Not sure that Office 365 is right for your business? 5 users can try it free of license fees for 30 days before you roll it out to everyone.

Office 365: Try before you buy!

CI-FastStart

“We’re not yet convinced by Office 365 and storing data in the cloud. It might work for us, but we’d like to try it before we commit.”

Sound familiar? Many smaller businesses have exactly the same reservations about switching from familiar, locally installed applications (perhaps Office 2010 or Office 2013) to “the cloud”.

Well it’s a sensible route to consider, and in fact it’s not that big a switch.  So what are the benefits?

Business Benefits of Office 365

Application compatibility between users and operating systems

With most versions of Office 365 you can still use locally installed applications, and because it’s a subscription service, you always have the latest version – updates are included in the subscription. So you and your colleagues will never encounter issues sharing documents or editing a single document at the same time: in fact Office 365 allows you to do precisely that – you can see everyone else’s changes in real time.

There’s also much better compatibility between Mac and PC versions of the same documents – Microsoft is now embracing different operating systems, and supports MacOS, iOS and Android devices as well as Windows PCs. The benefit is that you and your team spend less time fixing compatibility issues and more time doing productive work

Reduce IT equipment expenditure

A move to Office 365 means you could entirely forget about file and email servers, updates, maintenance, spare components and even the entire computer room: you could move all your servers into the cloud. You could eliminate capital expenditure on IT, and even reduce your operating expenditure because you pay only for the space and licenses you use each month. And by moving your email to Exchange Online you benefit from low-maintenance, always-available email accessible anywhere there’s an internet connection.

Secure, resilient and confidential storage

So what about storing stuff in “the cloud”? Isn’t that just storing data on someone else’s computer?

Well, yes it is, but it’s Microsoft’s computer. In fact it’s tens of thousands of Microsoft’s computers in more than 100 data centres across the globe. They’re backed up, replicated and both physically and digitally secured better and more reliably than you could do it on a computer in your office. And it’s available to your team anywhere there’s an internet connection. Furthermore your data can be synchronised with your desktop so you always have a copy even if you’re offline. Previous versions are retained for up to 30 days, so you can always recover something that’s been changed or removed either accidentally or maliciously. And be reassured, no Microsoft staff have access to your files unless you specifically grant it to them for support purposes – and you can withdraw that permission at any time.

Better business continuity and disaster recovery

You can secure your business against risks such as your office burning down or being flooded – recent research in the US suggests that 25% of small businesses never recover from such a loss. Some spend significant amounts on business continuity provisions and warm-standby office facilities. Embracing Office 365 and moving to the cloud secures your business against this kind of risk.

Improved productivity & automation of tasks

You also get access to new collaboration, communication, productivity and data security tools such as Teams, Yammer and Sway, which your team can use anywhere, on any device. Forms, Flow and PowerApps enable you, or us on your behalf, to automate manual clerical tasks and fully integrate them with your email, communications and filing systems so you can release expensive skilled resource to work on more profitable and productive tasks.

Mobile device management and security

Office 365 enables you to permission, manage, monitor and remotely wipe mobile devices on which your, or your customers’, valuable data may be stored. So your team can use those devices, whether you own them or they do, to work while they’re on the road, working from home or based on a client site. The benefit is they’re productive for more of their time while you minimise the risk of data loss. You also improve your compliance with legal requirements such as GDPR, the new personal data protection legislation coming into force in May 2018.

Simple Document management

OneDrive and Teams filing systems use the underlying SharePoint filing system. SharePoint backs up your data automatically and keeps previous versions of files – so you can recover deleted or overwritten files, and – if the worst happens and you’re subject to a ransomware attack – you can even roll the entire filing system back one version so you can get the unencrypted versions of all your files back.

Risk-free trial

But you don’t have to switch everyone over before you’re happy it’s the right thing do to. And f you’re not sure what’s actually included in Office 365, we’ve put together a (relatively) simple guide: What’s in Office 365?

CI-FastStart is the most effective way to quickly and securely evaluate the benefits of Microsoft Office 365 in a live environment before you roll it out across your business.

FastStart: The Power of Five

We provide five days consultancy, and you select five people to use Office 365 for 30 days – without license fees. We’ll ensure it’s configured appropriately to deliver each of them maximum business benefit. We’ll train them, we’ll show them how to synchronise data in the cloud and we’ll show them how to use up to five of the available cloud services, including OneDrive for Business and SharePoint.

After 30 days your five users will continue to use the new system, you’ll just pay the appropriate monthly fees going forward. In the unlikely event we don’t convince you this is a better way to operate your business you can opt to roll back to your previous system with no further obligation.

To conclude CI-FastStart we’ll deliver you a roadmap that shows how we think the rest of your business (up to 300 users) could benefit from Office 365 to improve productivity, mitigate risks and become more cost effective. We’ll also provide a plan and timeline covering the migration process. And we’ll identify the optimum license configuration for your business. All for a fixed fee.

By working with Cameo Innovations, you’ve chosen a Microsoft Partner that’s business benefit driven. Of course we’ll provide you helpdesk and technical support, but primarily we’ll work with you to enable you to realise and sustain tangible benefits for your business.