Office 365 – Why We Made the Switch

How many hats do you wear owning a small business? As small business owners, we often find ourselves in the roles of Sales Manager, Accounting Manager, Operations Manager, even IT Manager. How do we keep up and provide the high-quality customer service our clients demand? How can we take just one task off of the plate of our employees?

My husband Eric and I juggle these roles on a daily basis. Our mission is to implement internal IT solutions that provide us peace-of-mind as well as ensure our network runs more smoothly. Microsoft Office 365 is one of those solutions. Since installation, we’ve seen a boost in employee productivity as well as office efficiency.

So what is Microsoft Office 365 and why did we make the switch?

What is Microsoft Office 365?
According to the Microsoft website: “Office 365” refers to subscription plans that include access to Office applications plus other productivity services that are enabled over the Internet (cloud services). Various plans range from a Basic Email Subscription only to plans including Microsoft Office. Applications are “hosted” (data stored and managed in a data center and retrieved via the Internet) by Microsoft.

Why did we make the switch?
Other than embracing cloud technology, our main reason for making the switch: peace-of-mind! We were tired of worrying about our Microsoft Exchange 2007 server. We had to allocate our employees time to monitor and maintain the server. If the server went down, we experienced downtime, which disrupted our email communication with our clients. It was just getting too risky.

One of the key reasons a small business should embrace cloud solutions is for mobility. Office 365 syncs to all devices. Accessing email from our home desktop, laptop, smartphone or tablet is imperative to keep up with today’s demand for instant communication.

Take cost into “Account”:
With Office 365 you buy only those licenses you need with a predictable monthly fee. Pricing can range from approximately $4 per month per user up to $25 per month per user depending upon the program selected. There are no hardware costs, maintenance fees or warranty expenses like those incurred buying a physical server. The expense for Office 365 turns into an operating expense because this is a service versus a capital expense that depreciates over time.

Let’s Collaborate:
Office 365 boasts other great features including a cloud version of the Microsoft Office suite, Sky Drive (the name has recently changed to One Drive) and SharePoint. We are able to create documents from any browser, synchronize and share those files using Sky Drive and collaborate on a project posting docs and to-dos via SharePoint. All of our data is in the very capable and secure hands of Microsoft.

At some point, something has got to give. Adopting a cloud-based email solution such as Office 365 is like taking one extra ball out of the air instead of watching all of them tumble to the ground.



Leave a comment

Avatar About the Author:

previous arrow
next arrow