Although the suite of Microsoft Office products we are all familiar with such as Word, Excel and Powerpoint are included in Office 365 , I find many decision makers view Office 365 as simply Microsoft Office in the cloud.  Actually, Office 365 has many additional features and benefits  that have the ability to transform how company's communicate and collaborate.  Here are the key points to understand Office 365.

Office 365 is Microsoft Office plus much more.     

1.Office 365 is a cloud service that allows users to access their familiar Office apps, plus additional apps such as Skype for Business and OneDrive on up to 5 devices.  There are different plans available so businesses can mix and match plans to provide each worker with access to the programs they need.   Office 365 changes how businesses communicate, increasing productivity by letting users decide when and where they want to work, and whether they want to work on their laptop, tablet or smartphone.

2.  Microsoft Office comes out with new versions every few years, and most businesses have users on many different versions of Office software.  This causes frustration and wasted time when a document can't be opened, or slows down the pace of business.  With Office 365, you will never buy a new version again!  Office 365 updates itself so you are always working on the latest version, giving you real time accesss to the latest features.  Security updates are automatic too, protecting you against the latest cyber threats.  

3. Microsoft Office is sold as a one-time purchase, paid for upfront before installing.  Office 365 plans are available as a monthly or annual subscription, a real benefit for cash flow purposes.  Plans are available as low as $5.00 per user per month, and you have the flexibility to change the plan for any user at any time.  You can scale quickly as you add or remove employees, and you can put users on different plans depending on what they need to get their job done.  

4. Microsoft Office is only available as an installed version on a desktop or laptop, requiring you to have that device with you any time you need to access your documents.  Fexibility is the name of the game with Office 365, and a plan such as Office 365 Business Premium provides the flexibility to access documents via the cloud or on the device so the job can get done whether an internet connection is available or not.

5.  Microsoft Office is not in the cloud and Office 365 is!  Therefore, Office 365 offers options such as Skype for Business to conduct online conferences, Yammer as an internal use social media tool to keep employees in constant communication, exchange online as a robust business class email system, OneDrive to store documents and SharePoint to revolutionize document sharing, team collaboration, and project management.

If Microsoft had asked for my opinion, I would have told them to name Office 365 something completely different so people don't associate it with Microsoft Office.  Yes, Office is included in Office 365, but Office 365 offers so many modernized options that allow the workforce to be more productive by working together much faster and smarter than ever before.  When it's time to upgrade your office software, consider upgrading to Office 365.  If you'd like a free trial to learn what it's all about, click below and we'll get you started learning how Office 365 can improve your business. 

 Office 365 Free Trial 

For more information on Office 365, visit our website at, or call today to talk to an Office 365 Consultant about your Office 365 questions.

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Rose Doherty

Written by Rose Doherty