Productivity software has played an important role in businesses for decades. Since its initial release way back in 1990, Microsoft Office has been the gold standard for workplace productivity. In fact, many of its core applications, such as Microsoft Word and Excel, have been around for even longer.
Today, these applications are provided as part of Office 365 group of software and services, and while it’s been around for several years, there are still plenty of misconceptions surrounding it.
#1. It Requires Total Commitment to the Cloud
Being a subscription-based service, many people assume that Office 365 requires a complete commitment to the cloud. However, while it does offer a wide range of web services, such as online versions of the core Office applications, it doesn’t demand users to migrate all their systems to the cloud. In fact, the desktop Microsoft Office remains a core component of the Office 365 ecosystem.
Office 365 includes many important online functions, but most subscription packages also include the full range of desktop applications that most of us are used to, such as Word, Excel and PowerPoint. In addition, it provides browser-based versions of these applications to offer functionality similar to that of the purely cloud-based offerings of Google – Docs, Sheets and Slides respectively.
#2. Uploading Data to the Cloud Puts It at Risk
Unless you’re using the purely cloud-based Office 365 Business Essentials package, there’s no obligation to store any data online anyway. However, regardless of which package you choose for your business, it still makes sense to store copies of all your documents in the cloud using the OneDrive online storage facility.
Many businesses are worried that they’re putting their data at risk by uploading it to the cloud. However, your data is actually likely to be safer stored online, since it will be kept in physically secure facilities complete with redundant storage for backup. Also, administrators will retain complete control over access and management with integrated Active Directory and Rights Management Services.
#3. It Does Not Meet Data Privacy and Security Regulations
A lot of organizations, such as those operating in healthcare, finance or law, need to operate under strict compliance regulations. Many such companies fear that moving their data over to the cloud means failing to meet these legal obligations. The Office 365 Security & Compliance Center exists to address those concerns.
Depending on which package you go for, Office 365 ships with the full range of security controls and compliance offerings to ensure that your data is kept safe according to the standards laid out by the laws of the country you’re operating in. In fact, Office 365 actively helps organizations stay updated with a wide range of regulations, such as HIPAA and PCI-DSS.
#4. Skype and Skype for Business Are the Same Thing
Now that Microsoft owns Skype, it has become a core part of the Office 365 lineup. It is one of the most popular instant messaging and telecoms apps among home users, which leads many users to assume that Skype for Business is the same thing.
Skype for Business fully integrates with Office 365 to provide more enterprise communication features, such as the ability to hold audio and video conferences while working on the same documents, sharing screens, and creating virtual whiteboards. You can also add up to 250 people to online meetings, depending on your subscription.
Skype, on the other hand, is intended for casual users and startups. It’s a free service that is equipped with basic voice, video, and screen sharing, but it doesn’t offer the robust telecom features most businesses need.
#5. It Lacks Backwards Compatibility
One of the most common concerns businesses have when migrating to a new or different system is that they’ll face compatibility issues. Of course, such problems can be extremely disruptive, but that’s unlikely to be the case when migrating to Office 365. For a start, the Office desktop applications are fully backwards-compatible with every version that preceded them as well as with formats created by various other programs.
All in all, Office 365 is the perfect solution for any organization seeking to harness the power of the cloud while still being able to retain the desktop productivity tools that have led the industry for decades. If you’re looking for IT solutions tailored to meet the needs of your business, contact WhiteOwl today, and let’s get to work.