Microsoft’s Office 365 is fast becoming the go-to cloud infrastructure for small to medium businesses and, in fact, will mostly likely become the only option for a Microsoft based Email platform in the near future; utilising Microsoft Exchange Online.
There’s a great deal of debate as to whether the platform is ‘Enterprise-Ready’ and the objections seem to largely be around a legacy way of controlling data security and running an integrated network across large numbers of users and locations. It’s certainly a challenge, though there are a great many options for using Office 365 as part of a Hybrid environment, taking advantage of cloud technology to help improve consistency across a multi-location business. I believe ‘Hybrid’ deployment will likely be the preferred model for enterprise customers in the near future.
For SMBs, however, Office 365 offers more than just a cloud option to a classic small business IT setup. As well as a resilient email environment, and a big bucket of cloud data storage (1TB per user, on One Drive for Business), it also comes with SharePoint Online.
SharePoint offers all manor of business streamlining and automation tools, that will improve file and data management as well as day to day business workflows. SharePoint is still, in my opinion, the biggest selling point and most under-utilised part of the Office 365 offering. This is likely due to the different approach required, compared to deploying a traditional file server installation. Though customisation is relatively straight-forward, compared to traditional software coding, there is a lot of thought required to assess business processes and decide on the right way to store, search and share information.
When deployed and used to it’s best, Office 365 can transform businesses. Read this article from the Microsoft Blog, to hear how it transformed one business.
We knew we wanted to move to the cloud because we needed more storage space and more stability for our email environment. We evaluated the choices out there, and determined that Google Docs, Amazon Web Services and the others just didn’t make sense from an integration perspective. Choosing Office 365 removed complexity, so it really was a no-brainer for us.
ISAAC specialise in business process refinement and Office 365 customisation and SharePoint development. If you’re considering a move to the cloud, or you’ve already moved but feel you could get more from it, then why not talk to us.