Microsoft Office 365 adds value to businesses of all sizes

Tuesday 23 April 2013

Microsoft Office 365 is continuing to build its users base among companies of all sizes. The subscription-based productivity suite is proving popular among small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) and larger organisations - as employees seek greater flexibility and agility, and employers seek to empower them with the tools needed to boost performance.

A range of different Office 365 plans exist, making the suite accessible to companies on a range of budgets. SMBs with limited budgets can opt for just the basic features of the package, while more resource-rich firms can seek a full range of productivity solutions in the cloud - ensuring their people can use them on any device, in almost any location.

Office 365 for small and medium-sized businesses

Microsoft Office 365 gives SMBs the opportunity to access advanced IT services and solutions, without the need to manage programs in house - or even have any IT expertise. Employees can gain anywhere access to the programs they use on their office PC - such as Word, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Excel. This ensures they can work more effectively when away from their desk, potentially using a media tablet or smartphone.

SMBs can also take advantage of enterprise-grade email, build a public website, participate in HD video conferences and more. But if they only require basic productivity features, to simply give employees a boost, there is no need to pay for the full range of Microsoft Office services. SMBs can start with just a single licence, which can be used across up to five connected devices, and see how things go. There is no need to make a major financial commitment to Office 365 - there is limited if any capital expenditure required. SMBs do not need to pump the majority of their IT budgets into software and other productivity solutions to empower their workers.

Using Office 365 gives SMBs the opportunity to access services and features which may previously have been beyond their reach - and this can make a big difference in terms of looking professional and creating a stronger brand. Small firms can use the suite to create customised marketing materials which fit their brand and target audience, and create a website that is easy to set up and update, even for those with no understanding of HTML.

Office 365 for midmarket businesses

As well as SMBs, an increasing number of midmarket businesses are signing up for Microsoft Office 365, as they seek additional functionality in the cloud and new ways of working. The last few years has seen a significant shift in the way companies source IT solutions, with more companies recognising the value offered by hosted services. They no longer want to spend vast sums building and maintaining in-house infrastructure - preferring to pay for online services rather than physical IT assets which will see their values depreciate over time. Office 365 recognises and accounts for this trend, giving midmarket firms the opportunity to source productivity solutions in the cloud - increasing ease of use and reducing costs.

Midmarket firms can access enterprise-grade email, meeting, and collaboration capabilities, while also taking advantage of best-in-class Office tools and services. These are all accessible from virtually anywhere and simple to administer - ensuring employees can work effectively when they find themselves away from the office. Individual staff members are able to customise their own account settings, enabling them to work as productively as possible. They can access all work files and documents remotely, simply by signing in to their account via Office 365.

The productivity suite also makes it easier for employees to remain in constant contact with their colleagues, using a variety of different communications tools. This helps to create a more collaborative environment, where employees share ideas and work together to achieve collective project goals, irrespective of where they are physically based. Office 365 gives employees the agility they have so often craved in the past, enabling them to work from almost any location with an internet connection - and without compromising their individual or joint productivity.

Posted by Alex Boardman