With a 300% increase in adoption over the last year alone, it’s hard to ignore the rising star of Microsoft Office 365. Blending the functionality and convenience of cloud-computing with its creator’s powerful office suite, Microsoft’s package is gaining increasing traction against offerings from Apple and Google.
We recently made our own Office 365 move, so I thought it would be a good time to share why we migrated and the benefits of moving over.
Eating our own dog food
Part of our work at Stellarise is to help you get the most out of your software — and that means we have to know it intimately. We’ve made the Office 365 move for clients since 2012, and while we’ve long made use of most of its features ourselves, we’ve only recently taken the final step of moving our email across. As we adapt to optimise our usage of Office 365, you can be sure that we’ll be applying our knowledge to your business.
Working online and off
Unfortunately, even techies like me can’t always be connected to the internet. I often work on the train, which means a patchy signal at best, so it’s really useful to be able to access and work on files without having to constantly ping back as I would with Google Apps. I save any documents I’m working with to OneDrive so I can work offline on my iPod, iPhone or Mac when I’m out of the office, and any changes I make are automatically synchronised and uploaded when I’m connected again — simple.
Full license for Apple devices
While some people might worry that using a Microsoft product means compatibility issues for Mac users, Office 365 provides full licenses for Office applications on my Mac, iPad and iPhone and they all work brilliantly. If that doesn’t assuage your fears, Office 2016 for Mac was released in July for subscribers, meaning that Macs are actually more up-to-date than PCs.
OneDrive is all we need
For those used to Google Drive or Dropbox, OneDrive should offer a reasonably familiar experience and Microsoft’s online backup and syncing service also delivers some handy, specialised features. OneDrive is compatible with Macs, IOS and Android devices, and even less common platforms like BlackBerry and Linux, integrates with installed and web apps and now comes with unlimited storage as standard.
Outlook is perennially popular for a simple reason — it’s reliable, familiar and has lots of great functionality. But the same is true of the rest of Office 365’s suite of collaborative applications. Yammer, sort of like a Facebook for the office, makes it easy to cut down on email clutter by serving as a place to post notices and share articles amongst the team; Lync, now rebranded as Skype for Business, is a good way for us to keep in touch when we’re out of the office, offering instant messaging, video chat, and essential for us as techies, desktop sharing.
Time for you to make the move?
Of course, migrating to a cloud service is a big decision to make — how it affects your business and what benefits you can reap will depend on how you work.
Find out more about Microsoft Office 365 plans for Small Businesses