Written by Bryan Parsons
Office 365 became fully available to businesses in June 2011 and according to Microsoft, its 2013 version reached 1 million users in less than 4 months, making it one of the fastest growing products in Microsoft history.
We’ve been selling Microsoft products for over 10 years and we’re able to offer Office 365 alongside our existing services but where does it fit in?
So, What is Office 365?
Office 365 is a simple, packaged product. It can give your business the basics quickly and easily with no up-front costs but can lack flexibility.
One of the biggest advantages of Office 365 is the inclusion of the full Microsoft Office suite. You can equip all of your staff with the latest version of Office for a monthly cost rather than having to buy the full licences up front at a cost of of hundreds of pounds per employee.
Various packages allow you to tailor the services to suit your business needs, combining Exchange email, Office, Lync and SharePoint as needed and at various price points depending on the features you need from each product.
With SpiderGroup you get an added advantage that you combine the Office 365 products with any or our hosted services so you can pick and mix, getting the exact services and features your business needs.
Unlike SpiderGroup hosted services where you can add and remove users on a month by month basis as your needs change, Office 365 is an annual commitment. If you just want to add a temporary employee for a month or so you’ll need to purchase a years licence for them, which is then paid for monthly.
Office 365 is a bit liked a boxed product, although you can pick and choose the features and services you need from their various packages on the shelf you are still limited by what’s in the box. It lacks the flexibility of a fully hosted service, where you can better manage mailbox types, permissions and integration with other products.
Office 365 lacks support, there’s some stock help material and the Microsoft on-line support material and call-centres but you’re never going to get hold of anyone who is familiar with your business or specific set-up. You’re also on your own when migrating services and initially setting up all the services. This is a void SpiderGroup can help with when Office 365 is purchased via us.
Who’s it best for?
It’s great for small businesses who are just starting out and don’t want a large outlay in software costs. You can get a packaged product set-up quickly. As your business grows you may find you outgrow Office 365 as it can’t offer the flexibility your business needs.
If you want to find out more give us a call or drop us an email. We’ll be happy to discuss the best options for you even if you’re currently using one of our hosted services, be it Office 365, Office 365 mixed with our hosted services or a completely hosted service from SpiderGroup.
For more information, call us on 0117 933 0570 or fill in our contact form and we’ll get back to you.