Five years after Microsoft launched Office 365 on June 28, 2011, it was named the Most Popular Enterprise Cloud Service. And it’s easy to see why. It is a cloud-based suite of productivity applications loaded with different features, depending on the subscription plan. The most popular applications and services include:
- Office Apps — Such as Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote, to name a few.
- Outlook — The popular email services app that allows you to manage your projects, contacts, and messages with Outlook Mail, Outlook Calendar, Outlook People, and Outlook Tasks.
- Other hosted services and collaboration tools — These include OneDrive for Business, SharePoint Online, Microsoft Teams, Yammer, Skype for Business, and Delve boards.
But while Office 365’s popularity continues to grow, several myths about it still persist. Let’s tackle them one by one and reveal the truth behind them.
Myth #1: You need to be online to use Office 365
While Office 365 is cloud-based, its productivity applications can be used online and offline seamlessly. You can work on a document offline, then it is automatically synced the next time you go online. Only Microsoft Teams, Skype for Business, and Yammer, which are communication platforms, need an internet connection.
Myth #2: Skype and Skype for Business are one and the same
Because Skype is a free service, people think that paying for Skype for Business is unnecessary. But free Skype is for consumers, with its basic voice, video, and screen sharing.
Skype for Business offers more robust features than the free version. It is fully integrated with Office 365 to provide enterprise-grade communication features. You get a unified communications platform that integrates instant messaging, VoIP, video conferencing, web conferencing, voicemail, file transfers, and email. You can even create virtual whiteboards and, depending on your subscription, add up to 250 people in online meetings.
Myth #3: Because Office 365 uploads to the cloud, your data there is unsafe
There’s a misconception that data stored in the cloud is unsafe compared to data stored on-premise. But cloud security has improved significantly throughout the years.
Office 365 guarantees 99.9% uptime. It has several layers of defense, including data encryption in transit and at rest, multi-factor authentication, rights management, and mobile device management technologies. Plus you get Microsoft’s Advanced Threat Protection tools, which protect your system from external threats by analyzing every email attachment and link for sinister activities.
Myth #4: Office 365 doesn’t have the enterprise-grade security that certain industries require
Certain industries like law, finance, or healthcare require strict compliance with regulations to ensure the privacy of personal data. These regulations, like the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPPA), The Federal Information Security Management Act of 2002 (FISMA), and the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) have gone through several versions and updates, in response to the changes in technology.
Microsoft’s data centers meet the latest privacy standards for HIPAA, FISMA, PCI-DSS, and ISO 27001, and are updated regularly. The Office 365 Security & Compliance Center is also there to help you meet legal obligations. Certain Office 365 packages even come with security controls and compliance offerings to ensure your data’s safety.
Myth #5: Office 365 is not backward compatible
Backward compatibility means that a system is able to read, write, and work on any file using an older version of the same product. Companies are understandably wary of acquiring a new system that may have compatibility issues with their current one. But Office 365 is backward compatible, and can seamlessly work on files done with older formats of Word, Powerpoint, and more.
Myth #6: Office 365 is unnecessarily expensive
Office 365 prices range from as low as $4 to $35 a month. If you consider the features that come with the platform, like data storage, access and licenses for all the products in your plan, and enterprise-grade security, it actually offers up to 80% savings versus a similar solution that’s on-premise. And users are not required to pay the upgrade fees every time Office 365 is updated approximately every 90 days.
Your company can generate greater productivity with Office 365, but its offerings are so numerous that it may be overwhelming at first. We at Hudson Valley can help your company make the most out of Office 365 and other Microsoft products. As a managed service provider, we can also take care of your cybersecurity, data backup and recovery, compliance, and more. For IT solutions that will grow your business and keep you ahead of the competition, contact our experts today.
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