Microsoft Office 365

You’ve been hearing about Microsoft Office 365 for a while now and are wondering if it may be the right fit for your organization – Let’s take a look at what exactly it is and how it compares to a more traditional approach.

What is it?

Office 365 is Microsoft’s subscription-based plan that allows you access to Microsoft Office applications as well as other productivity services on an a la carte basis. In addition to Office applications, Microsoft makes available other business services such as Exchange Online, Sharepoint, Skype for Business and OneDrive.  In this model, you pay a small monthly or annual subscription for your Microsoft licensing versus the old model of purchasing your licensing for a substantial upfront fee.

Let’s look at an example:

Microsoft Office Pro can cost over $400 to purchase outright vs the Office 365 Business plan at a cost of around $8.50/month.  Additionally, the Office 365 subscription plan allows you to install across multiple devices including PCs, Macs, Android tablets & phones, iPad & iPhones.

But wait there’s more! 

When you have an active Office 365 subscription you also receive 1 TB OneDrive file storage & sharing. You always have the most up-to-date version of Office applications as part of your subscription.  This differs from simply owning Office Pro only allows you to run the applications on a single PC or Mac and in order to move to the latest version you will need to purchase the new version for an additional $400.

That’s great, what about my email?

When it comes time to upgrade your Microsoft Exchange environment, many of our clients will look at Office 365 hosted email as an alternative to the traditional on-premise Exchange server.  The traditional on-premise Exchange upgrade can run in excess of $10,000 with a new server, Exchange licensing, Exchange User CALs, labor and potentially needing to upgrade other infrastructure such as backups to handle the new environment.  Migrating to Office 365 hosted Exchange requires a rather simple migration at a cost of $100/mailbox or public folder with a per-user fee of $5.00 per mailbox.  Moving to Office 365 removes the cost of supporting the local Exchange server as well as the headaches of experiencing downtime due to issues outside of your control such as power outages, ISP outages etc… If you opt for the Premium license it includes your Office licenses, Exchange, Sharepoint and Skype all for $12.50/month per user.

Is it the right choice for my business?

While Office 365 has many advantages it may not be right in all situations or for all organizations.  When you reach the point of needing to upgrade your Microsoft Office or your Microsoft Exchange environment it is worthwhile to take a good hard look at Office 365 and compare it to the traditional outright license purchase or on-premise instance and see how they stack up vs your organization’s needs and workflow.

As always, we are here to help you make the best decision for your organization.  Never hesitate to contact us!


Speak Your Mind