How Office 365 benefits SMB’s

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Most of us have used Microsoft Office throughout our careers, and built our businesses relying on Office software as a foundation for our productivity. The world-famous suite of applications is a software staple that we have come to love for its familiarity, ease of use and ability to get lots done fast. In fact, most of us would likely be lost without the likes of Word, Excel and PowerPoint to help us achieve our daily goals.

IT is always changing and improving. Corporate technology is moving to the cloud, and so too is the Office suite, in the form of Office 365. This cloud-powered software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform offers permanently up-to-date versions of Outlook, PowerPoint, Excel, Word, OneNote and Publisher. It brings with it significant benefits to small and medium businesses looking to cut costs, be more efficient and get more done. If your company isn’t one of the many to have already made the switch to Office 365, here’s why it is something you should be doing sooner rather than later.

Never buy a new version of Office again!

Sometimes it can feel as though the cycle of new software releases is never-ending, and that’s as true with Office as it is for any other suite of applications. If you have got to the end of transitioning staff to using the newest release, you may see some improvements and benefits and your business may even be starting to recoup from the upgrade. Then, along comes another version, and it’s time to start all over again. If that sounds familiar, then Office 365 could be the respite you’ve been dreaming of.

Office 365 is cloud powered and runs on a monthly subscription basis.  This means you get to bring much-needed predictability back to your IT budget and it comes with constant updates and improvements. That means no more of the large-scale upgrades we’ve become accustomed to in the past.  These are often packed with worthwhile new features and improvements, but costly and disruptive to install and truly benefit from. Instead, smaller updates are rolled out automatically and on an ongoing basis, including security enhancements – which means you’ll likely not even notice they are coming through, let alone suffer inconvenience or downtime.

Having these upgrades included in your flat-rate monthly charge means there is no need for unwelcome surprises, like having to unexpectedly fork out thousands on installing the latest Office package on each of your company’s workstations. You’ll both save money and be able to free yourself from the headache of managing IT software upgrades – instead, you can count on the peace of mind from knowing that you and your entire team will always have full access to the very most recent version of Office that’s available.

Take Office with you, wherever you work

Long gone are the days when we all worked from the same place every day – commuting to the office, completing our tasks and then returning home. Nowadays we are far more likely to take work home of an evening or at the weekend, to catch up on emails while waiting for a train or plane, and to work remotely and collaboratively at a client’s office. In the past, that would have meant buying multiple copies of Office software – or at least hoping that your license was relatively flexible in allowing you to perform the installation on a couple of different machines.

With Office 365, there’s no need to worry – this cloud-based suite allows you enough freedom to use your favourite productivity applications on all the devices you need access to in order to work when and where your schedule dictates. In fact, you can install the Office desktop applications that come with Office 365 on up to five PCs or Macs – plus five mobile devices – whether you use them at work, at home or on the road.

Work from your smartphone or tablet

Of course, being able to install Office 365 on five computers is all well and good, but there will still be times when it just isn’t convenient to use your desktop or laptop. Whether that’s when your plane is hurtling down the runway or you’re at a bar with friends, the truth is that work stops for nobody.

But Office 365 is flexible enough that you don’t even need your laptop to use it. Cloud access means you can view and edit documents from every Office app from your smartphone or tablet while you’re on the move – even when you’re offline. Office apps are available for iPad, Windows Phone, iPhone and Android phones.  Simply download the app you need, sign in to your Office 365 account and you’ll be ready to go with access to all your files just as you left them at your desk.

Enjoy constant backup and anywhere access

Remember the days of carrying all your important files around on flash drives, floppy disks or CDs? And having to head back to the office to make changes to a document if you forgot to take it with you? Those are times we can’t say we miss – and thankfully, with Office 365 they are well and truly consigned to the past.

When you create or edit documents with Office 365, every change you make is constantly and automatically saved to the cloud. That means that, wherever you go, when you reopen the file you’ll see the very latest version with all the most recent amendments you made. It also means an end to the paranoia of wondering when you last saved a document in a conventional Office app, lest an unexpected power cut should strike and you lose everything. What’s more, business-class email, shared calendars and instant messaging allow you to collaborate with others on your team, so you can discuss document changes as you make them – no matter where you are.

Office 365 is the smart choice for the budget-conscious small or medium business that needs to increase productivity by working flexibly and being able to collaborate and communicate with colleagues, partners and clients with ease. That’s why countless organisations are making the switch to Office 365, and in the process both relieving themselves of the headaches of ongoing IT management, and taking the surprises out of their IT budget.

Why choose Empower IT Solutions?

For over 15 years, we have grown to become highly qualified managed services providers.  Our sole purpose is to assist businesses use technology to its full potential and in a way that best suits their individual business needs. Call us today and see how Empower IT Solutions can help make the transition simple.

Software update: Find out more about Office 365 for Business