What small and medium-sized businesses really need to know about moving to Microsoft Office 365.
Most companies have decided they need the business agility and want the cost savings that come when moving to the cloud. But with the bewildering amount of contradictory information floating around on the Internet, not many really understand exactly what that means or what it entails.
Companies considering Microsoft Office 365 as their first step in moving applications to hosted solutions face similar inconsistencies, making it difficult to separate fact from fiction. Ready to learn which of the top nine Office 365 business cloud myths you may have thought were true—but aren’t? Read on.
1. Office 365 is just Office tools in the cloud, and I can only use it online. Office 365 is a suite of cloud-based productivity services you are familiar with but also include OneNote, SharePoint Online, OneDrive Skype for Business, and Yammer. Office 365 has the added benefit of being licensed, deployed, and updated as a service. These applications are installed on your device, so they’re available even when you are offline and you have the option to store data in the cloud.
2. If our data moves to the cloud, our business will no longer have control over our technology. Instead of spending ever-larger portions of your capital budget on servers for email storage and workloads, you can think strategically and support business managers in a much more agile fashion, responding to their needs quickly.
3. Keeping data on-premises is safer than in the cloud. Security has grown into a full-time job, one requiring a team of experts, and the few experts available require hefty salaries. Microsoft hires the best and brightest when it comes to thwarting security breaches, and they have the scale most companies can only dream about.
4. I have to move everything to the cloud; it is an all-or-nothing scenario. Most implementations start with a hybrid approach, moving a single application, like email, and growing from there.
5. Cloud migration is too much for my business to handle. MicroAge along with Microsoft will help you every step of the way with information and tips on firewall configurations, reverse proxy requirements, identity options, migration possibilities, and a phased approach for hybrid setups.
6. Corporate spies, cyber-thieves, and governments will have access to my data if it’s in the cloud. Your IT team manages access, sets up rights and restrictions, and provides smartphone access and options. Your company remains the sole owner: You retain the rights, title, and interest in the data stored in Office 365.
7. Skype and Skype for Business are one and the same. Skype for Business integrates with Office 365, boosting productivity by letting people connect on their terms. Employees can make and receive calls, give presentations, and attend meetings from one application—from anywhere—as long as they have an Internet connection.
8. Email isn’t any simpler in the cloud. Software updates and fixes are delivered automatically as soon as they are released, and Exchange Online is always first in line for updates. Although the management and updates are fully automated,
9. Continuously updating Office 365 will break my critical business applications. Offering the same worldwide standard of desktop applications with the familiar tools you know and love; working hard to ensure that even as Microsoft update Office on a regular basis in the cloud, they ensure their updates do not impact areas that would impact other software applications.
When you are busy managing disconnected systems, applications, and data with inflexible and slow systems, and taking flak from employees demanding access to the corporate network and to new tools, it’s hard to squeeze in even a few minutes to keep up with new products and evaluate everything you hear. But now you have a better understanding of the productivity and collaboration that Office 365 provides.