Need a best in class email solution for your business, look no further than Microsoft Office 365. It’s used in the majority of SME’s globally and is an excellect fit for small business.
Many businesses start life using free email accounts typically provided by their isp or rely on services like Gmail, Outlook, iCloud and serveral others.
Using a free email solution comes with some downsides.
- You maybe losing sales due to not looking professional
- You are losing the opportunity to put your brand/company name in front of prospective clients.
- You can lose your uniqueness down to the nature of non branded/company emails
- Hackers love free email accounts, they are easier to exploit and you may not get help getting it back. Your emails maybe completley deleted, your email can start sending spam to your clients, undermining your reputation, having to change your company literature and business cards worse still having to start from scratch by losing years of correspondance, contacts and your client data.
- Free usually mean zero support, so when things go wrong there would be very little tecnical support, reaching a real person is almost impossible with free services there are no expectations that they will aactually help you.
- Free email services won’t be there forever, when a provider shuts a service, you will be left with the task of updating your contacts with your new email address.
- Your email is much more likely to be flagged as spam. Many spam filters are looking for free email acounts including Hotmail, Gmail or Yahoo. The reason spammers use these is because they are free.
Office 365 offers enterprise-grade cloud based email solution. It’s based on the foundation of Exchange server but unlike the old Exchange Servers, it runs in the Microsoft Cloud.
85% of Fortune 500 companies worldwide have adopted it and the market share is increasing.
Within the SME’s market, Microsoft Office 365 is number one in market share followed by Google Workspace.
Additionally to a reliable email service, you get a suite of programmes like Word, Excel, Teams, Onedrive, Sharepoint, Powerpoint and Outlook.
Microsoft 365 Pros And Cons
Microsoft Office 365 is the enterprise-grade cloud-based email solution suitable for even smallest businesses!
- Seamless access to email from any device. All your sent items, drafts, folders, contacts, and calendar will look exactly the same on computers, web, phones and tablets.
- Contacts and Calendar appointments are stored online. When you update a contact on your phone, it will automatically update across all your devices. When you send a reply from your tablet, you’ll see the sent message on your computer as well. When you schedule a meeting with somebody on your laptop, your phone will notify you when it’s time to go!
- Ability to store files in the cloud and access them on any device. If you are in a foreign country or don’t have your devices with you, you can go to an Internet cafe or library, log in to your account and all your emails, documents, and other business data is there. Even if a disaster destroys your computers, your data is still in the cloud, and you can work from any device.
- You can check your email online from any computer. You can also use basic versions of Word, Excel and PowerPoint from the cloud without having to install them.
- Using your license, you can install Microsoft Office on all your computers, be it a home desktop, work laptop, or a lightweight touch-screen laptop.
- Office 365 gets updates regularly. The software behaves exactly the same way on all computers. No longer do you have to remember how to use a certain feature on different versions!
- Microsoft 365 has predictable monthly costs. Instead of having to buy an expensive Microsoft Office suite every few years and being able to install it on only one computer, Microsoft 365 is flexible to suit your growing business needs! You can add and remove user licenses easily, change plans, and grow your company without having to pay hundreds of dollars upfront.
- Plenty of cloud storage! With Microsoft 365, you get 50 GB to store your emails. You don’t have to worry about archiving or deleting large emails and can keep all of your emails neatly organised in folders. You probably don’t want to store all of those emails on your phone, tablet and laptops so you can decide how long you want to sync (from 3 days to everything!) and all other emails are accessible in the cloud.
- You can keep your business data in the same account. Instead of relying on your legacy emails system and using DropBox, Google Drive, or iCloud, everything can be kept in Microsoft 365.
- Microsoft 365 allows for seamless collaboration. Your shared company files can be stored in SharePoint and be accessed and edited by anyone who needs them. You can work with others in real time, see what changes others have done and even use company-wide chats, similar to Facebook Messenger! Instead of emailing versions of the same document to each other, you can see what others have done and track the changes.
- Safety and Security are a priority for Microsoft. With Microsoft 365, you use the same systems that large organisations rely on. You can secure your accounts with multi-factor authentication, making sure that only you have access to your data. You also get powerful spam filtering that scans all of your messages and attachments 24/7. If you ever lose your phone or tablet, you can remotely wipe it to protect your data from anyone who shouldn’t see it!
- You must have an Internet connection, and it better be fast! If you live in a rural area, and a slow service like satellite, dial-up, or ADSL is your only choice, Microsoft 365 is probably not for you.
- The service is subscription-based – but it comes down to your preference. Would you prefer to spend thousands of dollars on a server and software and use it for several years or would you prefer to pay the monthly or annual fees?
- Compatibility with your line of business (LOB) applications can be hit and miss. If your applications require a specific version of Microsoft Office (typical with databases and older programs that can send own emails), you probably want to think twice before upgrading.
- It can be hard to keep up with the changes. Microsoft is continually adding new features and making changes to the User Interface (UI). You will probably have to learn how the new programs operate.
- Most people would only use less than 20% of the features. Microsoft 365 is much more than email service, cloud storage and access to desktop applications – but that’s what the majority of users need. It has so many features that it may be intimidating to look at the features you could use!
- Microsoft 365 plans can be confusing. Retail chains sell Office 365 Personal and Office 365 Home, but it’s not suitable for businesses! It will only give you the desktop applications, but you won’t get the Exchange server or SharePoint.
How We Can Help You
We can help you switch your company to Microsoft 365!
- We’ve helped many companies in the UK to move away from their broken legacy systems to the Cloud and will be happy to do the same for you
- We can come to you anywhere in Birmingham and The West Midlands to talk about your needs, your current infrastructure, discuss what works and what doesn’t and offer you a solution suitable for your business
- When we have a clear picture of what you need, we will prepare a migration plan for your company to minimize the downtime and potential disruption
- We will set up the required user accounts, move your emails, consolidate your files and move them to OneDrive or Sharepoint, configure your company devices and give you training on how to get the best out of Microsoft 365.
How Much Does It All Cost?
Once we have a clear understanding of your needs and current environment, we can give you the exact quote but this is what you should expect.
- Microsoft 365 is easy to set up for new business and takes about an hour plus extra hour for each user. We will need full access to your domain and DNS records to make the necessary changes
- If you already have your domain and been using email service from either your ISP, hosting provider, or a competing solution like Google’s G Suite, things get a bit trickier as we will also have to migrate your emails and stored files from older accounts to Office 365. However, it rarely takes more than two hours per user.
- When it comes to monthly costs, Microsoft Office 365 is very flexible and grows with your needs. It is licensed per user – every employee who works for you and uses email will have their own license.
- The same license can be used to install Microsoft 365 on all devices belonging to the same person – even their home computer if necessary!
- Shared Mailboxes (like sales, info, support, etc.) can be used by several people in your company and don’t require a license
- You can mix and match licenses. If some of your employees only need access to emails but not desktop programs, you can save ££ by using cheaper licenses
- Microsoft 365 is billed monthly, quarterly, or annually.
- There are no contracts but you need to provide a one-month notice if you wish to stop your services. Your emails and files can then be migrated to another service provider.
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