Cloud-Based Solution

Publication date: Dec 11, 2019

Last Published: Jan 19, 2020

Written by: Payam Pourkhomami, President & CEO, OSIbeyond

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office 365

For several decades, Microsoft has been providing the leading office suite for home users and businesses. Over time, Microsoft’s office suite has evolved from a bundle of several essential office applications into a comprehensive suite that includes many different products. 

If you’re planning to purchase Microsoft Office, the chances are that you’ve already noticed that you have more than one option available. Since 2011, Microsoft is offering its office suite as cloud-based software as a service under the name Office 365, and many customers are less than certain if Office 365 is the right choice for them. 

What is Office 365?

With Office 365, Microsoft brings its popular suite of office applications to the cloud, allowing its customers to enjoy all the applications they know and rely on for a predictable monthly or yearly subscription fee. Plans start at around $5.00 per user for the most affordable version of Office 365.  

Because Office 365 is hosted in the cloud, it’s accessible from anywhere and scalable without any limitations. A business can start with a small subscription and expand it as it grows. All Office 365 subscription plans include automatic updates, so users have always access to the latest version of all office applications included in their subscription, which include: 

  • Microsoft Word: First released in 1983, Microsoft Word is the world’s most popular word processor, boasting a broad range of features for document creation and editing. 
  • Microsoft Excel: Businesses of all sizes depend on Microsoft Excel for their spreadsheet needs, using it to create invoices, track orders, plan budgets, and much more. 
  • Microsoft PowerPoint: This presentation application makes it easy to create visually stunning presentations, complete with animations, multimedia, and interactive elements. 
  • Microsoft OneNote: Used by students and professionals alike, Microsoft OneNote is a capable note-taking application that gathers text notes, drawings, screen clippings, and other content. 
  • Microsoft Outlook: Office 365 includes a hosted version of Microsoft’s email client, allowing users to access their emails and calendar appointments from anywhere. 
  • Microsoft Teams: Combining persistent workplace chat, video meetings, file storage, and application integration, Microsoft Teams is a unified communication and collaboration platform. 
  • Microsoft OneDrive: This cloud file hosting service allows Office 365 subscribers to store data on Microsoft’s servers and seamlessly synchronize them between devices. OneDrive integrates with other Office 365 applications and protects against accidental file loss. 
  • Microsoft SharePoint: This web-based collaborative platform helps users share, organize, and discover information in a secure place and from any device. 

With more expensive Office 365 subscription plans, Microsoft includes several additional business tools, such as Microsoft Flow, Microsoft Forms, Microsoft Yammer, and Microsoft Teams, just to name a few. 

Office 365 Vs Office 2019

The most significant difference between Office 365 and Office 2019, which is the latest version of the desktop edition of Microsoft Office, is the fact that Office 2019 is a one-time purchase that’s limited to one device per license. While the desktop version receives ongoing updates, they are limited largely to bug and security fixes. 

Office 365 Vs Microsoft 365

Introduced in 2017, Microsoft 365 is a complete package that includes not just Office but also Windows 10 Enterprise and Enterprise Mobility + Security (EMS), making it perfect for businesses that use the Windows operating system and would like all their computing needs to be taken care of with a single subscription. That said, all services included in Microsoft 365 are also available individually. 

Benefits of Office 365

There are many important reasons to choose Office 365, and most of them stem from the fact that Office 365 is hosted in the cloud and offered as a convenient subscription service. 

  • Security: With Office 365, security fixes are available instantly to all users, so there’s absolutely no delay from the time a security issue is patched until the patch is installed, making it very difficult for cybercriminals to take advantage of known vulnerabilities. Other security features included in Office 365 are Advanced Threat Analytics (ATA), mobile device management, and message encryption. 
  • Updates: Customers who purchase Office 365 can always access the most recent versions of all included applications. Updates are installed seamlessly by Microsoft, which means that IT staff can focus on other things. 
  • Cloud storage: Thanks to its seamless integration of Microsoft OneDrive, users of Office 365 can store their files in the cloud and access them from anywhere and any device. All the standard plans come with 1 TB of online storage.
  • Mobile support: Office 365 works on Windows, Mac, and mobile devices running Android and iOS. It empowers employees to work from anywhere using their favorite productivity tools. Real-time collaboration with support for revisions is enabled across all applications included in Office 365.
  • Scalability: A single Office 365 can work on up to 5 devices, and adding more users to an existing subscription plan is a matter of a few simple clicks. This gives businesses the flexibility to always pay just for what they need, reducing their capital spend.  

Is Office 365 Right For Your Business?

Office 365 is an ideal solution for anyone who wants access to the latest Microsoft Office applications and the benefits of the cloud, which include scalability, security, and flexibility. With Office 365, businesses of all sizes can enjoy hassle-free access to all the tools they need to be productive for a predictable subscription fee.

Wondering how to implement Office 365 at your organization? As a Microsoft Silver Cloud Platform Partner, OSIbeyond has helped hundreds of organizations leverage Microsoft cloud products to improve operational efficiency and deliver better results for customers. Contact OSIbeyond today to speak with a representative about using Office 365 in your organization.

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