What is Microsoft365?

What is Microsoft 365?

Microsoft 365 is a range of subscription services offered by Microsoft as part of the Microsoft Office product suite which includes access to software applications such as Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Teams and SharePoint.

This suite of products are widely used by businesses to enable employees to send and receive emails, co-ordinate diaries for meetings and to create and share documents in a common format which enables seamless collaboration.

Because these services were launched in 2001, there are still some businesses using older outdated versions which pose a potential security risk. Operating on outdated versions of the software can create operational inefficiencies and security risks because the software is not being updated regularly to apply the latest fixes. It is also illegal to use the software without paying a licence fee.

Office 365 is the latest version of Microsoft Office for both Windows PCs and Macs. If your organisation has not upgraded to this version here are some reasons why you should consider doing so as soon as possible.

Why subscribe to Office 365?

Firstly, if you subscribe to Office 365, you’ll always receive updates to the latest version of Office. This will ensure all security updates will be applied across your organisation to all users of the software. In theory, this means your business will be protected from known IT security risks and your people will be able to collaborate with colleagues and other businesses more efficiently.

Secondly, using Office 365 will significantly improve the efficiency of business operations.

Some of the benefits of deploying Microsoft 365 across your organisation include:

Improved Efficiency & Productivity

  • Simplified IT management – Easily set up and manage users, devices, and data so you can focus on running your business
  • User emails can be easily set up and managed from a centralised point
  • It’s an exceptionally reliable system which improves production capacity

Agile and remote working

  • Enables people to be more agile in choice of work location
  • Connect employees to the people, information, and content they need to improve productivity and transform collaboration.
  • Includes Office apps – Stay up to date on any device with the latest versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and more
  • Email and calendaring – Connect with customers and co-workers using Outlook and Exchange
  • Chat, calls, and meetings – Keep your team on the same page with chat, online meetings, and video connectivity using Microsoft Teams

Cloud storage

  • Aids business continuity and security risk management planning by allowing people to manage files from the cloud anywhere with 1 TB of OneDrive storage per user.

Paperless offices

  • Transform the way you manage your business and simplify the way work gets done with modern tools that streamline business processes
  • Reduce manual paperwork – Digitize manual and repetitive paper-based forms with Microsoft Forms

Marketing & Business Insights

  • Captured insights – Create surveys, polls, and questionnaires to gather data and insights from employees and customers
  • Make repetitive tasks easy – Automate everyday business processes with Power AutomateWorks with the apps you already have – Access all your tools in one place with third-party app integrations in Microsoft Teams
  • Security & Compliance
  • Help safeguard your employees, data, and customer information with enterprise-grade security you can trust
  • Defend against cyberthreats – Protect against viruses, malware, phishing attempts, ransomware, spam, and other threats. All incoming emails can be pre-screened before delivery to recipients for viruses and security threats
  • Keep customer data safe – Protect information from cybercriminals, unauthorized access, and accidental deletion
  • Secure your device – Help keep your data safe, even when accessed on employees’ personal devices
  • Helps compliance with regulations such as GDPR and ISO 27001

What are the benefits and advantages of 365 compared to other platforms?

Although Office 365 is by far the most popular, other operating systems are available. However, because Office 365 is so widely used so there is a large amount of support and training available from online user support forums to ensure bugs and user issues can be easily rectified.

As you would expect from a company like Microsoft, they are totally dedicated to ensuring the security of their systems.

Costs are also more predictable as price is set per user and is easily scaleable as your business expands with lower capital expenditure costs as there are no upfront costs to create an IT server/network.

Collaboration and teamwork is also easier with colleagues, customers and suppliers as all apps are compatible with each other.

Annual subscription or one-off stand-alone licence?

Having a regular subscription means that all users will always be the first to receive automatic updates and the latest features whenever they are released. Whereas a stand-alone one-off licence will require manual upgrades and may over time become obsolete.

How can Link ICT Help?

Link ICT has over 15 years of experience helping schools and businesses customers set up and deploy Office 365 within their organisation.

We help with setting up licences and ensuring the relevant hardware and users are set up and ready to use the Microsoft Office suite relevant to them.

We consult with you to understand your needs to ensure each set up is bespoke to your needs and will improve productivity, communication, collaboration, and operational efficiency.

If we are retained on an ongoing IT support package, we will also maintain Office 365 on your behalf. This includes carrying out tasks such as making sure the latest updates are applied, adding or removing users and ensuring your subscription is renewed.