Microsoft is heavily promoting their new Office 365 product as the future of their company, but we find that many clients are unsure of what, exactly, Office 365 does.
First of all, Office 365 is the lead Cloud product from Microsoft. The idea is that instead of worrying about buying hardware, installing software, backing up the server, providing access, and doing server maintenance, you can give up a little control, and let Microsoft do the work. Let Microsoft host the data, software, and infrastructure on their servers and avoid the headache.
Office 365 is a less expensive way to get a variety of office productivity tools.
What is Office 365?
Office 365 is a suite of services that may include:
1. SharePoint (collaboration intranet and so much more…)
2. Yammer (Business Social Media)
3. Lync (Instant messaging, video conferencing)
4. Email (50 Gig mailbox)
5. Public Website (Free hosting with SharePoint as the content management system)
6. Office Online (browser-based Microsoft Office)
7. OneDrive (1 Terabyte of storage per user)
8. Office 2013 for your desktop.
There are many plans for Office 365, ranging from $7 per month per user to about $20 per month per user. Microsoft breaks down each plan at this link.
A la Carte Services
Microsoft also offers each of these services a la carte, including SharePoint Online, Exchange Online, Yammer, and Azure.
Many organizations take a hybrid approach by hosting parts of their infrastructure and keeping other parts on premise. If, for example, you just purchased Office 2013, you would want a plan that didn’t include that.
Migration to Office 365
We regularly help organizations migrate to Office 365 from on premise systems. Each project is unique, but generally speaking, they are affordable and represent no interruption to end users.
The numbers make sense. If you compare, for example an On Premise SharePoint Server with a SharePoint Online account, the monthly cost of SharePoint online wouldn’t catch up with the high initial cost of the server and ongoing maintenance for 9 years.*
SharePoint Online and Office 365 have become a big part of our business and an essential tool for many of our clients. Please let us know if we can get you any other information on our SharePoint Consulting.