Microsoft Office 365 Business – The Ultimate Guide
Microsoft Office 365 is the cloud-based subscription service that provides access to popular Microsoft applications like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote, and more. Office 365 Business plans are designed specifically for small and midsize businesses and offer robust tools for increased productivity and collaboration.
Benefits of Choosing Office 365 for Business
There are many advantages to using Office 365 Business rather than traditional on-premises Office software:
– Cost Savings – Office 365 Business plans are available on a monthly subscription basis, which allows businesses to reduce upfront costs and only pay for what they use. There are no large hardware investments or upgrade fees.
– Anywhere Access – Since Office 365 is cloud-based, employees can access their company files and data from anywhere on any device with an internet connection. This enables remote work and mobility.
– Automatic Updates – Microsoft continuously rolls out new features and updates to Office 365, so you always have the latest tools. No more waiting around for updates to install.
– Enhanced Collaboration – Office 365 makes collaborating seamlessly across teams and locations simple with tools like SharePoint Online, Microsoft Teams, and OneDrive for Business.
– Robust Security – Microsoft employs industry-leading security measures like encryption, malware protection, and data loss prevention to keep your company’s sensitive information safe in the cloud.
– 24/7 Support – Get around-the-clock assistance from Microsoft’s expert support staff whenever Office 365 issues arise. On-premises software doesn’t include ongoing support.
Available Office 365 Business Plans
Microsoft offers three main subscription plans for small and midsize businesses to choose from, each with varying services and features:
– Office 365 Business Basic – $5.00 per user/month – Web and mobile access to Office apps, 1 TB OneDrive cloud storage per user, business class email through Exchange Online. Ideal for businesses with simple needs.
– Office 365 Business Standard – $12.50 per user/month – Full, installed Office apps for PCs/Macs, business class email, online storage, team chat capabilities via Microsoft Teams, video conferencing. Best value for most businesses.
– Office 365 Business Premium – $20.00 per user/month – Full suite of Office apps, business email, cloud storage, Microsoft Teams, legal compliance and data protection tools. Recommended for regulated industries.
Some key differences between the plans include how many Office application installations are allowed per user, the amount of cloud storage allotted, and availability of advanced features like analytics, archiving, and legal hold for compliance.
Top Features and Tools
Here are some of the most useful apps and services that come with Microsoft Office 365 Business plans:
– Microsoft Outlook – The popular email and calendar app that helps employees manage communication and scheduling. Outlook integrates seamlessly with the other Office apps.
– Microsoft Word – The quintessential word processing software that allows fast formatting and collaboration on documents.
– Microsoft Excel – Create formatted spreadsheets to visualize data and numbers for reporting and analysis purposes.
– Microsoft Teams – Have conversations, share files, conduct meetings, and collaborate across teams with this hub for communication and workflow.
– SharePoint Online – Get intranet and document management capabilities to centralize storage, share company resources, and enable internal sites.
– OneDrive for Business – Store, sync, and share business files in the cloud for access across devices and by team members. Includes robust backup and restore options.
– Microsoft Planner – Follow team projects and tasks with this visual planning tool that facilitates coordination and task management.
– Power BI Pro – Transform data into compelling visual reports, dashboards and analytics tools to monitor key metrics and gain insights.
– Microsoft Bookings – Schedule appointments, manage customers, and track availability of business services through this online booking system.
Setting Up Office 365 Business
When you sign up for a new Office 365 Business plan, you will need to complete the following steps to get your subscription configured and rolled out to users:
– Choose and register your company’s domain name that will be used for user email addresses and logins.
– Add users into the Office 365 admin center and assign appropriate licenses to give access to Office apps.
– Set up personalized email accounts for each employee through Exchange Online. Their inbox will be accessible via Outlook.
– Decide how much OneDrive cloud storage each user will need and enable the service.
– Install Office suite locally on employee computers through the provided software downloads.
– Familiarize yourself with the SharePoint admin center and Microsoft Teams admin center to configure these services.
– Activate Multi-Factor Authentication for an added layer of login security and cyber protection.
– Check that any domain DNS records are correctly configured to route email and other Office traffic properly.
– Provide user training and support resources to your staff on the various apps and tools now available through their subscription.
Taking the time to test settings, enable key features, and rollout the service in phases will ensure a smooth transition to Office 365 Business.
Microsoft Office 365 Business provides a robust set of productivity and collaboration tools that enable small and midsize companies to work smarter. The cloud-based subscription plans offer excellent value and flexibility. With built-in anywhere access, seamless teamwork capabilities, and advanced security features, Office 365 gives businesses an edge with technology. Evaluating your unique needs and requirements will determine which of the available plans represents the best investment for your organization.