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Why Office 365 Makes Sense
If you haven’t heard of Office 365, you really should have. Office 365 is the brand name for Microsoft’s Software-as-a-service (SaaS) cloud offerings which include their Hosted Exchange 2013 services as well as Sharepoint, Lync, OneDrive and many others. The other part of the cloudy offering is the subscription based Office software package which also represents great value for business. The product is a mature and reliable service, having been originally launched in the second part of 2011.
Microsoft proudly boasts several household names it has signed up to its services, such as Aston Martin, British Airways and large public sector organisations including many universities and colleges. Perhaps less well known, is that BT recently outsourced their customer’s email service to Office 365; whilst good news for your average home user, this is bad for businesses relying on BT mail as they are not harnessing the full power of Office 365, but rather a version that is crippled by being bolted onto their poorly designed and ageing back-end, the result being something akin to Frankenstein’s Monster and to add insult to injury, at a higher price point than going direct to Microsoft too!
In today’s ever-connected business environment, e-mail is the life blood of many businesses and any downtime, no matter how small, is critical. If you are a small-to-medium sized business to have a high-availability solution with geo-redundant Exchange servers with backup internet connectivity and power can be a very expensive undertaking, easily running into the high thousands in terms of initial outlay for hardware and licensing and then of course; ongoing maintenance costs such as extended warranties and servicing, not to mention depreciation and the eventual replacement that will be needed on failure or when your organisation outgrows your current capacity.
With Office 365 these worries become a thing of the past – your Exchange organisation is safely in “the cloud”. Powerful management tools make it as configurable as an on-premise deployment but with none of the overheads and all of the peace of mind that you have a resilient, future proof, scaleable solution that won’t cause you to lose productivity or data in the event of a power failure, loss of internet connectivity, fire, flood or any of the other imaginable scenarios that could cause a mail server in your office to keel over.
It makes financial sense
Traditionally you would require one Office license for each device you have and need to use Office on, so if you have a PC in the office, a PC at home as well as a laptop, you would need three office licenses which could easily set you back £745 for the professional edition.
With the Office 365 E3 Plan which is £15 per user per month, you get 5 installations of Office which would cover all these devices as well as giving you access to the web-based office package, Office for Mac and now Office for iOS and Android devices too. Once you consider the annual cost of £180 also includes the equivalent of software assurance – i.e. you get access to the latest version of Office when it is released, rather than having to fork out again for an upgrade, as well as your 50GB Mailbox it really does start to look like a great investment.
Ready to bring your business e-mails into the future?
Whether you have one mailbox or a thousand, Sphere IT can provide a fully-managed deployment and migration of Office 365 services for your business, with minimal disruption to your workflow and no loss of service or data at any time.