Why should you be using Office 365?
How many of you are using Office 365? To those of you that aren’t, why not? Let me explain why you should be:
Infrastructure Management (or the lack thereof)
As Office 365 is a SaaS (Software as a Service) platform, you don’t have to provision or manage any infrastructure (Email Server, SharePoint Servers, Disks for File Shares etc.) as this is all managed by Microsoft. This feature is fully scalable, so when your business grows you can add more licences and storage.
Every IT professional knows the days of patches and infrastructure upgrades, the process of rolling out to different environments and long after hours or weekend work. With Office 365 you don’t manage the infrastructure, so any updates and upgrades are rolled out automatically. This means your organisation can have the latest and greatest as soon as its available.
Microsoft offer a guarantee of a 99.9% uptime availability for Office 365. This means that Office 365 is always available when you need to use it. These statistics are not hidden and are available at https://products.office.com/en-us/business/office-365-trust-center-operations. Over the past two years Microsoft have consistently met 99.95% or above.
One of the many factors that enables Microsoft to guarantee their uptime is the fact that they do redundancy at three layers:
- Physical – Physical redundancy down to disk/card and power levels. They have multiple datacentres serving every region.
- Data – Microsoft constantly replicate data across geographically separate data centers within the same region (to meet data sovereignty requirements), allowing rapid recovery.
- Functional – Microsoft has built the Office clients to provide functional redundancy. This enables you to use offline functionality when you aren’t connected to the network.
Any device, any where
In the digital age with such powerful devices at our fingertips, being able to work on the go using tablets/phones has become the new normal. With Office 365 in the cloud, accessing your office from your fingertips just got a lot easier. The applications for Word/Excel and PowerPoint on a mobile are as fully fledged as the PC versions and with applications like OneDrive, you’re able to edit the files and sync them back to a central, shared location while on the go.
All the features mentioned so far are the enablers of true content collaboration. In most industries, collaborating with businesses or individuals outside of your organisation, has long been a challenge. Sending documents via email and version control is a common pain point. Office 365 provides users with the option to invite external parties to access selected documents and files and really opens the doors for true content collaboration. True content collaboration would not work without the document management capabilities that SharePoint online has to offer.
By Fadi Sarawan, Senior Consultant, rhipe Solutions