Business woman working in office

Even if your business is one of the most innovative and boundary stretching, the odds are good you are still using the Microsoft Office Suite, which includes Word, PowerPoint, and Excel. Even if you’re using a different suite of programs, you likely work with others who do use these products, so you need access to Microsoft Office tools to collaborate. In the past, you needed to buy physical copies or digital downloads of the latest Microsoft Office Suite for each computer/user in the office. Today, Microsoft has given businesses a much more convenient option with Microsoft Office 365. In this blog, you can find out more about Microsoft Office 365 and why your business should be using it. If you need help with your Microsoft Office 365 migration or any other IT support needs, don’t forget to contact IT ArchiTeks.

Before We Dive in – What is Microsoft Office 365?

You are likely already familiar with the traditional Microsoft Office Suite. However, you no longer need to worry about buying all the individual licenses or actual disks for each of your business computers and/or employees. Thanks to Microsoft Office 365, you can purchase a scalable license that is flexible for your business. Plus, you have more options to choose from, so you can include things like Outlook for business and other solutions that aren’t necessarily included in the basic Microsoft Office Suite. Best of all, it’s all available online through Microsoft’s cloud-based system.

1 – Cost Effective & Budget Friendly

The transparent monthly pricing associated with all of the Microsoft Office 365 plans (as of July 2019) includes basic technical support, regular software updates, and rigorous data security practices. Plus, if your business is already using the Microsoft Office Suite, you don’t need to worry about costly migrations to completely different products. In most cases, the entire process is as simple as a software update (Hit start and go get your cup of coffee). Most importantly, the easily scalable product options allow for the easy addition of new employees who can use your business computers, their home computers, and even mobile devices to access their work. All at reasonable rates.

2- Easy Access for Brick & Mortar & Virtual Companies

Tired of emailing your business document back and forth to multiple stakeholders only to wind up wondering which is the most recent version as you stare at 3 different documents on your desktop at the end of the week? Microsoft Office 365 gives you multiple options to share documents and projects, so your teams can work smarter not harder. Multiple team members and departments can work online with the same document and always know which version is the latest. Whether your business is housed in a single brick and mortar building or includes team members around the globe, Microsoft Office 365 can work for you.

3- Great Company-Wide Communication & Collaboration Tools

Group of young people working in modern office

Looking for better intra-office communication and collaboration? Microsoft Office 365 has you covered here too. There are numerous apps (online and desktop) that making sharing projects and keeping all the right people in the loop about the projects simple, including:

  • Exchange Online – the business-class version of Microsoft’s Outlook email software, Exchange Online gives your employees access to all the basic email and security services that are expected, but you get some extra benefits like shared mailboxes and/or calendars, bulk mail options, and more.
  • SharePoint Online – most of us remember those old fashioned in-office file-sharing networks, and many people have used the Google document sharing app. Microsoft has taken the best things about both of these options to create SharePoint. Access files created by other employees seamlessly without having multiple versions of the document and collaborate in real time across the building or 1,000 miles away.
  • Skype for Business – so many businesses have employees who are no longer located in one office. Instead, your team may be around the corner or in another country, but you still need them in the meeting. That’s where Skype for Business comes in. Multiple users can sign in to the meeting, interact face-to-face, and truly experience your on-site meeting like they’re present.
  • Microsoft Teams – are you using an open source software like “Slack” to track your employees, tasks, and inter-department communications? Microsoft Teams offers an upgraded version of these programs with versatile and customizable settings to ensure your teams can easily receive and send tasks between employees for more time working and less time calling to ask if John/Joan finished their step in the process.

4 – Access from Just About Any Device = More Time on Task

With the traditional Microsoft Office Suite, employees could only access their documents and files using one business computer. Microsoft Office 365 allows individuals to download their programs on up to 5 devices, so whether your employee is on a plane using their tablet to touch base with the clients they’re on the way to see or sitting behind their desk in the office, they can stay on task.

5 – Take the Stress off of Your IT Managers – Trust Us They Have Enough to Do

IT managers and employees already spend their day helping your other employees understand their computer programs, download updates, and change their passwords. Won’t a program like Microsoft Office 365 just give them more to do? Actually, no! Once your employees are set up with individual user access, they can download their programs on computers and mobile devices, update the software, and perform many of the tedious tasks that might have fallen on the shoulders of an overworked IT team. Don’t worry, Microsoft Office 365 does still have settings and options to ensure your employees are utilizing the systems appropriately and get them logged back in when they inevitably go on vacation and forget their passwords.

6 – Range of Options to Fit Your Needs

Whether you’re a start-up with less than 10 employees or a multi-location corporation, Microsoft Office 365 has plan options that will meet your needs and fit your budget. You can explore all of these options online, call a Microsoft sales rep, or let one of the IT consultants at IT ArchiTeks help you find the best fit.

7 – Regular Updates & Bug Fixes

With Microsoft Office 365, you will receive regular updates to ensure you always have the latest software without bugs or glitches. No more waiting for the next version of software to come out or buying patches to tide you over.

8 – Options to Improve Your Business Model

Not only has Microsoft Office 365 created solutions to improve your business communication and collaboration from anywhere, but they’ve also created applications that actively monitor your business processes to help you improve. Namely, the unique “personal assistant” app called Delve. This app tracks what you do throughout the day, who you’re working with, and how you communicate. Then, it can make suggestions to improve your process.

Lastly – Make it Easy to Transition with Help from IT ArchiTeks

Three young business professionals working on program

While Microsoft Office 365 does offer basic technical support services and they have done the work to make migration fairly simple, you may still find yourself confused by one of the steps in the process, unsure whether or not you need a specific add-on application, or needing help with determining which package makes sense for your business. That’s where IT ArchiTeks comes in. We offer a full range of IT support and consulting services to help you find the right software, keep your systems up-to-date, and avoid costly IT concerns that can put your business on hold. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us to learn more.