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Systems Engineering Blog

Microsoft Office 365 - Is it Time to Make the Switch?

April 22, 2013 | Posted in:

Cloud, SE Data Points, IT Strategy

Posted by Robert Leslie

Microsoft recently announced the release of Office 365 for Midsize Businesses. This new platform includes access to a full version of Office 2013 Professional, hosted Exchange email, a personal SkyDrive and SharePoint. This release also aligns closely with the look and feel of Office 2013 and Windows 8. All of this is delivered without the need for a large capital investment and at a very affordable annual fee per user.

Microsoft Office 365 distinguishes itself from Google Docs in that while it also functions in the cloud, it provides a local fully functioning copy of Office 2013 and the leading business email solution, Exchange. Additionally, unlike Google, Microsoft does not mine your data for advertising.

In the wake of this new release, many Systems Engineering customers have been asking - should we switch? The answer, as often is the case in technology choices, it depends.

While Office 365 provides the core tools any business requires at an affordable cost, you need to make sure your other line of business applications and business processes are a fit as well. Answers to the following questions will help guide the decision-making process:

  • Are you ready to transition to Office 2013? Are you working in ways with your current version of Office that would prohibit the move?
  • Do you currently integrate Exchange with other applications and will this continue to work as needed when Exchange is in the cloud?
  • Office 365 has hard limits on some of its storage with a limit of 7GB per SkyDrive, 25GB per mailbox. Will this work for you?
  • Do you have a plan for integrating SharePoint into your existing business processes? Do not assume SharePoint and each user’s SkyDrive is a replacement for an existing file server.
  • Will Office 365 meet your email, file backup and retention requirements?

All in all, Office 365 for Midsize Businesses could be a good choice for your business. It offers always-on cloud-based productivity and collaboration tools accessible from anywhere and any device along with a full license of Office 2013.

To find out if Office 365 Midsize Business is the right fit for your company, contact your Systems Engineering representative today. We can help you assess the costs and benefits of making the transition - and whether Office 365 is right for your business today, or in the future.