10 Reasons It's Time to Adopt Microsoft Office 365 Cloud App Suite

10 Reasons It's Time to Adopt Microsoft Office 365 Cloud App Suite
You Can Choose From a Number of Packages
Pricing Is Available for Different Business Sizes
You Can Still Deploy the Office 365 Suite On-Premises
It Runs on the iPad and Soon Android
It Includes OneDrive Cloud Data Storage
Microsoft Guarantees 99.9 Percent Uptime Backed by Service Agreement
Collaboration Is at the Core
Microsoft Makes the Security Sales Pitch
Microsoft's Acquisitions Are All Over the Place
It's Microsoft's Answer to Google Apps for Business
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10 Reasons It's Time to Adopt Microsoft Office 365 Cloud App Suite

By Don Reisinger

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You Can Choose From a Number of Packages

Don't make the mistake of falling into the wrong Office 365 plan. Microsoft offers a wide range of plans for individuals, businesses, enterprises and educational institutions. Depending on requirements, customers can choose the plan that's right for them and go about their day. Make sure to research those plans before making a move.

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Pricing Is Available for Different Business Sizes

Because there are so many plans offered through Office 365, customers will find that there is a wild swing in pricing. Simple business plans, for instance, cost $5 per user per month, but that price goes up to $12.50. Enterprise costs, depending on need, can be as high as $22 per user per month. As you can see, the costs associated with Office 365 can go up quickly.

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You Can Still Deploy the Office 365 Suite On-Premises

Although Microsoft has made a significant push for the cloud, the company's Office 365 is still an offline solution for those who desire it. Some of the company's plans include the ability to download full versions of the Office suite to a Mac or PC. On Business Plans, the limit is up to five PCs or Macs per user.

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It Runs on the iPad and Soon Android

Earlier this year, Microsoft announced that Office 365 would be available on the iPad, and those who have business plans can download Office for tablets on up to five Windows slates or iPads. Coming soon, Microsoft will support Android, which should only improve adoption on the mobile side.

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It Includes OneDrive Cloud Data Storage

Those looking for cloud storage will find it in the form of OneDrive. Business plans come with file storage and sharing of 1TB per user. Data stored on OneDrive can be synchronized across devices and accessible from both offline and online versions of Office. It's a nice add-on.

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Microsoft Guarantees 99.9 Percent Uptime Backed by Service Agreement

Microsoft has guaranteed that its uptime on Office 365 will be steady. The company says that customers can expect 99.9 percent uptime and offers a financially backed service-level agreement to customers. One other important note: It has 24/7 phone support for critical Office 365 issues.

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Collaboration Is at the Core

By leveraging the cloud, Microsoft can make collaboration a key component in its offering. Through Office 365, customers can collaborate through SharePoint, Lync and Yammer, among other features. Collaboration and enabling employees to work across locations and departments are highly sought-after features, and it appears Microsoft is focusing on those with Office 365.

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Microsoft Makes the Security Sales Pitch

Data security is another major concern for companies, and Microsoft makes the bold statement that Office 365 can deliver "world-class data security." The company has 24-hour monitoring of its data centers and provides both logical and data security controls to customers. There's also a privacy function that can be used by IT administrators to ensure only certain information is shared with certain users.

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Microsoft's Acquisitions Are All Over the Place

Office 365 includes components from many of Microsoft's acquisitions in the enterprise applications field. For instance, Skype is a key component in the platform and allows for HD video conferencing with others. Yammer, the company's enterprise social network, is also available in Office 365. Microsoft is at least getting some value out of its major acquisitions in Office 365.

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It's Microsoft's Answer to Google Apps for Business

No evaluation of Office 365 would be complete without discussing the competition. And while there are many cloud-based services that offer Office-like functionality, the platform's chief competitor is Google Apps for Business. That service costs $50 per user per year and includes many of the same features found in Office 365, including email support, productivity apps and more. Whether it's a better or worse solution compared with Office 365, however, is under debate.

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