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Microsoft Office 365

A Guide to Microsoft Office 365


Microsoft Office 365

Microsoft Office 365 is a service that Microsoft offers to businesses of any size. It allows businesses to run their office automation applications and store their data safely and securely using cloud computing technology. When implemented properly, a business can bring new technology into their organization while decreasing overall IT costs.

What is Microsoft Office 365?

Microsoft Office 365 is a set of productivity and workplace collaboration tools delivered through the cloud. Instead of buying higher-end PCs that can support and run different types of office automation software (eg. Microsoft Office 2010), and larger hard drives to save your data on, an Office 365 subscription allows you to run your programs and store your data safely and securely on Microsoft's servers in the cloud. The biggest advantage is that your employees can access their data and the company's data, through any device that can attach to the Internet. Also you do not need a team of IT professionals to manage servers and support your desktop PCs and software.

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What Does My Business Get?

Plans are flexible and customizable that allow you to adapt your Office 365 requirements as your business grows. Services available include:

  • Office Web Apps
    This product includes all the power of the Microsoft Office products that you already know (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and One Note) accessed over the Internet. If you already have PCs that are running the Microsoft Office suite, these products can interact seamlessly with the Office Web Apps service.
  • Office Professional Plus
    This service includes integration with the other Office Web applications that allow calendaring tools, integration with business and social networks, collaboration tools, presentation tools and data analysis tools.

  • Exchange Online
    In addition to offering e-mail hosting, Exchange Online offers calendaring and contact management to provide your business with sophisticated collaboration and communication tools. Service includes globally redundant servers, built-in antivirus scanning, and anti-spam filtering.

  • SharePoint Online
    This service offers you a secure and controlled environment to share documents and information with other employees and customers. It integrates directly with Office products and allows participants to collaborate real-time from virtually anywhere.

  • Linc Online
    This product is a next-generation cloud communication service that allows people to connect with each other in new ways over the Internet. This includes instant messaging, audio/video calling, and online meetings.

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Who Can Use Office 365?

Microsoft Office 365 is designed for just about everyone; From small one person businesses operating out of a home office to small businesses to large international businesses that operate globally. This service is especially enticing for small businesses that can't afford the expense of a dedicated IT staff to support their information needs. Additionally it saves the cost of purchasing expensive office automation software.

How Much Does It Cost?

There are several different pricing plans that allow your business to choose only the services that they require and the flexibility to allow your business to grow. The three basic plans that Microsoft offers are:

  • Office 365 for Small Business
    Designed for businesses without dedicated IT staff or resources. It cost $6 per user per month that lets you access your email, important documents, contacts, and calendar from virtually anywhere on almost any device.

  • Office 365 for Enterprise
    Subscriptions start at $10 per month per user for businesses with internal or partner-supported IT staff and resources. Additional plans are available for workers with individual PCs and kiosk workers that share PCs and need only Web-based access.

  • Office 365 for Education
    Designed for educational institutions as a replacement for the Office Live@edu service.

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