Why You Should Make the Switch to Office 365

Easily meet, create, and collaborate with an Office 365 subscription.

Articles published February 1, 2021 by Steve Simpson

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While widely recognized as an email service provider, Microsoft® Office 365™ is actually much more than that.

Office 365 is a business cloud-service subscription plan for Microsoft Office software products. With an Office 365 subscription, you can download and access applications via the internet, such as Teams, Exchange Online, OneDrive for Business, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Publisher, and Access.

Microsoft offers a free trial of these applications, and provides access on up to five devices, offering you and your employees the flexibility to work from almost anywhere.

Office 365 plans are offered as a service via a subscription model. Many businesses will pay monthly, based on the number of users (or employees) they have accessing the software.

Since Office 365 is a hosted solution, it can offer employees greater flexibility and help reduce organizational costs. Office 365 also provides the following benefits:

1. Access to Office 365 Applications

Office 365 includes access to the essential Office applications such as Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. With a subscription, you can count on these applications always having the latest updates and features, allowing for more uptime and productivity. Office 365 applications also allow users to collaborate in real-time — no matter where they are — and quickly and easily share documents for increased efficiency. 

2. Secure Email for Businesses

Microsoft Exchange provides organizations with a hosted email platform accessible through phones, tablets, computers, or the internet. Most importantly, it offers secure email communication thanks to built-in message encryption, ensuring your emails and organization are protected.

Exchange also has anti-malware and anti-spam filtering, data loss prevention capabilities, redundant servers, and disaster recovery options. Microsoft promises 99.9 percent uptime guarantee with Exchange.

3. OneDrive Cloud Storage

Each office 365 user has access to secure OneDrive online storage for their files. Accessible anytime from any device, files stored in OneDrive are easily shareable. 

Plus, with access to the entire Microsoft Office suite, OneDrive also allows real-time document editing, making collaboration that much simpler.

4. Advanced Business Communication 

No matter where your employees are, Office 365 helps you stay connected with Microsoft Teams. With chat, video conferencing, and  phone calls, plus advanced sharing functions, users can meet, create, and collaborate across devices and time zones. 

5. Free for Qualified Nonprofits

One of the coolest benefits of Office 365, is that certain applications are free to qualified nonprofit organizations. To qualify for a free subscription, nonprofits must have 501(c)(3) status under the United States Internal Revenue Code, and must support a mission that positively impacts the local community, such as providing relief to the poor, advancing education, or improving social welfare. 

If your nonprofit organization fits these qualifications, then you can apply for either of the two free subscriptions — Office 365 Nonprofit Business Basic or Office 365 Nonprofit E1. You can also apply for other discounted plans, which offer more services and applications than the free plans. For the discounted plans, you pay per user every month. See a full list of the plans and services.

Making the Switch to Office 365

The 2021 State of IT Report revealed that for 2021, the biggest budget priority for companies large and small is to replace outdated technology as well as a new focus on supporting remote workers — both of which can benefit from switching to cloud solutions like Office 365. 

Children & Families of Iowa recently made the switch to Office 365. Dusty Hamilton, an MIS Coordinator for the nonprofit, explained the reasoning behind their decision: “The biggest thing for us was the ability to plan and budget for a monthly expense, instead of replacing servers and upgrading software. We have improved our high availability and disaster-recovery processes and we don’t have to manage an Exchange server anymore. The email encryption component improves our data security as well.” Read more about their experience making the switch.

As a certified partner and provider of Microsoft, Aureon has performed hundreds of migrations. Office 365 can be a major benefit, and the features listed above are just some of the ways that Office 365 could improve security, mobility, and efficiency.

Have you considered making the switch to Office 365?

About The Author

Steve Simpson

Steve Simpson is an experienced Client Advisor at Aureon, where he works with business leaders and technical resources to explore new ideas. For the last 30 years, his efforts have been focused on providing technology services in healthcare, manufacturing, banking, state/local government, and sen ... read more

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