Microsoft Office 365: The Future
of Office Productivity?
If you are here reading
this article, it would not be a stretch to say that you have heard, more than a
fair share about the cloud and cloud storage, among other related terms in recent
history (There are commercials on TV for heaven's sake!). Well that's because
the cloud, is one of the hottest current buzzword, and is so for good reason.
The reason, is that everything is moving to the cloud. Yes, everything. From
Photoshop, to bookkeeping and accounting software, to CRM software. Everything
that was previous chained to the desktop by gargantuan locks, is now finding
wings. That brings us to the topic of this post, Microsoft Office 365.
After some time holding
out, the mega-corp Microsoft itself, wisely made the move to bring its deficit
standard, Office productivity suite to the cloud. This decision is wise, not
only because it allows for new paradigms in productivity that weren't possible
before, but also saves Microsoft, from the inevitable,
have-your-lunch-being-eaten, by younger, ambitious and agile rivals, that has
befallen a few slow moving big names. It is a dog-eat-dog world after all.
Microsoft began this
venture, by offering a lite cloud version of their Office Suite, attached to
Live mail (now Outlook), and coupled with their excellent cloud storage
OneDrive (previously SkyDrive). It was a convenient way to quickly edit or lay
out the under pining, of a bigger project that one would late finish on a
desktop. However, within a short period of time, Microsoft has outdone itself,
to provide, not only a lite suite, but also a full suite of it's tools, coupled
with ambitious cloud storage pricing and a few other features to boot, to make
a product called Office 365, which is bringing in rave reviews and causing the
technological sphere, to sit up and take note of the previous sleeping giant
that is Microsoft.
And so we land at a
pivotal personal point. Should you or I make the jump to Office 365? Are there
benefits to making the jump? Can the cloud be trusted? Well the answer to al of
these, is, based on research, yes. Thus, the answer will rely on your personal
decision, of whether you'd want to make the jump. Do keep in mind the missteps,
of no longer existing companies that were slow to make the jump.
That said, which package
should you purchase? Well we can help you with that, as Microsoft has made
their demarcations quite clearly known.
Can the Cloud be trusted?
This is a very good question, as not
all clouds are equal! Make sure that any cloud service you sign up for, not
only providestop-notchsecurity features, but also gives clear
distinguishing as towhom the data stored on their services belong. In the
case of Office 365, Microsoft gives the calmassurance that not only do
they have the highest standards of security and data protection, but that
thedata you store there, is unequivocally yours.
They make it quite clear in this
"With Office 365,
it’s your data. You own it. You control it. And it is yours to take with you if
you decide to leave the service.”
Being a multinational,
multibillion-dollar corporation, they would be wise to follow those principles
to the ‘T’.
Additionally, another concern one
should have about the cloud, is how reliable and stable it is. Will you be able
to access a file anytime you need it? Will your changes be synchronized across
all the devices you access your files on?
With Office 365, these questions are
favourably answered, as Microsoft has invested enormously in server plants/farms,
that bodes well for their cloud systems to be always up, and running.
Read more in-depth about their
security and privacy policies here:
What are the benefits of the
producing rain, the cloud has a number of convincing benefits. They are as
1. Your files are
available/accessible on every device you use. There’s no need to remotely log
in to your computer every time you need a file, as it should be synced to the
2. As long as there is an internet
connection, changes you make on a document, also sync to the same document on
all the devices you use.
3. You can rent as much storage as
you need, for fairly cheap prices (There’s also a free tier in many cloud
4. In the case of Office 365,
Microsoft also makes available a physical Office Suite that you can download
and use on your devices. This allows your data to be stored locally, until an
internet connection is available to automatically sync your data.
5. The cloud platform, does that
heavy lifting which allows your data to be on every platform a company caters
to (Even smartphones).
Which Office 365
Package is for me?
There are a
LOT of options! Thankfully Microsoft laid them out quite clearly here:
For Business owners and users: http://products.office.com/en-gb/business/compare-office-365-for-business-plans
For households and home users: http://products.office.com/en-gb/business/compare-office-365-for-business-plans
For students, there’s Office
University, an excellent plan: http://products.office.com/en-gb/university
For the solo entrepreneur or
adventurer there’s office personal: http://products.office.com/en-gb/office-365-personal
something for everyone. Microsoft also runs bundles that tie together their 365
plans, with other subscriptions for other services they provide (Skype, Xbox,
Windows), so keep your eyes peeled to this blog, as we’ll let you know when
those surface (no pun intended). We can also get you set up when your decision is made. From desktops, to tablets, to smartphones, we'll ensure that it all runs as smoothly and efficiently as possible. That's our guarantee here at First Micro.