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Office 365: A Beginner’s Guide

You may have heard of Office 365, Microsoft’s cloud service for storing files online. But how much do you understand? For the average business owner, cloud computing is still a relatively new concept, so we’ve broken down one of the most popular tools out there to give you an idea of what you’re missing.

At Comms Intelligence we specialise in supporting you with your cloud computing and storage, so if you do have any other questions, just give us a call.

So, what is Office 365?

Office 365 is a “productivity suite” aimed at businesses of all sizes. It includes emails, instant messaging, powerpoint collaboration and a browser version of all Microsoft Office programs, so you can create and access your files from any computer.

Why use it?

Like and cloud-based system, Office 365 is perfect for those with remote workers or entrepreneurs who expect to be working away from the office a lot. It provides a central hub online where you can store everything related to your business; it allows you to access your emails from anywhere. Because it’s made by Google, it’s also built to work seamlessly with Windows operating systems, which is great for those who don’t want to learn a whole new interface.

Is it secure?

Microsoft is a huge company with a massive security budget, so you can be pretty sure your data is in good hands. The service has a 99.9% uptime record, data centres in multiple locations around the world, and a strict privacy policy to ensure your files are well-protected.

How does it compare to other cloud-based systems?

There are a few criticisms of Office 365 – for a start, it’s really not as new as Microsoft has made it out to be. It’s really just a rebranding, so some of the features are a little outdated. Many business owners and reviewers have also commented that the website design tools in Sharepoint are pretty limited, so you might not find it the best option for managing your online presence.

A lot of this is personal preference, and you might find that something simpler like Dropbox or Google Drive is all you need to keep your business ticking over. However, Office 365 is great for more heavyweight use, as it really promotes productivity while remote working, and gives you plenty of space to work with.

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Communications Intelligence, IT Consultancy and Support, Brighton, Sussex