Microsoft Office 365 – Business Drivers for SMB’s to Take the Cloud Plunge

By - July 31, 2013

Cloud computing continues to be more affordable and accessible than ever before and is becoming the great equalizer for SMB’s leveraging enterprise class technology. With the availability of Office 2013 and revamped Office 365 plans, small business owners may want to take another look at the value proposition offered by Microsoft’s subscription-based Office 365 especially if you have some licensing gaps in Microsoft Office or perhaps have not maintained software assurance (SA) and are a few versions behind.

A few reasons to consider taking the plunge include:

1)       Low upfront pricing

There are Office 365 plans and individual packages that can meet your exact requirements for a predictable monthly fee. Compare that to capital planning for new hardware servers, software licenses and CALs for the requisite server operating system and Exchange Server. This hefty, upfront investment could set back a typical small business by thousands of dollars.

2)       Licensing Advantages

Office 365 can also provide subscription-based access to the full desktop version of Office 2013 productivity suite for approximately $12 per user/month under the Office 365 E3 plan ($20 for the total plan). This can be a game changer for a business that may be running older retail licensed versions of Office and would like to upgrade some or all of your users. The typical cross over period is around year 4 in pricing however by that time, you will be enjoying the next release, features and improvements of the newer Office version.

Did I also mention about multiple licenses? Another big plus is that you can install the desktop apps on up to five PCs or Macs per user license. This is perfect for businesses that embrace BYOD, as it allows employees to install Office on a second laptop, home PC or Windows 8 tablet etc

3)       Exchange mailbox sizes

25 GB mailbox in the cloud? Yes please! On-Premise storage is can be a costly upgrade for ever increasing mailboxes and also includes backup and recovery coverage. Take that burden away and provide additional storage to your users at the same time.

4)       Lync

Personally, I don’t know how my team would operate without Lync, the Unified Communication tool from Microsoft that comes with the primary Office 365 subscription services. Use it for instant messaging, desktop sharing, online meetings and more.

5)       SharePoint

Another favorite of our national team is the use of SharePoint for document management, resource calendars, workflows and collaboration.

For more information on how Microsoft’s Office 365 can benefit your business, contact McGladrey’s technology consulting professionals at 800.274.3978 or email us. In addition, please check out our services offerings on our website.

By: Geoff Hopkins, Director – Technolog Consulting, RSM LLP

Geoff is the national lead of RSM’s cloud platforms solutions team and manages multiple markets within RSM’s Northeast technology management consulting practice. His collective experience over 22 years includes strategic planning and management of technology and operations with a distinguished career supporting high-end infrastructure engineering, systems implementation and resource management. With the continued adoption of the cloud in the middle-market, he has focused on developing solution frameworks, blueprints and scorecards to support standardization efforts and reliability to the middle-market. Primarily focusing on the Microsoft stack of services, running on and via industry leading components for networking, compute, storage and security as organizations adopt a modern workplace. Geoff’s team maintains strong skills around cloud services such as Azure and Office 365 as well as providing strategic advisory vCIO, managed services and turn-key project based staff for digital transformation, modern workplace and providing pragmatic work programs to deploy new or migration ready infrastructure such as performing post acquisition carve outs. His team is adept in discovering opportunities that enhance IT offerings including service management, business resumption planning, productivity, automation/process improvement, consolidation and driving total cost of ownership benefits with end-to-end infrastructure and platform strengths to weave between strategy and final execution of roadmaps. Professional affiliations and credentials * Azure Cloud Architecture * ITIL v3 Foundations / COBIT Framework / Microsoft Operations Framework (MOF) * Six Sigma Lean & Yellow Belt * VMware Technical Sales Professional (VTSP 5) / Business Continuity Accreditation * Dell Enterprise Architecture Storage Education * Post Graduate Commerce, Charles Sturt University, Australia

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