Office 365 is a cloud suite of applications and services, offered by Microsoft to companies of all sizes. In the past, Office applications like Outlook, Word, and Excel were run and managed locally by enterprises, but with Office 365 all of these tools plus more are available in a cloud hosted solution. Companies pay subscriptions fees for the services they want, depending on the number of users they have in their organization.
At the start of 2017, Microsoft had 24.9 million subscribers on the Office 365 platform. When the platform was first launched, it was marketed towards small and medium-sized businesses, but now even large global enterprises are using it as their productivity suite.
Migrating from a local solution to Office 365 has a wide range of benefits for businesses in any industry that relies on IT services for their key operations. Here six advantages of Office 365 migration:
1. Cloud-Based SolutionsSince Office 365 runs entirely in the cloud, migrating to the platform will reduce costs, challenges, and risks for local enterprise IT teams. IT managers no longer need to devote time and resources to managing local email servers or network drives. Instead, employees can connect to Office 365 for Outlook email and OneDrive file storage, plus get instant access to all of the apps they rely on, such as Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.
As the cloud vendor, Microsoft is responsible for ensuring uptime of the Office 365 platform and providing support to enterprise customers. This helps take the burden of your own IT personnel.
2. Flexible ScalingWith Office 365, a company's cloud usage and subscription status can be scaled to align with the growth of its business. No additional servers or networking equipment need to be purchased when new teams and employees are brought on board. Rather, IT managers simply need to adjust their Office 365 subscription plan to account for all end users and the services they require.
3. New Tools and AppsOffice 365 features new tools and applications that are unavailable on other platforms or early versions of the Microsoft Office suite. For instance, the OneDrive tool allows for fast and simple file sharing between users in a company. Files can be moved right from a local computer and accessed anywhere through the OneDrive web interface.
The Office 365 suite also includes the latest version of Skype for Business, which allows companies and teams to communicate in real-time over instant messaging or video conferencing. Skype for Business is available as desktop apps, mobile apps, or within the Outlook web interface.
After Microsoft acquired the social networking service Yammer, it became integrated into the Office 365 offering. Yammer allows enterprises to operate an internal communication network, where employees can share updates, news, and other items of interest.
4. Support for More DevicesOffice 365 is fully supported on all modern systems, including Windows computers, Mac computers, and iPhone and Android mobile devices. Companies can now let their employees use the device of their choice, even a personal device from home, and connect to key corporate tools and programs without any setup effort.
5. Easy Migration and UpdatesMicrosoft offers a wide range of support options for companies looking to migrate services from a legacy environment into the Office 365 cloud platform. Microsoft Gold Certified experts at Innovative Architects can help transfer data between systems and prepare a company's user base for the change to Office 365.
Once a company is live within the Office 365 platform, all users receive updates and new features on a rolling base. The days of painful Windows software updates are over, as apps get security patches and other upgrades at the same time with minimal interruption to your daily operations.
6. Secure and Reliable DataSome companies may be hesitant to switch to Office 365 because it means moving the location of their data away from their own facilities. However, Office 365 features data protection and backup services that will give IT managers peace of mind.
All cloud data is backed up on a regular basis and replicated globally so that outages will not affect end users or risk data loss. IT managers can control all security settings of their Office 365 apps, which means that data remains private to only the people designated to work with it.
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