No one can deny the fact that Microsoft revolutionized personal and enterprise software markets from the beginning of time since computers became mainstream in personal and business applications. One of the best product offerings Microsoft had and which helped it to become such a massive influence in the everyday life of the common man was Microsoft office products.
If you look at the history of MS office products, it has been in existence for about 25 years now! For Millenials, it is like their entire life knowing and experiencing this product from its inception to each stage of its growth. Starting from the first version that ran in MS-DOS, now it has evolved into Office 365. Let’s look at the evolution and understand why Office 365 is still the best out there.
Office 365 brings together a variety of Microsoft services like email, excel, powerpoint and productivity tools together into the cloud and provides storage using Microsoft OneDrive. It comes in multiple versions which are home, business, enterprise, government, non-profit and education versions aimed at widening their market focus.
As of April 2019, Microsoft is reported to have a staggering number of 180 million monthly active users for its Office 365 products and the numbers are growing month on month. Microsoft is really upping its game in the cloud business by capturing a large market owned by Google. For example, comparing the entry-level pricing plan, Office 365 wins as compared to Google Suite: ‘Business Essentials’ plan will give you 1TB storage as compared to Google’s 30GB on its ‘Basic’ plan.
What you need to keep in mind is that Google also counts email storage as part of the storage plan. Even though Microsoft 10 introduced Office web apps which enabled users to collaborate from multiple devices and web browsers and even Office 2013 had some cloud sync options, it is important to note that it was Office 365 which truly utilized the power of cloud computing and helped Microsoft win back its share of users which were slowly decreasing due to the popularity of Google cloud products.
Google cloud introduced the ease of collaborating online way before Microsoft realized its potential. Even though Google captured a lot of early markets with small businesses, Microsoft had an impressive early advantage with the enterprises.
Microsoft was already being used by the enterprises and most of its users were already familiar with the Microsoft way of doing things and they were in their comfort zone. GSuite’s success was validation and Microsoft lost no time in catching up by upgrading their offering by launching updates and products as Microsoft Office 365.
Office 365 became the obvious choice for the enterprises as all they needed to do was update and move to the cloud.
Let’s discuss a few pros of Microsoft Office 365 while we are here.
Previously for running Microsoft products, you had to set it up locally or setup data centers on-premise to manage your business for many of the products like Exchange, Sharepoint, etc.
All these are now hosted in multiple Microsoft data centers across the globe which lets you access your apps from anywhere by reducing costs considerably and without the overheads of on-premise installations.
Microsoft offers a lot of important services under a single platform. The offerings are a lot Microsoft Office(in the cloud), Exchange Online(email messaging), SharePoint Online(Collaboration platform), Skype for Business(communication tool), Yammer(enterprise social media), OneDrive(file share repository), PowerBI(insights and online analytics), Microsoft Flow (workflow app), Teams (chat-based workspace), Calendar (scheduler and calendar management) are only a few of them.
All these apps make it easier to collaborate and make work more productive.
A subscription service may be an overhead for personal use but it could be a big cost-saver for a business. Rather than paying a huge upfront cost to set up a software and waiting for months and years for an update or bug fixes could be a big bottleneck for your day-to-day operations.
A subscription pricing will distribute a huge cost for a longer period of time making your technology budget more predictable and handy.
A cloud software managed by Microsoft means that for the end-users, all the updates are available real-time. With the previous version, the users had to wait for the release of the next version to see this change.
The updates for Office 365 are released regularly by Microsoft with new features and security updates which gets updated automatically in the cloud.
The worry most of the users of Microsoft Office 365 can have is if their data is secure as their data is always stored elsewhere, what if someone breaches it and access their confidential information.
But, the users need not worry. Office 365 is completely safe for your data as Microsoft follows extreme measures for this. The server locations are never disclosed to the public to start with. Other than this Bitlocker, SSL over HTTP and IRM is used for document libraries.
Office 365 will never use your data to send you targeted ads as Gmail does. It efficiently manages your privacy settings and uses multi-factor authentication for passwords. A lot of checks and measures are in place to ensure maximum security for your data.
If you start looking at the feature list of Office 365, we can go on and on. The biggest competitor of Office 365 is the GSuite. GSuite is most popular with the smaller businesses and most of the enterprises go with Microsoft Office 365.
If you really start looking at the reason behind this, it all boils down to the familiarity of the platform. Enterprises have been in business for a while now and all its employees are familiar with MS Office products which makes it easier to adapt or move to Microsoft Office 365.
If your business or enterprise ever need help with setting up Office 365, you can employ the consulting services of ClaySys.