Microsoft Office 365 - Thinking about it?

Microsoft Office 365 is the natural cloud based progression for PC based Microsoft Office applications. The current MS Office product provides customers with a powerful set of tools that supports the entire spectrum of productivity scenarios, from the most basic to the more advanced.
More and more businesses are choosing Microsoft Office 365 over Google Apps. The reason? Simple really, they can't afford to compromise, and with Office 365, they don't have to. They get the familiarity of MS Office, the capabilities they need, plus a cloud service they can trust.

I’ve recently been involved in setting up a local business with MS Office 365. The business, a property and development consultancy require the powerful toolset provided by MS Office with the flexibility of working on the fly when away from the office, which in their line of work, is a regular occurrence.

Using a single sign on function, I was able to install and configure Office 365 with ease providing the customer with the following,

• A unified shared document library via an online SharePoint Team Site – providing simultaneous document collaboration

• Instant communications capability through Lync (including chat, desktop sharing and document transfer)

• SharePoint file synchronization between computers, mobile devices and the cloud via SharePoint WorkSpace (2010) and most recently SkyDrive Pro (after recent upgrade to Office 2013)

• Outlook collaboration – Shared Contacts, Calendars and Tasks

As with all cloud based solutions, security of information will always be at the forefront for any business. MS Office 365 transfers data across the internet using the highest encryption methods in the industry, which, alongside their proactive monitoring of the Office 365 platform, monitors, records and investigates any attempted intrusions or suspicious activities.    

Office 365 is maintained and patched regularly to protect its customers from existing and emerging security threats, which provides much needed reassurance that valuable confidential company
data isn’t compromised.

One of the most common methods used to breach security is through email. Office 365 takes care of this by scanning all emails for malware, viruses and spam mail to quarantine malicious programs and junk mail in real time.

Another feature of Office 365 I like is the ability to customize the retention schedule for company emails. This feature provides a flexible and robust function to archive messages which may need to be retained for legal compliance or otherwise.

How about document retention? Documents stored within SharePoint are protected against accidental deletion by the virtual recycle bin feature, meaning any documents deleted in error can be restored within 31 days with the click of button!

In terms of reliability, Office 365 is second to none. MS offers a 99.9% uptime guarantee for Office 365 which coupled with an online accessible service health dashboard gives system administrators peace of mind that their systems will be available when they need them. This dashboard also details any planned maintenance or fixes to the 365 system.

We at Breakwater IT have been using Office 365 extensively in our day to day roles and I personally have been really impressed with the functionality it provides.  I would definitely recommend it to other clients as an extension to their current MS Office installation.  Every client is different and there are many solutions and migration paths available why not give us a call and find out what we and Microsoft Office 365 can do for you.

Call Kelly Hemingway or Mark Poole on 01603 709300.

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