Office 365 Business and Technical Benefits

Office 365 Business and Technical Benefits

Microsoft continues to deliver enhancements and improvements to its Office 365 cloud offerings. With a brand new suite of Office 365 plans going live on October 1, 2014, I thought it might be helpful to share an updated list of business and technical benefits.  Below I have shared my thoughts on what I consider the most compelling features and benefits of Office 365.

There are a lot more features and benefits than I have listed here, so you shouldn't consider my lists exhaustive.  I think the biggest benefit that applies to almost every organization is Office 365's continuous data backup between globally-redundant datacenters.  This will save organizations a lot of time and money on implementing disaster recovery plans and probably justify any expense associated with migrating to Office 365.

Office 365 plans can get confusing, so don’t hesitate to contact us if you would like some guidance in selecting the right plan for your organization or if you need help getting started.  

General Office 365 Benefits:

  • No up-front capital investment
    • Office 365 is a subscription as opposed to traditional perpetual licensing
    • Pay on a per user basis (monthly or annually)
  • Lower operational costs 
    • No server hardware or storage to manage 
    • Automatic patching and upgrades (no need for after-hours server maintenance work) 
  • Continuous data backup between globally-redundant datacenters (huge time and money savings on implementing disaster recovery plans)
  • 99.9% uptime commitment with financially backed service level agreement
  • Support for major browsers (e.g. Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox, Safari)
  • Support for major tablet and mobile device platforms (e.g. iPad, Surface, Galaxy, iPhone, Android)
  • IT-level phone support from Microsoft available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week

Exchange Online features include:

  • Large 50 gigabyte (GB) mailboxes 
  • Send and receive messages with attachments of up to 25 megabytes (MB) 
  • Works with Outlook 2007, 2010, and 2013, as well as iPhone, Android, Windows Phone, and Blackberry devices
  • Regulation compliance including CyberTrust, SOX, SAS 70 Type II, HIPAA, ISO 27001/27002, and many others 
  • Latest defenses against viruses and spam with Forefront Online Protection 
  • Secure policies to enforce PIN lock and remotely wipe data from lost phones
  • Optional social app integration with LinkedIn and Facebook
  • Email Encryption & Rights Management (included with E3; $2/user per month extra with other plans)
    • Allow users to send confidential information in an encrypted format to designated recipients (inside or outside your organization); recipients can easily view encrypted messages and return encrypted replies 
    • Provides persistent protection by controlling who can access, forward, print, or copy sensitive data within an email or when a user downloads a file from a SharePoint document library

Exchange Online Email Archiving (included with E3 and Exchange Online Plan 2 only)

For Storage Management:

  • Unlimited online email archiving
  • Reduce the proliferation of .PST files stored outside of IT control
  • Improve overall application and network performance

For Data Retention:

  • Meet industry and regulatory email data retention requirements
  • Support ongoing compliance, litigation, or personnel matters
  • Preserve valuable intellectual property and corporate assets

For eDiscovery:

  • Respond to strict timelines for legal discovery orders
  • Reduce costs involved in searching for and retrieving email data
  • Report on email communications as part of auditing procedures

Office Pro Plus features include:

  • Full desktop versions of the Microsoft Office 2013 Suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote, Publisher, Access, Lync)
  • Browser based versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Lync
  • Tablet and Mobile versions of the Microsoft Office Suite (including iPad)
  • Each user may install the Microsoft Office Suite on up to 5 PCs/Macs, 5 tablet/mobile devices, and 1 iPad
  • Automatic upgrades to latest versions of the Microsoft Office Suite

OneDrive for Business features include:

  • 1 terabyte (TB) of personal cloud storage for each user via Microsoft OneDrive for Business
  • Access content from anywhere on almost any device
  • Content can by synchronized for working offline
  • Ideal for instant backup of hard drive folders
  • Optional ability to share content with external users

SharePoint Online features include:

  • Reduce the complexity of securing business information 
  • Manage projects better with team collaboration sites to manage documents, contacts, schedules, issues, risks, and tasks
  • Invite external users to work on projects, documents, and other important data 
  • Keep everyone up to date with company information and news 
  • Centralized search of every word inside every document stored in SharePoint 
  • Workflow to manage and standardize business processes
  • Avoid costly mistakes through document management with version control and an audit trail 
  • Use document synchronization to work offline when you need to
  • Make better decisions with dashboards for tracking key performance indicators (included with E3 and SharePoint Online Plan 2 only)
  • eDiscovery for creating eDiscovery cases, placing content on hold, run eDiscovery searches, and export search results (included with E3 and SharePoint Online Plan 2 only)
  • Protect IP by controlling who can access, forward, print, or copy sensitive files through Rights Management (included with E3; $2/user per month extra with other plans)    

Lync Online features include:

  • Increase communication and productivity with reduced email using instant messaging 
  • Create, moderate, and join pre-planned and impromptu audio, video, and web meetings with people inside and outside your organization 
  • Reduce costs for business travel and phone expenses
  • Real-time presence (free/busy information automatically pulls from Outlook calendar)
  • Instant messaging conversations tracked in Outlook
  • Click to communicate instantly with co-workers from Microsoft Office applications 
  • Video conferencing for connecting with remote colleagues (integrates with Skype)
  • Collaborate with other organizations running Lync 

Learn more about DMC's Microsoft Consulting Services.


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