Recently Microsoft opened to the public their own version of a Cloud based solution. They call it Office 365.
- Email (using Outlook and Exchange Server)
- Webhosting (using SharePoint)
- Office applications (Word, Excel, PowerPoint etc.)
What does this mean for your business?
Well one of the biggest advantages is that your email server can now live in the Cloud. Granted, the Cloud is only as reliable as your connection to it, so unless you have a reliable one, this option may not be for you. If, however, you do have a consistent one or have options to add a second connection, then this option holds great appeal for you.
- For one, you no longer need to provide the infrastructure to support your email server.
- For organizations that live and die with email – and in our experience there aren’t many businesses left where this isn’t a major concern – you can now stop worrying about it being up 24×7. That’s now Microsoft’s problem.
- You don’t have to provide your own anti-spam and anti-virus protection.
- You don’t have to provide a backup for your Exchange server.
- You don’t have to worry about upgrading your Exchange server software or computer every 3-5 years.
Those are some pretty big wins for most small businesses. On top of that each subscriber to Office 365 gets a 25GB mailbox. That’s bigger than most businesses provide for their staff.
The icing on the cake is that with the subscription you also get the latest version of Microsoft’s Office. And let’s be honest here, what business doesn’t use at least one of the Office applications.
So what’s the downside?
- Well of course there is a monthly subscription cost. This can range from $6 to $30 per user per month.
- You’re only as well connected as your internet connection, however, once the server is moved to the cloud, the connection from your office is less of a concern since most people can get their email these days either from home through a browser or on their SmartPhone.
If you’d like to find out if Office 365 is right for your business, contact me by either leaving a comment below or emailing me (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I’ll be happy to do an analysis for you.
Jim De Vico