Last Updated on 18th June 2019
Office 365 is a Cloud based subscription that provides email services, the Microsoft Office suite and additional business tools.
Many businesses are investing in Office 365 to gain flexibility and mobility with their IT. In this article, we are going to provide a guide to Office 365 looking at what’s included and the different uses of applications.
What is Office 365?
The first step to getting started with Office 365 is understanding the concept of it and how it works.
Some people think that it’s just Microsoft Office including applications like Word and Excel. Others think it’s the Microsoft Office package but accessed through a browser.
They are both right and wrong. Office 365 is subscription based and because of this there are multiple different plans available depending on what you want and need access to.
There are some plans that offer just email services, there are some that offer just email and browser-based applications and others which offer you the whole suite of fully installed applications. You can read more about the different plans in this article.
The most important thing to understand about Office 365 is that it’s a Cloud service. A Cloud service essentially means you are accessing that service via an Internet connection. For Office 365, this means that you can access your emails, applications and documents if you have an Internet connection.
Technically speaking, what Office 365 does is remove the dependency on the server. So instead of having to invest significantly in a physical Exchange (email) server every couple of years, you pay a small fee each month to rent a server from Microsoft. You no longer need to worry about powering, heating or cooling the server and you won’t have to budget to replace the hardware.
What’s available in Office 365?
There are multiple different applications and tools available in Office 365. Some will be quite familiar with some new features and some brand new. One of the great things about Office 365 is while it comes with a wide selection of different applications it’s up to you and your role to choose the best ones for you and your operations. We’ll now go through some of the applications that are available as part of the service.
The most familiar aspect of Office 365 will be the Microsoft Office elements. Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and Publisher are all available in Office 365 depending on the plan you opt for. If you choose a plan that allows you to install the applications on your PC (such as the Office 365 Business Premium) you will be able to also install them on your tablet or phone. You will have 5 licenses for PCs and laptops, 5 licenses for tablets and 5 licenses for phones with each user subscription.
It’s important to note that these 15 licenses are for one individual. Office 365 is user centric and based around the individual not licenses. If you have 15 people in your business they cannot use the same subscription and take advantage of all the licenses.
OneDrive for Business
OneDrive for Business is the Cloud storage available in Office 365. The facility is a bit like Dropbox and is the hub that ties all your Office 365 applications together.
OneDrive for Business is the tool that enables documents to be synced across devices. When you create a file in Word and save it in OneDrive for Business you will then be able to pick up from where you left off on your phone or tablet.
Skype for Business
Skype for Business provides audio and video conferencing facilities, as well as instant messaging. The new forms of communication available in Skype for Business can be utilised in a multitude of different ways to benefit your organisation.
One of the other new communication and collaboration tools available in Office 365 is Microsoft Teams. Teams is a virtual workspace where teams and departments can share ideas and files.
Planner is very similar to Microsoft Project. Accessed via the browser, different projects and teams can be managed easily using virtualisation. You can assign tasks to different team members and attach deadlines, documents and notes.
OneNote is a brilliant note taking tool that will sync across your devices. The experience is very flexible and caters to different working needs. You can paste screen clippings and videos, attach documents and even write freehand if you have stylus functionality with your device.
Office 365 provides a multitude of new ways for your team to work both individually and together to achieve more every day. If you are interested in finding out more about Office 365 then get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 01675 469020.