For small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), slight performance gains across the workforce can lead to a significant boost to productivity and overall performance. By nature, such companies have fewer staff members, who often need to take on a wide range of responsibilities. In micro-businesses in particular, there are often not enough man-hours to do the work required, and take full advantage of every commercial opportunity.
This is one of the reasons SMB bosses need to empower their workers with IT solutions. By automating tasks which would otherwise need to be conducted manually, SMBs can get more done, more accurately, with greater insight in a shorter timeframe. This frees up employees to focus on other tasks, such as dealing with customers and pursuing new sales leads.
Investing in a productivity suite which offers tools for tasks such as word processing, financial management, analysing and presenting data, communicating and collaborating online, and storing information can add real value to an SMB. This can significantly increase the efficiency of individual workers, ensuring they can bring more value to the company and help the enterprise be more competitive overall.
What is the best option for SMBs?
SMBs have a range of options when it comes to choosing a productivity suite. But Microsoft has designed a package with the needs of ambitious and growth-focused start-up businesses and small enterprises in mind. Equipping employees with Office 365 Small Business Premium gives them access to best-in-class Office tools and services, which can make a real difference on the front line.
So what does the suite offer? SMB users can take advantage of Office services on their desktop and also on the go, with the latest versions of trusted applications available at any time via any connected device. Office 365 Small Business Premium provides access to solutions such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Publisher and Outlook online, over the web. This allows users to create compelling documents, gain better insights into their data, and deliver persuasive presentations with confidence.
With the productivity suite, employees can use Office on a wider range of devices, including desktop PCs, laptops, smartphones and tablets. Providing they have access to an internet connection and are able to sign in to their Microsoft account, it is possible to access the mobile version of Office. Users can stream a full-featured version on any internet-connected PC running Windows 7 or Windows 8.
Other benefits of Office 365 Small Business Premium
Access to the premium SMB version of Office 365 allows users to remain in sync when working on files or documents at the same time. Changes made by one user are immediately visible to others who have access to the same file, which helps from a collaboration perspective. Changes are visible in real-time, meaning everyone can keep up to speed.
In terms of branding, Office 365 Small Business Premium enables businesses to look as professional as they really are. With the productivity suite it is possible to build a website and keep it up to date - with no need to understand HTML - and use email featuring your own domain name. Users can design customised marketing materials, which can help make the right impression with customers as well as potential partners.
Even the Office manager does not need to have advanced IT skills. Users can deploy, manage and safeguard Office 365 with an easy-to-use, web-based admin console. They are also able to take advantage of industry-leading malware and spam protection, and a 99.9 per cent uptime guarantee. Subscribers can install and deploy Office quickly, allowing them to get started in a matter of seconds, and then receive updates automatically online.
Managing the Office 365 Small Business Premium account could not be simpler. Document-sharing and other access rules can be set from virtually anywhere, and new users can be given access to the suite with just a few clicks of a mouse. Office supports up to 25 users, giving SMBs plenty of scope for growth before they need to consider upgrading to an enterprise package.
Find out more about the various Office 365 plans by clicking here.
Posted by Sarah Parish