What is Office 365?
It’s Microsoft’s subscription service to cloud-based versions of applications like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Publisher and Access.
Why switch to Office 365?
Because there’s no need to install desktop software and you get access to all the latest version automatically, without having to pay to upgrade. You also don’t have the upfront cost you get with desktop software, because you are paying by monthly subscription.
Can you continue to use Microsoft Office with Office 365?
Office 365 works with Office 2013, and Office 2011 for Mac, though earlier versions may lose some functionality or require updating before you can get going.
Is Office 365 secure?
More and more services are using the cloud, with few security issues. Online banking is an obvious example. Office 365 is just part of this more general movement.
Office 365 itself is protected by five layers of security, with apps and files saved in secure data centers owned by Microsoft. For many small to medium businesses, using Office 365 probably provides greater data security than they could afford otherwise.
Can off-site employees use Office 365?
Yes. That’s one of the major benefits of using cloud-based software. As long as they have internet access, any employee can just log on to the system and begin working on their files and documents, using a PC, Mac, tablet, smartphone, or any other connected device, wherever they are.
Can you share files and documents?
Since files are stored online, they can be shared with anyone in real time. So when changes are made to a document, colleagues will see the most current version. This means you have a ‘single point of truth’ and don’t get the version conflict that can happen when two people work on the same file that’s stored locally.
What about restricting access to documents?
You can protect any document so that only those who are authorized can see it.
What about potential downtime?
There’s a guaranteed 99.9% uptime, with a financially backed service level agreement (SLA) to give you extra confidence.
How easy is it to add new users to Office 365?
You can add or remove users to the system in just minutes without the need for technical expertise. Office 365 Enterprise, for instance, is designed for organizations that may have 50,000 or more employees. That means it’s highly scalable.
What happens to data if you cancel your subscription?
Just download all your data from Office 365 and save it elsewhere.
Can you still have a desktop version of Office 365?
There’s a range of Office 365 products. So while Office 365 Business Essentials is just the online service, with Office 365 Enterprise E3 you get a desktop version as well.
Is Office 365 easy to use after Office?
Office 365 will be a very familiar environment to anyone who has previously used Office. And because it’s been specifically designed for organizations with few or no IT staff, there’s an intuitive, web-based portal system for administrators to make changes to user accounts.
Are licenses still necessary?
Office 365 comes with all licensing included. Better still, since everyone in the organization is always using the current update, you don’t get licensing complications, with different employees using different versions.
Is Office 365 cost-effective?
Because it’s subscription-based, there aren’t any upfront software costs and you can easily add or decrease numbers of users as you need to. And because it’s a subscription service, you are not locked into a contract and can change plans at any time to suit the changing needs of your business.
How can I make best use of Office 365?
If you really want to get the most out of Office 365, you need to be using it as part of a wider, more comprehensive digital strategy for your business that includes such things as CRM, email marketing, and cloud-based accounting software.
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Your Digital Glossary – 9 Office 365 Terms
Cloud application – a software application that is always accessed over the internet and is never installed on a desktop computer or local server.
Cloud sourcing – taking advantage of a cloud service.
In the cloud – data and apps that are stored on remote servers, and are accessed via the internet.
Elasticity and scalability – The cloud is elastic, meaning that resource allocation can get bigger or smaller, depending on demand. Elasticity enables scalability, which means that the cloud can scale upward for peak demand and downward for lighter demand.
Sway – a new Office 365 app that lets you create interactive web-based reports and presentations.
Scalability – how easy or difficult it is to add or remove users or capacity to or from an application when requirements change.
Hosted application – a web-based application software program running on a remote server.
Sharepoint – Microsoft’s document management system, which lets you access, review and revise files with Office 365.
Service level agreement (SLA) – a contractual agreement where the service provider clearly defines the level of service that you will receive.
Subscription-based pricing – paying a fee to use a service for a specified period of time.