Office 365 for Gold Coast Businesses
Office 365 is not just the cheapest way to buy Office. Take a look at why Microsoft is selling Office 365, and why it’s great news for you.
What is Office 365?
Now that employees are using more than one computer or internet enabled device in a day, the old way of buying Office has become irrelevant and expensive. Microsoft’s Office 365 is not just the Microsoft Office group of programs, it’s a cloud productivity suite that includes Microsoft’s other business technologies.
What’s different about buying the Office apps via Office 365?
Microsoft has structured their Office licensing costs to make Office 365 the most attractive way to buy Microsoft Office for your devices. Microsoft is selling Office as a service rather than an individual product. So instead of buying Office for one PC and only using it on that PC, you can subscribe to Office 365, where you can use Microsoft Office on all of your computers or devices.
Many of the services included in Office 365 were once limited to the businesses that could afford the servers and the IT staff to manage them. By taking these services to the cloud, you can access them on a subscription basis without investing in the server infrastructure or worrying about ongoing maintenance.
How can this help me?
Office 365 can be implemented as a replacement for an entire server, and much more. Office 365 provides more functionality, and takes the risk off-site with a 99.9% uptime guarantee.
You don’t have to use all of Office 365’s features to get value out of it, though we’ve written a brief description of most of the services so you can get an idea of how it can work for you.
What’s included in Office 365?
For Five PCs or Macs
In the Small Business Premium and Midsize Business plans, each user gets five copies of the latest Microsoft Office suite. This means that your team can install the full version of Office on up to five PCs or Macs that they will use.
Microsoft Office includes:
Each user can also use Microsoft Office on up to 5 mobile devices. This includes Windows phones and tablets, Apple iPads and iPhones, and Google Android Phones and tablets.
No matter what Office 365 plan you choose, you’ll get access to Office Online. With Office Online you can access, edit and collaborate on documents through the web browser from computers and devices (including iPads) that don’t have Office installed.
Office 365 includes Exchange Online, the business class email platform from Microsoft. If you’re currently using POP3 email, you’ll only have one-way email downloads from the server to your computer. With Exchange Online’s 50GB mailboxes, your team can synchronise all of their email, contact and calendar information across all of their devices. For example, emails sent from your phone will appear in the sent items of your computer, emails read on the computer, will display as read on the phone as well.
Shared Mailboxes allow multiple users to receive email for the same email address. This is useful for addresses like [email protected], [email protected] or [email protected], where multiple staff may fulfil the same role. These staff members will be able to see which emails have been read, replied to or actioned in the shared mailbox.
Exchange Online gives flexibility in how calendars can be managed, shared or controlled. Managers can view or edit employees company calendars, create appointments or send invitations.
Contacts can be shared or synchronised across all PCs and mobile devices where required. If required, users can add new contacts to a company-wide list which will automatically update on other users PCs and devices.
Exchange Online uses push synchronisation to near-instantly update all devices when a new email, calendar appointment, or contact is created. POP3 and IMAP mailboxes check email based on a schedule, or when the user clicks send and receive.
SharePoint is a team collaboration platform that has a variety of uses. SharePoint creates a private site for your company that can be accessed by staff with their Office 365 username and password.
SharePoint can be used to store required files in the cloud which can be accessed by staff members on any computer or mobile device. SharePoints document libraries can be used as a replacement for network shares and can be synced with computers so that mobile workers can have offline access to their information.
Build a central location for training materials, best practice information and company procedures, easily accessible in your company intranet.
SharePoint Lists look similar to spreadsheets and are an easy and powerful way to record and track information. With SharePoint Lists, you can keep an up-to-date list of preferred contractors and contacts, or store important information not suited to your existing business software. Setting an alert on a SharePoint list will let you know when something has been added or changed.
Collaboration with OneNote
Staff can use the OneNote notebook included in the company SharePoint site to collaborate, brainstorm and record information in a less structured way than using a SharePoint List. Users can access and edit the OneNote notebook from the OneNote apps on Apple, Android and Windows mobile devices, as well as any PC or Mac. OneNote notebooks sync automatically, so that a staff member could be taking notes in an off-site meeting, while another staff member on another computer or device would see the notes appear in real time. OneNote can also be used to store documents, images, screenshots, tabled data or important information for mobile employees.
The company news feed can be used for staff discussions or announcements and includes email notifications.
Privacy and Security
SharePoint allows organisations to manage security and privacy settings on a companywide, role based, or granular user level. Control the levels of access and editing capabilities that all users have, and remotely wipe lost or stolen devices.
OneDrive for Business
OneDrive for Business is a cloud storage product similar to DropBox, Google Drive or Microsoft’s consumer level OneDrive (formerly called SkyDrive). OneDrive for Business is built on the same platform as SharePoint and has similar features in terms of being able to store files in the cloud and access or edit them from any device.
The main difference between OneDrive for Business and your company SharePoint site, is that files stored on OneDrive are private by default, and files stored on SharePoint are shared with the rest of the team by default. Think of OneDrive for business as your personal My Documents Folder. OneDrive for Business synchronises files on your computer, with the cloud.
Each user gets 1 TB (1000 GB) of OneDrive for Business storage that can be accessed through the apps on Apple, Android or Windows mobile devices, as well as through the browser.
Skype For Business
Skype for Business is an online communications platform that allows you to stay in touch with the team no matter what device they are on. Staff can install the Skype for Business apps on their smartphones or tablets, and can be reached by instant messaging, audio or video calls no matter where they are, or what device they are using.
Skype for Business is integrates with your other Office 365 services. Skype for Business user availability information is taken from each user’s calendar, so staff can see whether somebody is busy before deciding how best to contact them.