While almost everyone has heard of Office 365, there are still a surprisingly large number of people who don’t know what it is. As software-as-a-service becomes more mainstream and employees become increasingly more decentralized, having email and Office applications available anywhere and anytime makes more sense than ever.
What Is Office 365?
Good question! It’s not very complicated. Office 365 is simply a fancy name products and services that you are already familiar with. First and foremost, Office 365 is the convenience of having your Microsoft Office applications available to you anywhere, anytime on almost any platform. Secondly, it is collaboration and productivity tools. Thirdly, it is the ability to have the same experience on all your devices. Finally, it is the easy subscription and upgrade model that keeps your applications secure and up-to-date.
Super! But what does all this mean?
It means that Microsoft Office has been reinvented to be more powerful, easier to use, easier to implement, easier to update, easier to everything.
Software in the Cloud
Microsoft Office 365 is considered cloud-based software for two reasons. The first reason is it is only available via download. The days of installing applications from disc are over. Office 365 is leading that charge. The second reason is that the Office suite itself is tightly integrated with One Drive, where you can save your files to the cloud and have them available wherever and whenever they are needed.
Office Applications Available Anywhere
So what does that mean, available anywhere? It means that you can run One Drive, Word, Excel, PowerPoint and One Note inside your favorite browser without installing it on your computer. This means Office 365 applications can be ran on a large variety of platforms without issue. All you have to do is sign into your Office 365 account and you can get to work.
Outlook & Exchange Integration
One of the most popular Office applications is Microsoft Outlook. Much more than an email client, Outlook integrates contacts, calendars, tasks and reminders into one application. When Outlook is used along with Hosted Exchange email it really shines. Easily share calendars and contact lists, create group mailboxes and distribution lists, delegate control to specific resources. Outlook and Exchange together are business essentials.
Subscription & Software Licensing
Microsoft Office 365 is sold on a subscription-based model. When you pay for your first month’s subscription you are opening a cloud-based user account that grants access to the applications and features you wish to use. A single license of Office 365 can be installed on up to five devices, which includes both Macs and PCs, and mobile devices. Even better, licenses can be easily transferred from device to device through your account settings. This, along with the ability to run Office applications from inside your web browser, makes Office 365 the most convenient and readily available suite of productivity applications there is.
Real-time Collaboration Tools
Imagine seamlessly working on a project with a colleague from different locations in real-time. Office 365 enables mobile users to see changes as they happen through co-authoring features. Documents can be shared through One Drive, Outlook, SharePoint or the application’s own integrated sidebar.
Easy IT Administration
For businesses, Office 365 eliminates the many headaches associated with keeping your software up-to-date. Office 365 is always on the latest version. As long as there is an active license, Office 365 will automatically update itself with the newest features and security patches, greatly reducing the IT overhead that enterprise software produces.