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

 
 
By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2014-11-07
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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    10 Reasons It's Time to Adopt Microsoft Office 365 Cloud App Suite
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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.
 

When Satya Nadella wrote earlier this year that his plan for leading Microsoft into the next generation centers partly on the idea of being platform-agnostic, he meant what he said. The Microsoft CEO not only started offering Office on the iPad earlier this year, but the software giant has also announced that an Android version of the cloud Office productivity suite is now in a limited preview made available to select users. In other words, Microsoft has finally warmed to the idea of supporting Android and acknowledging its importance in today's mobile world. Microsoft's decision to play nice with other platforms has once again brought Office 365 into focus for many home and enterprise customers around the world. While many companies are content with their desktop Office apps of yesteryear, Microsoft is making a significant push for customers to adopt its cloud services, get into the subscription model of payment and implement Office 365. Not only is that move strategically important to Microsoft, it might also determine its fate over the long term. So, given the amount of attention Microsoft is paying to Office 365, this is a good time to discuss the key features of Office 365 that everyone should know about before deciding one way or another on adopting it.

 
 
 
 
 
Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Gearlog.com. Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for CNET.com, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at http://twitter.com/donreisinger.
 
 
 
 
 
 

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