Affinity Consulting Blog

By now you’re probably aware of Microsoft’s newest product offering Office 365. What you might not know is just how much of a game changer this new product really is. In the world of business size and money are king. The bigger you are and more money you generate, the better equipped you are to purchase the latest and greatest products and software. This allows you to keep pace with the always improving versions of a product like Microsoft Office. Which, if you’ve kept track, since 2003 has included Office 2003, 2007, 2010, 2013 & 2016.

For the small to midsize firm upgrading the entire office to a newer version of Microsoft Office can be an extremely large expense. So much so, that most firms will make do with older, antiquated software just to avoid the costs associated with upgrading. The resistance to upgrading, means the staff is now equipped with older software that may not have all the tools that the latest release does, making their job that much harder. I cannot tell you how many firms I have visited where the staff is stuck using antiquated software just because the cost of upgrading is so significant management is holding onto their current product well past its expected life span.

What Microsoft has done with Office 365 is levelled the playing field for firms both small and large. Microsoft has done away with the traditional purchasing of large volumes of CD’s or software keys, that only provide licensing for the specific version of Office. They have instead moved to a subscription based model for their software. What the subscription based model does is give firms the flexibility to quickly expand or contract their workforce without taking on large amounts of purchased software that could potentially go unused if the firm contracts. Microsoft allows a firm to purchase their Office 365 licenses either on an annual basis or on a month to month basis.

What you get with Office 365 depends on the plan or package that you purchase. Take for example Office 365 Business Premium. This package costs $12.50 per user annually or $15.00 per user monthly. This plan includes the following products. Business class email hosting (your own company exchange server) which includes a 50GB mailbox for each licensed user. The ability for the firm to use their own purchased domain name, for their email address. The desktop version of Microsoft Office which includes the following Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Publisher & One Note. Also included is the web version of these same products. One Office 365 license will also give you the ability to install these products on 5 phones, 5 tablets & 5 PC’s or MAC’s per licensed user. There also is included 1TB of online storage and sharing via OneDrive per user and HD video conferencing with Skype for Business. This all comes with 24\7 phone and web support directly from Microsoft.

With all that is offered with Office 365, it’s hard to justify purchasing software the “old fashioned way” any longer. Why pay for software that will without a doubt be obsolete in just a few years’ time.

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