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Office 365 mobile devices

Office 365 is simply Microsoft’s cloud version of Office. It is a very easy set-up where installation disks are not required. All you need is an internet connection. Connect via the internet, set up and account, make payment, download the appropriate files and you are good to start working. So what does office 365 include- of course Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Access as well as SharePoint and Lync for collaboration services and the ability to access online exchanges.

Office 365 mobile devices are portable devices that have the ability to access office 365. This means that you can set up and use office 365 on your mobile phone or tablet. You can access documents, email, instant messaging as well as other Office 365 features from supported devices which include Windows Phone, iPhone, iPad, Nokia (Symbian OS), Android Phone, and Blackberry devices.

The three faces of Office

In addition to the more popular desktop version of office there are new additions to the family: Office 365 and Office Web Apps. The latter is a free and limited version of Office that is integrated with SkyDrive (Microsoft’s cloud). This enables you to view and edit files on devices that don’t have office installed.

On the other hand, Office 365 is a subscription-based plan that offers Office functionality in the cloud. It is more of a hybrid between the desktop versions and free Web Apps. Therefore, it offers desktop functionality with web based convenience that supports multiple devices.

Now including hosted online services for company servers, Office 365 provides Outlook Web app and office Web Apps as part of its service with licensed subscriptions to the actual software usable on personal desktops.

The Cloud

You might just be wondering what exactly the cloud is. This is simply an off-site hosting service. When using Office 365, you synchronize and upload files with windows SkyDrive. This makes it advantageous in that you are able to access files from different devices and locations that don’t have Office. You also have the ability to store files locally.

Security

When it comes to cloud matters, business owners begin to worry about security. The truth is that Office 365 offers the same Trust centre and user-level security options as the desktop version. Rights Management Service (RMS) lets you set permissions as it supports encryption. That said, you have good security at your user level. Files that are stored offsite are saved in specialised data centres where top-level security is maintained. This offers more security than most small and medium sized enterprises would be able to afford on their own.

Some of the facts about Microsoft’s cloud security include:

Microsoft Office 365 is certified as compliant by accepted ISO standards

There are controls in place to comply with Health Insurance and Accountability Act (HIPPA) and Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

Applications that use Office 365 use encryption. This means that transmissions intercepted by anyone cannot be read.

Office 365 subscriptions come with more than one software. Subscriptions come with free website hosting for applicable tools, free Skype minutes per month for landline calls and plenty of online storage on SkyDrive.

Why Office 365

It is easy to ask yourself why you would need office 365 when desktop versions of office can still work in the cloud. That’s easy. Office 365 offers the convenience of working with your files on multiple devices that don’t have Office, it is a great addition for businesses. Home users with multiple-unit families can save plenty of cash by purchasing an Office Home Premium license that offers support for five desktops and five mobile devices. This is way cheaper than buying as many licenses for each of the individual devices.

Compatibility

Office 365 files are compatible with Office 2010 and 2013. It also works with Office 2007 but with limited functionality.

Subscriptions

There are plenty of subscription options depending on your specific needs. For those who prefer to pay by the year, there is that option. There is also the option to pay as you go, which entails monthly payments. A small business with 25 or fewer users can purchase Office 365 Small Business. If you have a larger workforce (more than 25 users), you can opt for one of the Enterprise options which can accommodate more than 300 users. Small Business Premium includes the desktop version of all the office apps. Midsize Business accommodates up to 300 users. There are also Home versions of Office 365 not to mention Office 365 personal which is the cheapest Office subscription.

Office 365 for business

Microsoft offer Office 365 Business Essentials which allows you to use online Office Apps only (no desktop applications) plus 1TB of online storage per user and a 50GB inbox with email, contact functions and calendar. This can be paid for either monthly or annually.

With and Office Business subscription, you get regular updates and new software features as well as the Office on Demand option that lets users download Office to any PC they’re using temporarily. With this functionality, you get online storage but with no email.

Office 365 Premium has the full set of Office 2013 features in both desktop software, SharePoint and Lync and Exchange Online services such as legal hold, public folders, data loss prevention and rights management. This makes it easier to archive and protect confidential business information.

It is now possible to archive information across the entirety of Exchange, Lync and SharePoint thanks to what is called the eDiscovery centre. It is a component of Office 365 with which auditors and company officers may seamlessly view information on the firm’s office domain. No extra resource dump is required for monitoring and data storage.The feature is invaluable in streamlining the process companies have to undergo to monitor information on them. It is indeed a faster, cheaper and more convenient information management system.

Overall, Office 365 is a valuable addition to any business, whether small or large. The new Office 365 plans offer a cost-effective and simple way to access new features in desktop Office 2013 as well as new versions of Office servers. This means that you don’t need to work your own servers. The administration interface also makes the service very easy to work with irrespective of your level of expertise.

Written by

Stuart Cordingley

Head of Channel at Fusion Mobile - Mobile Phone and Windows Phone specialist helping UK IT Re-sellers with their clients.
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