Microsoft has released a 2016 update of its popular and much improved online productivity suite, Office 365.
It comes in two editions, Home and Business, and makes it easy and cost effective to go “into the cloud” without giving up the familiar Microsoft server and client applications.
Lets take a look to see why industry commentators such as Paul Thurrott are saying Microsoft got it right this time.
Starting with one of the most important factors in choosing a cloud service, security has been the big stumbling block for many UK small businesses considering moving to the cloud.
Microsoft’s online services have been designed from the ground up with security in mind. Microsoft Office 365 applications are accessed through 128-bit SSL/TSL encryption so that if a transmission is intercepted by someone without authorisation, they won’t be able to read it.
Learn More: Top 10 security and privacy features of Office 365 (External Link)
After security, the most common area of concern regarding small business cloud services is reliability. Downtime means lost worker productivity and ultimately costs small businesses money large amounts of money in wasted man hours.
Microsoft Online Services provides a rock solid service level agreement (SLA) and has a 99.9 percent uptime guarantee. Microsoft has multiple datacentres, located all over the world, hosting redundant network architecture. If there is a server outage at one datacentre, another can act as a backup. Customers hosted by the first datacentre are then transferred to another, with as little service interruption as possible.
Learn More: Microsoft’s Transparent operations (External Link)
Security and Data Protection Compliance
Compliance with government and industry regulations is a big deal in today’s business world. Microsoft Office 365 services have been certified as compliant with ISO 27001 standards, completed SAS70 Type I and II audits, and achieved the EU Safe Harbor seal.
Microsoft has also added additional controls to help customers comply with HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) and FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act).
Learn More: Top 10 compliance standards of Office 365 (External Link)
Exchange Online gives you the benefits of Exchange Server 2013 without the cost and overhead of deploying it onsite. User mailboxes up to 50 GB are supported (administrators can reduce the capacity on a per-user basis), and personal archives provide additional storage space. Attachments up to 25 MB can be sent and received using the Office 365 Exchange platform.
Microsoft SharePoint Online makes collaboration within your business easy. You get 500 MB of storage per user account. Your Business will have a total of 1 TB storage. Your Microsoft SharePoint sites will work with all of the Microsoft office 365 applications so that you will have access to your files from different locations.
Learn More: Microsoft SharePoint (Internal Link)
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