Microsoft Office 365 was launched on June 28, 2011. Did you know that the first Microsoft Office suite was released for Mac OS a full year before it was made available on MS Windows?
In fact, Office software was originally released separately, with Excel leading the pack (under the name Multiplan). PowerPoint came next, which was purchased by Microsoft for USD 14 million.
Over the years, Microsoft has continued to develop their signature Office suit by adding additional productivity software like Word, the now defunct OneNote, etc. However, in the past 5 years, Microsoft has started to shift its approach in how they are providing MS Office to their customers.
Approximately 4 years ago, in the summer of 2011, Microsoft launched Office 365. It was their foray into the cloud computing industry, taking on established players like Google’s cloud apps. Their investment in the cloud has paid off tremendously. They’ve now overtaken Google, Box and even Salesforce as the clear leader in cloud applications with the biggest base of users.
Those who adopted Office 365 early on realized the myriad of benefits the cloud version of Office provided over the on-premises software. However, despite their rapid growth in user acquisition, Office 365 has barely scratched the surface of its potential reach.
Below are 10 reasons why organizations should move to Microsoft Office 365.
1. With Office 365 you pay for only what you use. In the past, companies with on-premises MS Office services purchased server and infrastructure capacity that was adequate for peak usage. Most of the time, a lot of the capacity sat idle. With Office 365 capacity can be purchased then decommissioned as needed, leading to tremendous cost savings.
2. Office 365 fits better in today’s mobile world. The introduction of smartphones has led to several paradigm shifts. Employees are no longer tied to their office desks. Office 365 is better suited in a mobile world where it makes itself available anywhere, anytime. Users can take advantage of Office 365 from their work computers and their home. They can use it on their personal computers, and mobile devices all the while knowing that they’ll have access to all their files no matter the time, device or location.
3. Office 365 allows for faster time to market. Every time a new employee is on-boarded, an Office license is earmarked for that employee to be installed on their computer. Multiply this by 1000s of employees, and the installation cost of the software skyrockets. With Office 365, all one needs to do is buy a new license and create the user account. Instead of hours, the turn around time is reduced to minutes.
4. With Office 365 business may do more with less. Building and maintaining data centers is a costly activity. While using Office 365, businesses no longer have to worry about having a data center. The reduced number of servers and cost of the software decreases IT expenditure. This free up IT to focus their energy on more innovative things that otherwise would be out of reach.
5. No more software updates. One of the great things about Office 365 is that whatever version you’re using is always the latest version. You always have the most up to date versions of Excel, Word, PowerPoint and Outlook, as well as OneDrive, Exchange Online, Yammer, and SharePoint Online.
6. Office 365 enables collaboration. SharePoint & OneDrive are Microsoft’s primary collaboration offering. They let employees invite co-workers and business partners to access and edit documents and other content in real-time. Collaboration with the on-premises version of Office means sending email attachments, without having the ability to make changes to a document at the same time.
7. Office 365 has robust security capabilities. It’s ironic that data security remains the number one reason why some businesses haven’t moved to the cloud, when considering the fact that Office 365 is built and maintained by Microsoft who has a budget of $1bn per year for security. Office 365’s security features are extremely robust.
For example, Office 365 provides per-file encryption, where every file has a unique encryption key, any updates to the file is encrypted with a new key and the encryption key itself is encrypted.
The keys are distributed geographically in data centers and use physical security measures such as badges, smart cards, biometric scanners, motion sensors, security officers, video surveillance, as well as two-factor identity authentication.
In addition, useful security features like Data Loss Prevention comes standard with Exchange online to help companies comply with legal and regulatory laws.
8. Office 365 facilitates Mergers and Acquisitions. Office 365 enables faster changes so that two companies can merge faster and more efficiently. In the past, the on-premises MS Office would require months of migrating software and decommissioning data centers before two companies are running on the same MS Office stack.
9. With Office 365, your favorite apps are in one place. The Windows Store has many useful productivity and business apps. Whenever an application is downloaded, it can be accessed from the Office 365 home screen. This makes for a superior user experience while ensuring greater workplace efficiency.
10. Office 365 reduces environmental impact. Few companies adopt Office 365 for this reason, but the fact is that we all have a shared responsibility towards protecting the environment. With fewer data centers worldwide and more efficient operations, we are collectively having less of an impact on the environment.
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