Mon, January 4, 2016

Microsoft Office 365: Much more than email

pro·duc·tiv·i·ty  — noun: the rate at which goods are produced or work is completed, the effectiveness of productive effort, especially in industry, as measured in terms of the rate of output per unit of input. —Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary

Businesses are like fingerprints. While they may seem similar at first glance, the internal swoops, loops and whirls are completely unique. One thing is certain for all companies. They cannot afford to have downtime, whether individual, departmental or organizational. Working as efficiently as possible is one way smart businesses save money and avoid the risk of excessive downtime.

Due to the increased scalability and availability of software suites and cloud infrastructure, businesses large and small now have the means and technology to maximize efficiency within the workplace. And this is why we salute Microsoft Office 365 and its ability to impact businesses’ bottom lines in so many different ways.

Microsoft unveiled Office 365 for beta testing in 2010, and was up against other services such as Google Apps. At that time, O365 was known mainly for its streamlined and integrated approach to handling interoffice communications, scheduling and email via the Outlook program. In reality, Microsoft Office 365 was a revolutionary technology that allowed individuals and companies of all sizes to create and maintain a virtual office in the cloud. While Google was attempting to build the same stronghold, they didn’t yet have the trust and prestige of a company like Microsoft, especially as established in the business world.

Why Microsoft Office 365?

Office 365 is so much more than email (though its business-class Outlook program is consistently a leader-of-the-pack). With file storage and sharing, video conference capabilities, desktop and mobile apps of Microsoft’s most famous names—Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.—it’s now evolved into an all-inclusive business productivity solution. It completely breaks the mold—or sets the precedent, if you will—by offering business solutions across four key areas; growth, mobility, safety and connection.

Grow: With its scalability and multi-industry application, Office 365 is designed to easily grow with businesses of all types. Not to mention potential savings from consolidating technology and infrastructure, which can be reallocated to growth initiatives such as sales and marketing.

Mobilize: Office 365 also creates a dependable mobile environment for team collaboration, accessible from anywhere in the world. Microsoft mobile-friendly apps and interfaces are ever-improving, making mobile use easier (and sometimes more effective), and maximizing an organization’s communication capabilities. Users can co-author documents with convenient web-based applications or, for in-person collaboration, they can connect with HD video conferencing, which reduces travel time/cost. As mobilization continues to evolve, the possibilities within Microsoft Office 365 will continue to grow exponentially.

Safety First: Protect your data with enterprise-grade security and privacy settings. Whether your business is a local start-up or a Fortune 500, your data is secure with remote data removal, encryption capabilities, passcode requirements and customized user/device/location options. As an added bonus, with Office 365 you can avoid more than 98 percent of all inbound spam because its anti-spam protection is continually updating.

Connect: A financially backed, 99.9% uptime guarantee allows you to focus on building more long-term, and even long-distance, relationships through constant connectivity. Whether team members, contractors or vendors, connect via a reliable, shared user-platform that promotes business and technology continuity.

Is it easy to maintain?

You can’t focus on creating modern business structures, sales and profits if your professionals are constantly updating your systems. Office 365 automatically updates via the cloud. This allows your business to take advantage of the latest business-ready tools and solutions. This frequent update and improvement cycle also allows for greater scalability to accommodate for any shifts/changes within the business, without the need to fork over extra cash for new servers or physical software. Also, Microsoft support services are available 24/7, acting as an extension of your IT team.

But the cloud can be tricky—what about compliance issues?

Businesses around the world are subject to industry, state and national standards and no two industries’ legal requirements are the same. As a global cloud service provider, Office 365 can comply with any industry standards and is designed to help you meet regulatory requirements and operational practice expectations across multiple jurisdictions. Integrated archiving and e-discovery tools help make it possible for organizations to stay fully compliant, while only utilizing a single, cost-effective infrastructure.

Moving all of your company’s vital information to the cloud can seem a little…daunting. Centrality and Office 365 can help you “have it your way” by implementing hybrid solutions and moving at a comfortable speed for your individual endeavor. We can partner with your organization to design and implement an Office 365 solution that is tailored to your business, while giving you the peace of mind knowing your data and system infrastructure is secure. Contact us to learn more.

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