“Communications” has taken on many forms over time, from stone tablets to tablet computers, telegrams to telephones, the Pony Express to Outlook Express. When it comes to today’s communications, the various methods we use in business have long operated in silos: Your phone system was for voice, your computer for email, and that was that. The next level of advancement our society is witnessing is unified communications.  Is your business still running communications in silos?  Is your email on an exchange server?  Are you perhaps even still holding your breath as your employee communications rely on an outdated, no longer supported Small Business Server, or a server you just have to assume your IT department is keeping current with security updates and patches? Is it time to consider Office 365 for email communications as well as the other efficiencies the popular and rapidly growing product provides.  Here are 8 reasons we believe it should at least be part of the discussion:

  1. Simple Email through Outlook 365: If you are considering moving email to a hosted cloud solution, price and feature wise email in the cloud through Outlook 365 beats almost every major hosted Exchange provider. If hosted on premises, upgrading to Exchange online means less costs involved in licenses for Exchange Server and other internal maintenance costs. It also means your email won’t go down with the building the next time the power goes out. Administering email with Office 365 is SIMPLE! Most settings and configurations are available through an easy-to-use web interface.
  2. You will always have the latest version: Consider the value of no longer having to worry about security updates, installing, managing, patching, and upgrading extremely complex software systems. If your IT person is on vacation when a patch is released, do you have to wait until he/she returns to install the necessary security updates? With Office 365 keeping the lights blinking green and the software up-to-date and secure falls on Microsoft and is backed by their service guarantees.
  3. Easy and Competitive pricing: Your business will have predictable and known costs associated with Office 365. How much of a benefit this is depends on how many users/licenses you need and how often Office upgrades are performed currently. Furthermore, the flexible, on-demand payment subscription model will ensure you only pay for what you use. Should you downsize, you are not stuck with costs of maintaining a server that is too big for your new environment.  Should you grow, you aren’t forced to spend a large chunk of capital to upgrade.
  4. Lower TCO: Reducing Total Cost of Ownership in not only immediate monetary value but also in efficiency and resource re-allocation benefits.
  5. Disaster Recovery: Besides email being accessible from anywhere, Outlook 365 has easy and simple file storage and syncing – Each user gets a set amount of space via SkyDrive that they can use to upload all their documents and share. Files can be accessed anywhere giving you access to the web version of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote. This means you can access, create, and edit any of your files from any computer or mobile device with an Internet browser. So you now have access to your business applications even should a disaster strike and you don’t have access to your office.
  6. Scalability, Security, and Stability: All of your data has the power of the Microsoft data center infrastructure. The hardware and software of these data centers were built for scalability, security, and stability to ensure continuity of business for all its customers
  7. Mobility: Your users will have access to mobile apps for a variety of mobile platforms (Windows Phone, iOS, and Android). Plus with Office 365’s Mobile Device Management feature, you gain an incredibly secure and IT compliant feature to manage data on employee’s mobile phones.  (Read our article: Intro to Office 365: Mobile Device Management)
  8. Unified Communications:  Collaboration across your organization will be easier than ever to set up, run, and use. True Unified Communications with O365’s integration with Skype for Business allows your business to have an integrated Cloud PBX solution, manage documents, enable workflows, and participate in social platforms within your organization. Operating within a call center environment is further made simpler and more robust with technology advances Office 365 brings to solutions such as AltiGen’s Max ACD.

Considering Office 365 but need some assistance in how it can work best for you? Contact us today to begin the discussion.