Have you heard about the cloud and the benefits of moving your business data and services into the environment? Have you heard of hosted services like Office 365 and Hosted Exchange? Since around 2009 Cloud Services and Software as a Service (SaaS) has been a buzzword on everyone’s lips. Services like Microsoft Office 365 has become Microsoft’s most popular products and by the latest counts, there are about 15.2 million people worldwide that use Office 365 to make their business more productive. How about you? Your business may already be familiar with and using products like Word, Excel and PowerPoint, and you may ask yourself is it worth it making the switch to office 365? The short answer is yes, the desktop applications you use daily are just the tip of the iceberg, let’s consider the result when these applications are integrated with SaaS services like Office 365, you have just tapped into one of the most powerful productivity platforms the world has to offer. Are you interested in taking your business productivity through the roof? Continue reading to find out more.
What is Office 365 and SaaS Services Anyway?
If you have an internet connection and about 10 minutes, you can sign up for one of Digisync Technology Solutions hosted business solutions which is built on top of the Microsoft Office hosted SaaS services which includes:
Email, Calendar and Contacts (Microsoft Exchange)
Rather than storing your email on-premises on a local server, it will be stored in the Microsoft cloud with Exchange Online. You can access all your email messages, calendars and contact information anywhere and all your information will be synchronized on all your devices.
SharePoint serves as your company’s intranet and team collaboration site. It allows you to collaborate with your colleagues at any time from all your devices. You can create, edit and review documents with your co-workers all at once and save precious time
Business Meetings and Video Conferencing (Skype for Business)
It’s difficult to get everyone together for a meeting. By using Skype for Business you can organize meetings with up to 250 people. All you and your attendees need is an internet connection and a browser. Included in this solution is Instant Messaging (IM), Conversation tracking, Presence and Mobile support. You can literally be in touch with everyone in your organization where ever you are.
Office on desktops and mobile devices (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote and Publisher)
The Office applications installed on your desktop that you know and love are one of the major components of Digisync Hosted Business Solutions. One of the big advantages of going with our Premium package is that you can install the Office suite on up to 5 PCs or Macs. For years, businesses bought the classic Office CD at their local retailer and they milked it for all it was worth. The end result was problems with productivity, compatibility and the quality of their work. When you buy your favourite Office applications included in the Premium package we offer, you don’t have to worry about updates. All updates are automatically available for download at no extra cost when the new version is released. Microsoft has just released Office 2016 which has a lot of new features for small business users. This new version is automatically updated for our subscribers at no additional cost. Our Premium package also includes mobile apps that allow you to work on tablets (Androids and iPad) and smartphones. You can create, view and edit documents with touch-screen versions of Word, Excel and PowerPoint apps. Add comments or track changes while you work with your colleagues in Word. Review and update Excel spreadsheets and add new formulas or charts if you need them. If you’re working on a PowerPoint presentation, you can make changes easily and project them remotely on a big screen. Office apps for smartphones are already free in Google Play and iStore.
Office Online is a watered-down version of the native office desktop applications. There are fewer applications (only Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote) and the functionalities for creating and editing documents are limited. However, you can access Office Online from any web browser, such as Chrome, Safari or Internet Explorer. This is very convenient if you happen to be visiting a client who doesn’t have Office and you need to make changes to a document or post an update.
Cloud Storage & Backups
All of the Digisync packages on offer allows users to get their own Cloud storage for Business, a secure and reliable cloud storage application. You can access and share files with your co-workers from your phone, tablet or desktop computer. Each user gets a generous 1TB (Terabyte) of storage space, other storage platforms like Dropbox don’t even come close to this preservation.
Social Business Applications
Included in all our offerings, your organization can access business social networking platforms like Yammer and Delve, think of these services like conventional social networking platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook for business but on steroids. Reach out to your colleagues in other departments and locations. Create special groups to start conversations, work together on files and organize projects. Create a business culture leveraging this technology.
Of course, we’ve only listed the major components of Office 365. There’s a lot more that your small business can do with this great tool.
How Moving to the cloud can benefit your business?
Now that you have a better understand of all the services and applications Office 365 has to offer, lets talk about the many benefits you will experience moving your business to the cloud.
No Expensive Outlay Costs
No initial hardware or licencing costs, and bundled with our software assurance means that you have a future proof solution. You will always have the most up to date software included in your subscription no costly annual upgrades or maintenance.
Proactively Monitored and Managed
Focus on what you do best, let Digisync Manage your ICT solution on your behalf. All your data remains yours and is secured in Microsoft data centres with a 99.9% guaranteed up time.
Empower your Mobile Workforce
Throw away those costly, slow, outdated VPN solutions. Work from anywhere at any time, on any device. All your business information remains synchronized across all your devices and remote branches.
This is one of the biggest benefits we offer, With the seamless collaboration capabilities that our solution offers, you will see increased productivity across your workforce. Our solution also affords you the best possible business continuity when you need it most, even in times of power failures, theft or natural disasters.
Standardization Across your Workforce
With your workforce all operating from one standard platform this keeps things simple, no compatibility issues, and even has its benefits when on boarding new staff by offering one familiar platform that most people in the South African workforce are already accustomed to.
Security is Not an Afterthought
All your data is secured in Microsoft facilities and accessed via encrypted channels giving you peace of mind that your data is safe at all times. Should a mobile device be stolen or compromised we can remotely wipe the device removing any traces of your business information.
Digisync in conjunction with Microsoft offer remote and onsite support services if you need a friendly helping hand with any user or technical issues you may face.
Meets Legal and Compliance Needs
Making sense of all the rules, laws and regulations you need to follow is tough enough without trying to incorporate them into your ICT infrastructure and polices. Our solution makes this simple by offering various tools to automate these processes like email retention polices and critical data preservation.
Fast, Easy Deployment
Moving your ICT solution over to us is simple and uninterrupted. Even if you have onsite exchange servers and active directories (AD) installed we can migrate this data on your behalf.
Do you feel that all these benefits have all your ICT needs covered?
I think that we can all agree that most businesses, no matter the size, are ready to INCREASE their productivity while most importantly SAVING on their running costs. Office 365 combined with a local knowledgeable service provide like Digisync, gives you the ability unlock your businesses full potential through technology. Do you agree that your business can not be without a solution like this?
If you would like to learn more about Office 365 services, over the next few weeks Digisync will be blogging about the individual products and services, drilling down into each of their unique features, as well as some use cases and examples. Stay tuned for more. Alternatively, if you feel you are ready to get the ball rolling, please see www.digisync.co.za for more information.
Author: Lyal Saayman
Lyal is the founder and director of Digisync Technology Solutions, he is a technologist and entrepreneur at heart and currently has interests in cloud technologies, software development and really all things ICT.