Could 85 million active users be wrong? We think not. That is the reported number of individual Microsoft Office 365 active users worldwide. For business users, this Microsoft on-the-cloud suite of data storage as well as Software as a Service (SaaS) applications provide security, mobility, productivity, and downsizing of server infrastructure, all of which contribute to a more robust and predictable bottom line.
WHAT IS MICROSOFT OFFICE 365?
It is Microsoft’s cloud subscription-based service that delivers all of the productivity application tools that businesses have come to depend on, plus web conferencing, email, and data storage. These tools can be used on mobile devices such as tablets and smart phones in addition to desktops. This includes Mac and Android devices as well.
The applications can include: email, social networking services through hosted versions of Exchange Server Online, Skype for Business, SharePoint Online, Lync Online and Office Web Apps as well as Office Professional Plus. Earlier this month, Microsoft sweetened the deal for commercial users by adding Visio, a diagramming application that allows users to create and then share graphics with others, who can then share their comments.
No matter which level of service, all business subscribers receive one terabyte of data storage per user on OneDrive. The data is not only accessible from anywhere there is an Internet connection, it can also synch with the preferred device for offline access. Plus, all those applications are always the latest version and up to date, without the need of license renewal.
Whether you’re a small business with five employees, or a Fortune 500 with thousands of employees, Office 365 has been proven to save money and make IT costs more predictable. Just for starters, efficiencies are found in reduced licensing costs, elimination of some or all hardware planning, implementation and related maintenance costs, as well as reduced power needs, and more.
In study after study, when Microsoft Office 365 is thoughtfully implemented and tailored to an organization’s specific needs, productivity can increase up to an hour per user every day. The Microsoft Office 365 platform revolutionizes the way businesses access information and collaborate, internally within the organization and externally with suppliers and clients.
The question to ask is: How much does that patchwork quilt of legacy productivity applications and on-site data storage really cost?
The international research and advisory firm Forrester reported that enterprises, with a composite workforce of 1,000 employees, that migrated from legacy software and on-site servers to Microsoft Office 365 and its cloud SaaS and OneDrive could realize an ROI of 162%, with a payback in seven months. In two other studies Forrester also found that mid-size organizations could see a 321% ROI, and small businesses could realize a 154% ROI in the first year.
Microsoft Office 365 is paid for via a predictable monthly or annual subscription, which allows for most if not all IT expenditures to move from the CAPEX to OPEX column. The only thing to decide is which suite of applications fits your needs. Also, note that in terms of data storage this offering can absolutely be deployed as a hybrid solution simultaneously utilizing both the cloud and on- or off-site data center storage set-ups.
THE SUPPORT DECISION POINT
As is the case every year, Microsoft publishes its list of products that it will no longer offer support, either through updates or customer service. For instance, this year many business software products released in 2007 will no longer be updated or eligible for support.
If your business is using any or all of the 2007 business productivity products, you have a reached a serious decision point. Of course you could simply continue using the outdated product, knowing that you only have yourself to rely on if anything has a hiccup. You could also purchase the latest software and licenses, such as Exchange Server 2016, repeat this process again in another couple of years.
Or you could save yourself the trouble for years to come and migrate to Microsoft Office 365 subscription model. Only in Microsoft Office 365 will your organization enjoy the latest versions of all the software products, plus support, without ever having to purchase another software package or license again.
While some businesses feel a lot more secure being able to reach out and touch their hardware, and watch it humming happily along in their on-premises data center, what is the backup plan for the unforeseen disaster? Remember, disaster does not have to take the form of an extreme weather event, but includes hacks, mismanagement, prolonged and rolling power outages and theft.
Microsoft Office 365 is hosted in Microsoft datacenters, which are strategically located around the world. While the office may be under water or worse, Microsoft Office 365 will keep your organization’s applications and data safe, because Microsoft employs full-geographic mirrored redundancy that is also monitored, something that only a handful of organizations globally have the ability to do.
An additional offering for enterprise organizations that have compliance and/or regulatory requirements is the Office 365 Security & Compliance Center. This is what Microsoft calls “a one-stop portal for protecting your data.” It ensures the organization is in control of threat management and access, such as who has access to perform eDiscovery and retention, even which devices, applications and individuals can be granted access.
Here at Global IP Networks, we have many clients removing servers and gaining immediate and secure access to tools like instant messaging, online meetings and SharePoint. We invite you to explore the advanced security of the cloud and of hybrid data storage solutions.
Free up your technology and workload by engaging Global IP Networks today to migrate, manage, monitor and maintain your critical information and applications in the cloud. Making that shift allows you to focus on what is really important: your business and achieving your objectives.
Contact our experts and discuss this cost-effective model and how Microsoft Office 365 can support your business.