Office 365 Review: Is It Good for Small Business 

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Office is Microsoft’s most popular service. Office 365 is the latest subscription service by Microsoft, bringing cloud capabilities, email, and web applications to the Office suite. Is it worth it to upgrade? Read on to find out.


Features of Office 365

Office 365 is a bundle of products and services from Microsoft, and is offered in different plans for small business, some of the main features are the following:

  • Cloud Backup: All documents created within the Office 365 ecosystem are automatically backed up to Microsoft’s cloud services. These documents can be accessed by simply going to Office.com, logging in, and then one is able to view or download their documents from there.
  • Web Apps: Web versions of Office, PowerPoint, and OneNote allow users to edit documents from anywhere with an internet connection they simply login to their Office account, and edit within the web browser
  • Hosted Email: Office 365 gives every user business class email with 25 GB of storage. It also allows the use of a custom domain name for your email and allows users to have shared calendars to allow employees to collaborate.
  • Public Website: Website hosting is also included with Office 365. The tools are provided to quickly create a website, and publish it to the web, with no additional fees.

  • Office Applications: Included with some Office 365 Plans is full access to desktop versions of Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Outlook, OneNote, Access, Publisher, and Lync.

Office 365 brings many things to the table, and allows for reduction in operating costs by bundling together many services that businesses require.

 

 

Cost of Office 365

Office 365 has three different pricing tiers for small business:

 

Hosted Email (Exchange Online)

Office 365 Small Business

Office 365 Small Business Premium

Price

$4.10 user/month

$6.20 user/month or

$61.20 user/year

$16.10 user/month or

$161.80 user/year

User Maximum

Unlimited

25

25

Desktop Office Applications





Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Outlook, OneNote, Access, Publisher, and Lync

Office Web Apps

View Only

Included

Included

Office Mobile Apps





Included

Hosted Email

Included

Included

Included

Web Conferencing



Included

Included

Public Website



Included

Included

All plans also come with spam and malware protection, full 24/7 support, and a 99.9% uptime guarantee. In order to receive all the applcations bundled in the Premium bundle, one would have to purchase the Office Professional 2013 suite, which is costs $519 for use on a single PC. Further, when newer versions of Office are inevitably released, Office 365 subscribers have immediate access, at no extra cost. Office 365 offers significantly more features at a cheaper price, while keeping a business more up to date, compared to a standard purchase of Office 2013.


If your business merely needs a hosted email service then the base plan should meet all needs. If your business is looking to access to more advanced tools such as web conferencing, web Office apps, and host their own website, then the Small Business plan is the way to go. Lastly, if your business has need of all the previously mentioned features, and would also like each of their employees to have access to the Office application suite, than the Premium plan is the most cost efficient route for doing so.

 

 

Recommendation:

Office 365 offers a strong combination of applications and features, and is meant for aiding in getting your business more productive, by providing the latest in technology for your business. The cost savings of an Office 365 subcribtion versus buying Office 2013 outright, as well as the bundled services such as email, web hosting, and cloud storage, make it the most cost efficient and feature rich solution for productivity applications in a small business. Office 365 offers more, costs less, and seamlessly stays up to date.

If your business is in need of an email service, or would like to outfit your employees with Microsoft Office, then I strongly recommend Office 365. It is a large bundle of services for a relatively low price, compared to purchasing Microsoft Office on it’s own, and going elsewhere for web services. Office 365 is fantastic.


Check out Office.com for more information.


 

 

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