The transition from the old, standalone Microsoft Office products to the cloud-based Office 365 is massive, transformational and accelerating. Microsoft sees 50,000 SMB organizations migrating to Office 365 every month and there are nearly 90 million Office 365 commercial subscribers today, up nearly 40 percent year-over-year, according to Forbes magazine.
Microsoft offers several versions of Office 365, ranging from $5 to $35 per user per month. Many of these plans also include the desktop version of the latest Office applications, which users can install across multiple computers and devices: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Publisher and Access. In other words, you don’t always need to be online to use it. Suppose you’re camping out in the woods this summer, and you’ve got zero bars of signal, but you still have to finish up that monthly report – you can work offline and your files will be automatically synced as soon as your connection to the Internet is re-established.
Office 365 is a monthly subscription plan that includes access to Office applications as well as other business productivity services, all hosted in the cloud. These services include Skype IM and web conferencing, Exchange Online hosted email, online storage with OneDrive for business, and many other business productivity applications.
The ability for employees to work anywhere, swap information seamlessly, and use multiple devices under one user subscription license is a tremendous benefit for companies with employees who are based in multiple locations, work remotely, or work flexible hours. And with Office 365, end users can always have the latest version of the software with new features and services being added all the time at no extra charge.
For large organizations, making the move to Office 365 is a no-brainer. They readily make the decision to recruit, train and maintain skilled in-house staff to provide technical Office 365 support for their employees. But for SMBs, the staffing and expertise investment is difficult to justify.
Fortunately, there’s a simple way to level the playing field. TPx’s Managed Office 365 helps smaller enterprises gain the same benefits that the largest companies enjoy, without the challenges of managing it all by themselves. It lowers costs while improving the quality of service provided to their users – a win for users throughout the organization that brings “no-brainer” back into the equation.
In fact, TPx’s ITx for Office 365 managed service complements – and for many customers completes – an Office 365 solution, with our IT engineers and Microsoft Certified Solution Experts (MCSEs) delivering comprehensive configurations and ongoing technical support. And if there’s ever a need to escalate a vexing problem to Microsoft, we’ll manage that for you every step of the way. The payoff? Better end-user IT support, controlled costs, and in-house IT teams freed up to focus on core business issues. Affordable monthly subscription plans make it easy to scale the service to suit both the number of users and the level of support needed.
Office 365 is changing the playing field for many businesses. It has an air of inevitability because its power and flexibility are the keys to competing effectively in a changing 21st century workplace. With exceptional productivity and innovation capabilities that are improving every quarter, the question becomes not “if” but “when” – and “how.”
A migration project is a complex, invasive change for a business, bringing a bit more heat and heartburn than most SMBs are ready to digest. The right recipe for success has three ingredients: using an industry-leading productivity platform in Office 365; using certified IT engineers to run the project that will get you there; and using the ITx managed service to keep it working. Do it right, do it once.
About the Author
Ross Spero lives in Seattle, WA and is a Sr. Product Manager for ITx Managed Services. His products including TPx’s managed IT offerings for Microsoft Office 365, Workstations and Servers RMM, and Backup. Ross received his undergraduate degree from the University of Oregon and is currently earning his Executive MBA from the University of Washington’s Foster School of Business.