In This Article
What is Office 365?
The Office 365 offered by Microsoft is a productivity suite that comes with a large number of apps, services and packages.
Office 365 is a subscription service designed and offered by Microsoft. This service helps immensely in your computing tasks, especially if you use your computer for business computing purposes.
- The users of the Office 365 productivity suite offered by Microsoft are offered with a variety of apps, packages, collaboration services and communication tools.
- There are different plans of this suite to choose from such as personal, family, business basic or standard, enterprise and more.
- This suite helps businesses to stay productive and enhance their efficiency in business operation and administration.
- It is flexible, scalable and secure but usually needs to access files and there are some compatibility, storage, renewal and privacy issues.
Understanding Office 365
Office 365 is a powerful suite of tools and services that can help individuals and organizations be more productive and collaborate more efficiently.
By understanding its components and features, users can take full advantage of its capabilities and improve their productivity and collaboration.
Office 365 is a cloud-based productivity suite developed by Microsoft that offers a range of tools and services to help individuals and organizations be more productive and collaborate more efficiently.
It includes popular Microsoft applications such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and OneNote, as well as cloud-based services like OneDrive, SharePoint, and Teams.
To understand Office 365, it is essential to know its components and how they work together to provide a seamless and integrated experience.
Office 365 includes familiar desktop applications like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook, but they are cloud-based and come with additional features that make them more versatile and collaborative.
For example, users can co-author and edit documents in real-time, access files from anywhere on any device, and receive automatic updates to their applications.
Office 365 also provides cloud-based services that enable users to store, share, and collaborate on files and projects.
OneDrive is a personal cloud storage solution that allows users to access their files from anywhere on any device.
SharePoint is a platform that enables teams to collaborate on projects, share information, and create custom workflows.
Teams is a communication and collaboration hub that brings together chat, video meetings, file storage, and more in one place.
Security and Compliance:
Office 365 is built with robust security and compliance features to protect user data and ensure regulatory compliance.
It includes features like multi-factor authentication, data loss prevention, and encryption, as well as compliance tools for GDPR, HIPAA, and other regulations.
Office 365 is available on a subscription basis, and pricing varies based on the plan and number of users.
There are different plans available for individuals, small businesses, and large enterprises, and users can choose to pay monthly or annually.
This cloud-based subscription model was launched on 28 June, 2011 as a popular productivity suite.
It is now more commonly known as Microsoft 365 and includes some of the most useful and popular apps that includes:
- Excel and
- OneDrive for Business.
Microsoft 365 was officially launched in 2017 and initially it was considered to be the superset of different things such as:
- Office 365
- Windows 10 Enterprise licenses
- Other cloud-based security features and
- Device management products.
Over the years, in 2020, this subscription service was rebranded as Microsoft 365.
Some of the core applications and services include several cloud-based productivity tools such as:
- Artificial Intelligence
- SharePoint and
Microsoft 365 also comes with some additional features apart from those you would get in Office 365. This includes:
- Microsoft Editor – This is a feature that will let you to correct the grammar and your style of writing. This feature is powered by Artificial Intelligence and can work efficiently in more than twenty languages. You can even use this feature in Microsoft Word and Outlook and can also install the extension of Microsoft Editor for Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge.
- Transactions from banks – This is another useful feature that will allow you to connect to your bank and credit accounts directly using Excel. You will be able to download all your transaction details and import them into your budget or any other financial spreadsheets directly.
- Microsoft Teams – This is a new feature added by Microsoft that can be used for the personal life of the users. You can create a team or a group of family and friends for specific activities such as organizing a gathering, planning for a trip, or simply stay connected with each other. Sounds familiar to Slack?
- Microsoft Family Safety – Using this feature added by Microsoft you can share your location with your friends and family members. They can track your location live and you can even set notifications which will be triggered as and when you reach that predetermined location.
Microsoft 365 also offers other additional features such as parental controls to limit access to the system and a few specific apps for the kids and screen time monitoring to see how much time they are spending on the computer.
It is also very secure to use this suite as it comes with advanced security measures such as:
- Mobile Device Management which allows the IT team to control it on devices of employees
- Threat Intelligence which ensures broad visibility on the threat landscape and helps to take proactive approaches to respond quickly and
- Encrypted Email that prevents anyone else other than the person intended from reading the emails.
These are not obviously the only security features. There are also some more advanced ones such as Exchange Online Protection,
Advanced Threat Analytics, and more, which you can avail based on your plan and package.
What is Microsoft 365 Used for?
Microsoft 365 will provide you with a lot of productivity tools that you can use. With these tools, you can increase your productivity as well as keep your business and system safe.
It is extensively used by the businesses, both large and small, simply because it helps them in a lot of activities apart from spreadsheet editing or Word processing. The use of Microsoft 365 and its productivity tools helps the businesses to:
- Manage data
- Create documents
- Communicate information and more.
It enhances their efficacy in business administration and operation using different tailored plan options that are available according to their size, circumstances, and needs.
Outlook service, for that matter, will provide the business platforms with a more powerful and professional look.
It will be much easier for them to build their brand appreciation so that they can market their products and services much more efficiently and quickly.
The calendaring feature of Outlook will help them to manage their time most strategically as well as collaborate in a much better way.
It can be used more effectively to facilitate teamwork because with Office 365 all the apps and services are connected both to the wider web and to each other as well.
This will save a lot of time for the employees thereby enabling them to work more and better together by using different tools that include:
- Team chat
- Group emails
- Online meetings
- Sharing files and
Since Office 365 includes mobile apps and cloud storage, they can work wherever and whenever to access content, tasks, conversations, and schedules with a secure connection from any device.
It can also be used to ensure a layered security measure for:
- Data protection
- Privacy protection
- Proactive data monitoring and
- Service level agreement.
There are also a few important apps added recently to Microsoft 365 that makes it all the more useful. These are:
- Microsoft Connections – This is a basic email marketing tool that can be used as a more effective customer engagement platform.
- Microsoft Listings – This tool will help in managing business info on different social media platforms and search engines such as Facebook, Bing, Google, and Yelp.
- Microsoft Invoicing – This app can be used to create and send professional invoices to the clients as well as accept payments on the go.
- Outlook Customer Manager – This is a very useful, intelligent, yet simple add-on that can be used for customer management by those businesses who do not require a full-fledged CRM system as of now.
- Microsoft Bookings – This app will allow managing customer schedules and appointments more efficiently.
- MileIQ – This is a mileage logging platform which will help in classifying and submitting business travel schedules automatically.
- Business Center – This is a centralized access point for all the apps which will help in tracking vital metrics such as outstanding invoices, booking, email subscriptions, and more.
Therefore, using this cloud-hosted productivity suite you can create a positive effect on the bottom line of the company.
1. Cost effective
It is cost effective as it does not require any hardware investments and is more flexible to circumstantial changes.
Most importantly, you will not need any in-house IT expertise to manage the suite as everything is handled by Microsoft, which will therefore reduce your expense on an internal IT management team.
2. Collaboration and communication
It will facilitate communication and collaboration with the Teams which will in turn increase your productivity.
It will also save a lot of time due to this collaborative effort which will increase your return on investment and chances of success.
It will allow you to explore and integrate seamlessly with Microsoft Office and all other programs and apps of Microsoft.
It will once again increase your productivity. You can even create a trial account in just a couple of minutes easily to see how well it integrates with the cloud.
3. Easy all-time accessibility
Once again, due to the cloud-based operation, you can access, use, and collaborate from anywhere and anytime using any device that has an internet connection.
This web-enabled access will allow you to check emails, documents, calendars, contacts, and more and stay connected with your employees always, even in case of fire or flood!
Since Office 365 suite comes with multiple options you can buy only those solutions that you need.
This will offer you more flexibility when you need to convert CAPEX into OPEX.
With the Single Sign On feature, you do not have to sign in repeatedly to your machine as you can store the password in the machine.
6. Support and updates
You will have adequate phone support from the IT admin along with a 99.9% uptime guarantee and regular updates with financial backing.
Therefore, you will always have a robust security, disaster recovery assurance, proper privacy controls, and higher standards.
Office 365 comes with strong built-in security as well as continuous compliance of different safety standards.
These security features will protect your data from any losses or attacks. You will be able to know where exactly your data is and who are the ones who have access to it.
In case of need, loss or theft, you will also be able to wipe all data remotely using your mobile device.
There are no licensing issues involved with Office 365. It includes everything that is necessary to deploy it across the entire organization.
This means that everyone in the company will access the same version of it as well as continue to receive updates regularly at the same time.
You will get to be more organized when you use Office 365 because contacts, emails, and calendar are all synchronized.
If you need to update a contact on your mobile phone it will simultaneously be updated across all the devices automatically.
Alternately, you can save a file on your computer and also access the same from any device such as your smartphone or tablet to continue working on it.
10. Familiar software and programs
The productivity will hamper if there is a sudden change in programs. It will also consume much time in training and involve additional cost.
With familiar programs like Word and Excel, Office 365 will never let your productivity down because these are not confusing or need an overwhelming and in-depth knowledge to operate.
As your business grows, Office 365 will also scale up to meet with your computing needs and never disappoint you.
The tools will ensure that your business continuity is never hampered as it is built on a reliable and secure infrastructure of Microsoft Azure platform.
12. Internet connection required
Without an internet connection you will not be able to access data files and work from anywhere on this cloud-based system which will increase your downtime.
13. Compatibility issues
This suite is not compatible with older systems and therefore to use it you will need to invest on new computers which may add to your cost significantly.
It will also be very time consuming. Moreover, if you have clients and third-party companies who do not have the same software or use cloud systems, you will face a lot of issues.
14. Data storage issues
All your data will be stored in the cloud which is secure no doubt. However, there are a few industries, such as banking and finance, that may not find it to be a secure alternative.
Moreover, there may also be a few regulatory issues and constraints, such as in the healthcare industries, that need to store data on-prem.
Though Microsoft offers options for them, but then these are more expensive and may not even satisfy the requirements and compliance standards.
When it comes to eDiscovery and email archiving tools, there are some notable limitations in Office 365.
It may not be easy to administer as well and need a third-party email archiving service provider.
16. Email quotas
There are also limitations placed on the number of emails that you can send or receive in one day.
This number may vary according to the subscription level. This is much unlike the on-prem exchange servers.
17. Limited features of online apps
You may encounter some setbacks when you use online apps because Office 365 has some limits on the features of these apps and their usage.
It may not allow access to password-protected documents, not run macros, or set data validation in browser apps.
Even cloud storage is not safe in spite of the advanced techniques such as Data Loss Prevention and Advanced Threat Protection being deployed.
Existence of bugs in the products of this suite is still a high possibility which results in flaws and vulnerability to your stored files in the cloud.
19. Issues with renewals
This can be a real headache because the auto-renew is turned on by default. It may be good in one way that you do not have to remember the date of renewal every month but the problem is when you do not want to renew the Office 365 suite.
When you want to cancel, the renewal date may be long past and you may realize that you have already started to pay for the new period.
You will therefore need to check the Office 365 admin center before time and check that the renewal setting is just as you want it to be.
30. Data privacy and control
This is not in your hands. Instead, you are actually trusting Microsoft with all your sensitive data and information by using Office 365.
Microsoft uses a lot of safety and management regulation in their data center which may interfere with the daily activities of your company and your control.
Office 365 will help a business operate smoothly and securely to grow over time with more productivity and better communication.
It will help in making better plans, find more relevant information, and share knowledge in a more innovative way to move the business ahead.