What is Office 365?

Microsoft Office 365 gives you access to the great minds of one of the most powerful technology companies in the world. Office 365 is a family of cloud-based software products that include:

  • Email (Outlook/Exchange)
  • Word processing (Word)
  • Spreadsheet (Excel)
  • Intranet (Sharepoint)
  • Business chat (Teams)
  • Online meetings (Skype)
  • File sharing and storage (Onedrive, Sharepoint)
  • Software licensing for installing office suite on your devices

The beauty of subscribing to Office 365 is that you have access to new features and functionality at no extra cost, keeping you up to date with all the latest enhancements and features aimed at making work easier!

 

Here are a few of the benefits of subscribing to Office 365:

  • Remote access – all software and services are available on all of your devices – desktop, laptop and iPad. This makes it easy to work from anywhere.
  • Reduce hardware costs – being a cloud-based service, Office 365 can reduce the need for onsite hardware, and the maintenance that involves.
  • Software updates – keep up to date with software that is continuously updated, improved and modified.
  • Business Plans – there are at least eight business plans catered to the different needs of all sized businesses.
  • Monthly cost model – per month/per user charges mean no big lump sum payments and easily updated costs to add or remove users.
  • Security – get access to a level of security only possible by being supported by one of the biggest companies in the world, Microsoft. Proactive patching and security updates are managed by the people that have direct access to the developers within Microsoft.
  • Leverage Microsoft power – the economies of scale cannot be underestimated. You get access to redundant hardware, and datacentres in highly secure locations for a fraction of the cost of doing it yourself.
  • Roadmaps – you have access to a technology roadmap resulting in new features and functionality being released continuously. See the latest version of Microsoft’s technology roadmap here.

What Office 365 isn’t:

It’s important to note that Office 365 isn’t a backup system. Office 365 services are supported by geographic replication and redundant hardware to minimise outages with their services, not for the purposes of backing up your business data. This should be done by your IT provider.

Backup is a point in time copy of your data that can be selectively reviewed and restored in the event of user deletion. Geographical redundancy refers to live copy of your data being in multiple locations, for example in Sydney and Melbourne datacentres, to cover for things like widespread power outages or networking issues.

So, how does this affect you? If you delete a file or an email in Office 365, then with geographic redundancy this will delete in both locations, hence needing a backup solution. You may be able to recover (undelete) this for a small amount of time, but what if you don’t realise for six months?

Cloud backups:

As a companion to Office 365, we highly recommend a cloud-based backup solution.

Reluctant to have your data backup in the cloud? Consider the following:

The top five ways data is lost in the cloud as reported by a top backup solution provider:

  1. User error (business users accidentally deleting or overwriting their own data)
  2. Hackers (outsiders getting into the business systems)
  3. Closing accounts (business users closing a cloud account and forgetting about any data they have stored there)
  4. Malicious delete (data is purposely deleted)
  5. Third-party software (data is overwritten by third party software)

Note that none of these reasons mention data lost due to failure in the systems of a cloud-based backup solution provider.

Having a well thought through backup strategy gives you both peace of mind and helps you and your team stay productive.

At IT Partners we know the value of your data, and we know how to protect it. Please talk to us if you want more information on data backup and additional security measures or Office 365.