If you've never used the Office 365 productivity suite, and are eager to assess its benefits, signing up for a free trial may be the best way forwards. Every business - large and small - is entitled to pilot Office 365 for a month before deciding whether to commit to a subscription.
This means it is possible to see the benefits of cloud-based productivity solutions first-hand without the need to take a leap of faith. Businesses can use the Office 365 package suited to their organisation at no charge, and then simply cancel at the end of the month if they do not wish to become a full-time subscriber.
However, we're confident that every new Office 365 use will find a new lease of life when they start using hosted productivity services, and as such, will be eager to join. The ability to provide virtual access to popular desktop solutions is a major plus for businesses - and few are prepared to sacrifice this functionality once they have experienced it.
What does Office 365 offer?
Signing up for Office 365 means your business can access productivity solutions for tasks such as word processing, financial management, analysing and presenting data, communicating and collaborating online, and storing information in the cloud. These tools can help increase the efficiency of individual workers, allowing them to contribute more to the overall bottom line. It can also make business leaders' jobs much easier - providing them with the IT support they need, allowing them to focus on value-adding tasks.
The suite provides access to solutions such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Publisher and Outlook online, via the web. This allows users to create compelling documents, gain better insights into their data, and deliver persuasive presentations with confidence. Office 365 subscribers can use the latest hosted services on their desktop and also on the go - meaning it is possible to work effectively on any connected device providing you have an internet connection.
Office 365 offers a variety of other features, including collaboration solutions - designed to facilitate team working across a number of locations - website building tools, domain name services, and industry-leading malware and spam protection. Microsoft offers a 99.9 per cent uptime guarantee, meaning users do not need to worry about servers being out of action and Office 365 tools being unavailable at key times.
Signing up for a free trial
Businesses can register for a free one-month trial of Office 365 by clicking here. Users can choose between a number of different versions, including Office 365 for Small Business - which is designed for companies with between one and ten employees - and Office 365 for Enterprise Business - which is designed for those with over 250 people.
Various graded packages exist, with subscribers receiving more features the more they pay per month for Office 365. A free one-month trial should be long enough to establish whether cloud-based productivity services can add value to your employees and organisation as a whole. Following the pilot, the decision most companies have to make is not whether to cancel, but which Office 365 package they are going to sign up for.
Find out more about Office 365 productivity services in the cloud by clicking here.
Posted by Alex Boardman