office 365

Cloud-based Office 365 for Business Review

Office 365, A New Business App on the Block

By now you should have heard of the release of Microsoft Office 365, with the application development complete the latest cloud-based version of Microsoft Office 2013 was released earlier this year in South Africa and late 2012 in other parts of the world.

Available as separate applications for small businesses and larger enterprises, Office 365 has been rated highly as one of the most comprehensive and compatible productivity suites on offer right now. As a cloud-based distribution system, its set of applications and functionalities for businesses places it ahead of competition such as the free suites offered by Google Docs, LibreOffice and OpenOffice.org. Although the established Google Apps for Business offers cross-platform and cross-device usage and support options, Microsoft Office 365 surpasses it in terms of functionalities and familiarity amongst Windows-based PC and device users.

office 365

Here’s a quick look at what Office 365 can offer you and your business:

How secure is Office 365 for business?

Unlike the Office 365 Enterprise Plans wherein users are protected with a secure https Secure Sockets Layer (SSL)-encrypted connection through SharePoint, business professionals and small to medium-sized business users will not benefit from SSL-encrypted protection. For now, user name and password protection is available for intranet-level team site(s) security to ensure simplicity and usability. According to Mark Kashman, Microsoft senior product manager for SharePoint Online, future improvements in this regard are in the pipeline.

Attractive look and feel of Office 365 for business

Familiarity with office applications amongst its established user base plays in Microsoft’s favour.

Free SkyDrive storage space

Encouraging the use of online storage, sharing and collaboration wherever online access is available, Office 365 for business enables business users to work on the go. It should be noted though, effective use of SkyDrive as part of Office 365 relies on users having a fast and reliable internet connection, which may not always be possible when working from remote areas.

Supreme functionality

Collaborating with business colleagues or clients using MS Office applications have never been this easy. Enabling real time collaboration across the broad online and mobile spectrum of PCs, the web, and mobile phones, Office 365 for business allows for several users to access email, share calendars and collaborate. Key improvements to Office 365 include new functionalities such as MS Word’s PDF Roundtrip editing, which enables Word to PDF and PDF to Word conversion bound to save its users time and money. New enhancements made to Excel are most notable in Excel’s Flash Fill tool that predicts patterns in data and offers auto-filling and Excel’s Quick Analysis tool that allows users to convert data into a table or chart format in fewer steps than possible before. Other enhancements to the Microsoft’s suite of applications are evident in PowerPoint’s Presenter View, which takes the sweat out of memorising or holding your speaker notes by providing the presenter a view of the slideshow alongside their notes on their screen, while the audience is offered a notes-free presentation of the slideshow on a different screen.

Office 365 Subscription Plans for Business

A per user subscription allows for Office 365 to be installed on up to 5 PCs or Macs. Offering more flexible transferable options recently, Office 365 can also be deactivated on one machine (desktop, portable PC or Mac) and activated on another, once every 90 days. View and compare the Office 365 subscription options for business here:  http://office.microsoft.com/en-za/business/compare-office-365-for-business-plans-FX102918419.aspx

 

Take Office 365 for a test drive

Overall, improved functionalities of Office 365 for business allows for greater productivity in general day-to-day business operations. Gain free access to Office 365 for 30 days and explore its brilliant business-friendly features by visiting Microsoft website here: http://office.microsoft.com/en-za/products/?CTT=97