Six Reasons Why Businesses are Switching to Office 365

Big Additions to O365 Hold Big Advantages for SMB

In the past 3 years, feature enhancements and consolidation of standalone products have made Office 365 more attractive to small business. But is it really enough for a small business to consider a move to Office 365? If Email and the Microsoft Office Suite come to mind when you hear “Office 365,” you’re off to a good start. But the real strength of Office 365 is the combination of powerful collaboration and sharing tools that, when combined, can transform your business to dramatically add competitive advantages in the way you operate.

Serious Convenience Whenever & Wherever
The ability to check your email remotely is just the tip of the iceberg with O365. The complete Office suite on all your devices is another advantage. What is not as commonly known is the entire suite of products that fall under O365. This includes web conferencing, collaboration tools, file sharing capabilities, and a host of other add-on products that all neatly integrate data seamlessly throughout your business.

OneDrive and SharePoint easily allow you to sync files between devices to allow for remote access to files and documents. When sending a file as an attachment, you actually send a link to the file. This way there aren’t multiple copies of a document and no more sharing flash drives between computers. My Documents can be redirected to OneDrive to ensure critical info is backed up.

Pricing Structure that Checks a Lot of Boxes
The subscription-based plan of O365 is flexible, allowing your team to grow while spending only for what you need, when you need it. Today’s Office apps are available for up to five devices per user. Now you can add/remove new features, upgrade to different plans, or add and remove users easily so you are only paying for what you need. There is no need to buy additional licenses for individual devices or laptops. Another cost saving feature is that you can sign up employees for different plans and mix and match based on individual roles.

As an added benefit of being cloud-based, applications such as Word, Excel, and PowerPoint are updated easily and are part of the subscription plan, so that the free features that come with it make it a powerful business tool. Gone are the days of updating applications by reinstalling software. Having the latest version at a low monthly fee is both attractive and convenient to small business.

Enterprise Grade Storage at a Small Business Price
Storage alone in O365 is a compelling reason to consider the switch. Managing and maintaining storage for on-premises Exchange mailboxes without O365 was the old way of doing business—but not anymore. O365 gives each user 50 GB of storage through Exchange online. This space can be delegated to calendar entries, tasks, contracts, attachments and most importantly, email. Microsoft also keeps the advantages coming. Recent updates eliminate the need for large data requirements on the server and provide up to 1 TB of storage when sharing files on OneDrive and SharePoint.

“But wait there’s more…” (as the old Ginzu knife commercial used to say). If storage alone does not entice you to consider O365, automatic back-ups and instant access to files might, making O365 an enterprise-grade tool at a small business price tag.

And What about Security?
Glad you asked. O365 comes with the best of the best data centers, redundancy and online protection that goes beyond what any one business could probably afford. Exchange Online protects your email against spam, malware, and known threats with more than 1,000 security and privacy controls. The ability to control who and when someone has access to your business information with custom permissions allows for a deeper security posture. It also includes the ability to create password policies and rules can be set up that require users to reset their passwords after a specified number of days.

O365 also includes traditional “remote wipe” capabilities, and because it’s an online feature, it gives you the advantage of deciding what gets wiped and what stays. What’s more, File Restore lets users recover missing or damaged files for up to 30 days. For businesses, who send sensitive information over email, email encryption ensures that the intended recipient is the only one who can read the email on the other end, making security (next to storage) one of the best-selling features of O365.

Collaboration Really Is a Big Deal
Today’s employees are no longer resigned to a cubical. Many workers work from home and/or remote locations. Bringing together the power of the team, from any location or time zone, is a big plus to the O365 suite. Applications like Teams, Groups, and SharePoint enable small businesses with a full toolkit of sharing, video, communication, and collaboration capabilities that will enable your team to be more productive and efficient on any project.

Using the Teams tool, employees can immediately access the quick chat feature or view files from permission-based, shared files. Set up the easy to use app on a mobile device to conduct your next video conferencing meeting and view project-based documents. Teams brings together the ability for employees to communicate and share without the purchase of disparate and disconnected tools.

Go Beyond Just Outlook
There are multiple apps and add-on productivity tools that improve the efficiency of everyday functions such as calendar sharing, translator apps, or tracking your FedEx packages. An organization typically uses only about 10% of the Office 365 functionality, but after becoming more familiar with the platform, you find that you want to use more.

However you choose to track communication, O365 has a sure method for documenting each piece of communication and cataloging that information for easy access down the road. Templates automate workflows and let apps talk to each other. For instance, if someone new follows you on Twitter, you can set up a Flow that follows them back, sends a message to them, and then adds that company information to your sales CRM. Or simply set up a text alert when your boss emails you.

Link High is all about helping small businesses get the most out of any technology investment. We offer help in evaluating the type of subscription program, O365 pieces and the migration to this cloud-based product that works best for your needs, timelines, and goals. Whether you need to start from the beginning or are looking for specific training on one of the many available applications Link High Technologies offers low fixed fee options.

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