Pros and Cons of Office 365When Microsoft initially released Office 365 home, university, business, and personal it was the company stepping up their technology game. The release of a program set that works on the new tile version of Microsoft and can be usable for Mac and mobile devices showed that Microsoft wasn’t resting on their past success, but trying to innovate and stay at the top of their game. With so many new programs, apps, and basics, no one really knew how to work the system. This is an introduction to Office 365 that will hopefully help ease the learning curve for your business.

What Is Staying?

Microsoft has not complexly changed everything. Although applications got a new facelift and they have included mobile ability, they’ve kept all the basic programs you know and love. You will still have good old Word, Excel, and PowerPoint; they will simply have new features and the ability to use mobile. Now, with a subscription you will also get Access, OneNote, and Outlook as applications, not add-on features, meaning you will still have all of the features you love. So, all the office basics are staying, but 365 has upped the game and released even more content that should make you very excited.

What’s New?

First, Office 365 is helping to introduce SkyDrive, an application that allows you to share and save files using the internet. This is supposed to mimic the “Cloud” that Apple implemented into all their devices. Your business now will also be given free Skype minutes with your subscription, a help when making those expensive business calls. The price is now a subscription model that you can automatically renew. No more “one stop” shopping, but instead you will now pay a subscription fee each year to keep your applications up and running. If you allow your subscription to expire you will be able to see your existing documents and files in a “read-only” format; meaning you cannot create new documents or edit, but you can still view previous work. Furthermore, Office 365 works on touch screen devices such as a tablet, smartphone, or touch laptop. There is now a button that allows you to change from “click” to “swipe,” giving you the ability to switch between touch and non-touch by the tap of a button.

The Pros and Cons

Office 365 is one of the most ideal software programs for small businesses to use.  With that said, there are also pros and cons that you should be aware of before you decide it’s what you want or need.

 Pros

    • The Sharing Possibilities: Social Media is starting to take over the business world and you need to be well versed in the new landscape. Luckily, Office 365 is created with ever-expanding social media in mind. This version of Office has many new capabilities that make sharing even easier than before.
    • It’s Efficient: This system isn’t going to give you the headaches that others will. The install and download is fast and painless, and gets you up and running in under an hour. You also get free web hosting and the ability to back up at any time whether it be to the SkyDrive or an auxiliary device.
    • You Just Need Internet Access: Office 365 was designed to bring all your devices together so that your business is never far away. That means, you can now access your files and documents from you home office, your office at work, your smartphone, and even your tablet. Through SkyDrive and other sharing options you can not only access your files, but the other important files that others send you. No more, “waiting until tomorrow” when a problem emerges; now you can fix it right away.

Cons

    • Very Complex: Microsoft missed the target with this one, and made Office far too complex. Although installation is easy, being able to find what you need can prove to be a challenge. The classic Microsoft simplistic and easy to use design is gone and has beeen revamped, and is now seemingly more difficult to use. Some businesses may want  to work with a managed services provider to implement and interpret this software.
    • You NEED the Internet: Office 365 is now making more and more businesses dependable on the internet to access documents and files. Because of this, if your internet goes down you lose touch with possibly 85% or more of your important documents until it is back on. Although the added Internet benefits are great, they can be a hassle as well.
    • Data Security: Like it or not, the internet and web based sharing is not the most secure thing in the world. So, it might be fantastic that you can save files in an alternate location, but maybe not so great when the business is forced to clean up the mess of being hacked and having sensitive information stolen. For more information:

Microsoft Office 365 is the company renovating itself and once again showing why they are the top of the technology market. However, the great system does not come without some concerns. Hopefully this  introduction into the workings of Office 365 has given you some insight into whether or not it’s the right program for you and your business.

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