I’ll admit, I was very skeptical of Office 365 when Microsoft was pushing it so hard a couple years ago. Why would any business want to put their data into the cloud and give up control? I will try to lay out some of the main reasons why our customers chose Office 365 for their business…
When I started DevSoft Solutions, I reluctantly pushed Office 365 as a way to get my customers to use SharePoint for their business. But what I found was that email was a huge thorn in their side. Getting rid of Exchange or whatever web host flavor of email hosting they were using was the biggest benefit for them.
Not only did it get rid of Exchange (or whatever they were using), but it also replaced or added Malware and Spam protection, which can be pretty pricey for a small business!
When I hear ‘collaboration’, I think SharePoint. I know, I’m an addict, but it really is the best product out there for businesses. There’s a reason why it’s Microsoft’s fastest growing product!
I recently did some training for a customer that was using Dropbox for file sharing within the business. They only had a handful of users but they were running into issues with working on the same file at the same time, overwriting each other’s changes, or copies of copies being created! That’s a nightmare to maintain!
Enter SharePoint, where they could open the same documents at the same time and see what each other was doing in the document. No more overwriting what each other is working on. No more copies of copies of documents. No more nightmare!
3. Instant Communication
Are you yelling communications down the hall or through walls or do you have email chains that are a million lines long with seemingly meaningless content?
Lync is the answer, and it provides SO much more. Lync provides Instant Messenger, HD Video Conferencing, Screen Sharing, Whiteboarding, and more. Use Lync for long or meaningless chatter and use email for only the important business topics. Have you ever spent hours searching through emails because there’s just so much junk in your email? This helps to solve that problem.
4. Business Processes
This is the biggest and most important reason to use Office 365. SharePoint gives you the ability to automate your business, which has massive ROI potential. You have business rules and processes defined (even if it is loosely defined) but how are you enforcing them? Workflows, forms, lists, and libraries in SharePoint give you the ability to completely automate these processes.
For example, one of our customers was using email to do everything. They would email the next person in the process when it was their turn. Instead, we took their process and built a system in SharePoint that would automate all of it. The process was kicked off by submitting a form, then the workflow would take them through the process step-by-step to completion. This takes the guesswork out of the process and helps to reduce human error. It also speeds up the process so work is getting done quick, which increases the bottom line.
Have you looked at Office 365 and what it has to offer? If not, why? If so, what did you like about it?