? Office 365 - is it right for me?

Office 365 


Office 365 is Microsoft's showcase cloud offering

Right ChoiceSuccess with the Office cloud offerings is very dependent on several factors:

  1. Assessment of your business needs, and selection of the correct package is a critical decision

  2. The speed and quality of your Internet connection

  3. Planning and implementation

  4. Your technical skills and ability to work with a level 2 support staff

  5. The degree of customization you require and your ability to make those changes


Assess your business requirements

Before committing to Office 365 it is important to understand your business requirements.

  Office 365 is actually a suite of products, that are available separately or as a bundle.

It is necessary to determine which of the products are applicable to your business.  Like the Office product on which it is built, there are significant price breaks when you bundle multiple products.  However, like office if you only need one of these products it is less expensive to purchase the single product.

Office 365 is both a service and a software product. 

If you already own a version of Office (2007 or later) it is not necessary to upgrade just to use the online services such as Exchange email and PowerPoint.  It is important to determine the business need that will be addressed if you upgrade to a later version of Office.  If there is no business case for the upgrade, and if you already have a perpetual license for Office 2010 moving to an office bundle that includes Office 2012 probably doesn't have a business case and will just increase your cost.

Are you using tablets, smart phones, and other devices that do not run Office natively?

Microsoft Office is tied very close to the PC architecture.  If you need to use applications on devices that do not run the traditional PC platform, you should evaluate the office webapps. This functionality is bundled into Office 365 and can provide an office platform for non-traditional platforms such as the Ipad and Surface RT

How many computer users do you have? 

One of the advantages of cloud services is that you do not need to purchase servers to run the windows applications such as Exchange and PowerPoint. Instead of purchasing a dedicated server,you can share server hardware with other companies and pay just for the users that you have.  One the other hand, as the number of users increases, the cost increases linearly.  With purchased infrastructure the cost increases in a stair step fashion and adding an additional user does not necessarily increase your total cost.

How important is predictable costs? 

When you purchase a service, versus providing that service yourself, it is easier to predict the cost because the cost is generally a flat rate per year per user.

Is your business cyclical in nature?

One of the disadvantages of renting is that you cannot  easily reduce your case flow.  If you are renting a product that is important to your business, you can't easily stop renting it when cash flow is tight.  Whereas with a purchase, you may have laid out more money when cash flows were good, but you generally can defer additional outlays when cash is tight.





  • Solutions

  • Choose the right package

  •  Just because a product is labeled Small business, professional, or enterprise doesn't mean that that is the appropriate package for you.

  • Office 365 Packages are not interchangable,  There is no easy migration path between the offerings.  For this reason, it is very important to select the right package in the first place.