Transition to the cloud can be both daunting and challenging for any business and the process demands specialist expertise when it comes to Microsoft Office 365. Infinity IT Solutions can provide Office 365 expert business email support and advice for first-time cloud service implementation – our bespoke Infinitely Office 365 package is a fully-managed Office365 deployment solution that includes support, branding and training.

Let’s find out more about Office365 and why the alternatives just don’t stand up under scrutiny.

What is Office 365?

Office365 is a subscription-based service that provides access to Microsoft’s renowned application suite along with other productivity serviced enabled by the cloud platform it sits upon. What makes it so popular is that It allows businesses access to e-mail and social network service management through Microsoft Exchange Server and Outlook. Additionally, you also get access to Microsoft’s Skype for Business services and SharePoint.

This cloud-based productivity and communication suite provides customers with a simple pay-monthly package (provided by Infinity IT Solutions) that allows companies to use Microsoft technologies as and when they need it. It removes the legacy practice of having to manually install Microsoft Office 2016 to a specific machine giving it longevity in life as the licence can be moved around. In addition to this, the applications work simultaneously with companies upgrade policies, promoting good security, as they regularly update.

Office 365 is the present and the future, the world’s leading software provider has elevated its performance, functionality (and usability by creating a subscription model to make it attractive to businesses.  Microsoft have designed the suite to make Office 365 a new way of working.

Benefits to Office 365

  1. Resilience:  having the ability to work anytime anywhere safe in the knowledge that your business data is both safe and secure is critical.  An in-house solution could fall foul to an attack, a disaster or even a power outage.  Office 365 provides you with data resiliency and continuity that allows you work no matter the situation.
  2. The way its licensed: Having all employees on Office 365 means everyone has the same version of software across the Microsoft Office suite. The previous licensing headache of having staff on different Office versions, a mixture of boxed and open licensed products and no method for monitoring support, means you are always trying to work out how to bring everyone up to speed and onto the same version.
  3. Payment plan: Office 365 is a subscription model that can be scaled up and down on a monthly basis. This provides clients with flexibility for their business and instead of having to swallow a substantial CAPEX to migrate, 365 allows the business to operate on a monthly basis. Predictable monthly costs allows you to plan further ahead.
  4. Upgrades: Whatever on-premise solution you move to, there is always the need to upgrade at some point, whether this be due to interoperability issues with another application, security issues or the fact that the version is no longer supported.  Office 365 takes away that burden.
  5. Mix and Match Plans: There are several different Office 365 business plans available with different programs and features. Not everyone in your company is going to need the exact same thing. You can mix and match plans so you don’t have to pay for more than you need. It’s pretty easy to switch between plans, if you find that an employee needs more or less than what they have now.
  6. Security features: One of the biggest misconceptions about the Cloud is that it’s not safe. In reality, it isn’t necessarily any more or less safe than an on-premise system. It’s all in how you use it and what security measures you put in place. Office 365 has a lot of inbuilt security features to keep your company’s data safe. These include Encrypted emails, Data loss prevention, Mobile Device Management and Advanced threat analytics.  These certainly aren’t all the security features available in Office 365 – just a small sample.

What are the alternatives?

There are a several alternatives to Microsoft Office 365. However, they aren’t as useful or feature-packed as the undisputed king of application software. Here are some alternatives and the associated disadvantages:

Google Apps for Business

The single biggest drawback with Google Apps for Business is that most of the applications require internet connectivity to work – no internet means no functionality as the app will stop working. Furthermore, your documents are stored within the Google network – if this network is hacked, your data could be compromised – just read the example below. Office365 offers both online and offline backup and you can use the application online or offline.  The only situation where a recommendation could be argued in favour of Google apps is cost.  Compared with the cost of implementing this kind of office software suite from other providers Google’s programs can be a bargain.  The old adage of buy cheap buy twice definitely springs to mind with this solution, as it’s a false economy.  The single source nature of Google Apps represents a weakness in the system.  If Google suffers a server outage, or a third party manages to compromise the service in any way, it can affect all of your documents and business information.

The support of Google. A recent Forbes article “Is Google’s Support Really that bad?” stresses this point.  Getting Support in today’s cloud-based world can be tricky.  Google can get away with providing less than super support because they’re Google. And this is the issue that every business owner who is considering a cloud-based application needs to address: how good is the support? What happens if your application stops working? What if you can’t connect? What if a specific user is having a specific problem? What if you’re getting error messages on a Sunday night and your proposal is due Monday morning? Who will you call? Will GOOGLE pick up the phone?

Open365

This is a popular ‘freemium’ office suite based on the Libre Office software. It is a dated layout – no ribbons but file command menu driven which will look and feel retro to anyone who enjoyed Office 97 to 2003. The source is a fork in the Open Office development. There isn’t any email support. The platform doesn’t come with an email client or server-based support for email. Neither does the platform provide any social connections with email either.

ZOHO Office

The problem with ZOHO Office is that it is a pure application (word processor, presentation app and spreadsheet app) productivity suite. There is no email client and no additional file sharing or information management apparatus. Office365 for Business offers a diverse array of communications-based productivity outlets which are not available on ZOHO. ZOHO Office integrates with ZOHO’s CRM but this isn’t a functional business email solution. In all intents and purposes, this isn’t really a solution at all.

Why is Office 365, with Infinity, better?

Infinity IT Solutions are trusted Office 365 experts – using Microsoft Office 365, through partnering with Infinity IT, can help you get the best out of Office 365 functions and cost savings. As we have seen above, Microsoft’s Office 365 is simply ahead of the ‘competition’. The reasons are clear :

  • The Office 365 Subscription model allows companies to ‘scale’ their requirements – they can upgrade and downgrade as and when the business needs change.
  • Infinity IT Office 365 packages can help provide a full 24/7 helpdesk support environment for your entire IT infrastructure and staff usage. This means businesses can rely on total Office 365 support.

What do you get with Infinity’s Office 365 services?

The Infinitely Office 365 service provides a full spectrum Microsoft Office cloud-based solution for enterprise-based environments. Office365 provides organisations with total reliability along with supreme performance. Microsoft and Infinity guarantee 99.9999% uptime along with well-established safeguarding of enterprise critical data with secure redundancy and disaster recovery parameters that can help maintain organisational data integrity – furthermore, this is balanced by the 24/7 support provided by Infinity IT Solutions when problems arise.

Infinity IT Solutions understands the importance of good IT security within an ever-changing IT estate landscape. As devices change, as lifecycles reduce and as the cloud encroaches within the organisation, security has become a central concern for IT leaders within any organisation. Infinity IT Solutions recommends Microsoft Office 365 as it intersects with the company’s client security recommendations. By providing a productivity and communications platform that puts security front and centre, Microsoft and Infinity can provide the right framework of external and outsourced support for enterprise-level clients to better protect their IT estates from cyber harm

Recommendations

As we have identified above, Microsoft Office 365 is peerless. The “rivals” don’t stack up when issues of functionality, support and security are highlighted.

Google’s eponymous Docs and Sheets are linked to the Gmail platform. But the problem here is that you are locked into the Google ecosystem. If the Google network is hacked, as some G-suite clients experienced in 2016, you could lose your critical data. Microsoft’s cloud experience is more mature, and the company has a more stable array of datacentres. This provides Microsoft with an edge over Google.

The realisation that Microsoft’s Office 365 is the only trusted communications and productivity suite for enterprise-level clients. It is trusted by blue chips, governments and businesses for this very reason. The Infinitely Office 365 partnership takes Office 365 to the next level in an organisational context. Infinity IT Solutions provides a multi-faceted support service that helps to provide a bespoke, branded client-centric solution that provides ultra-accessible 24/7 helpdesk support.

Why not get in contact with the Office365 experts at Infinity IT Solutions today? Call the team on 01889 228 439 for more information on Infinitely Office 365 and our superior Office365 expert helpdesk support packages.