CategoriesApplication HostingOffice 365 Hosting

What All Should You Consider When Switching to Microsoft Office 365?

Microsoft Office is a tool used by almost every business, big or small. Since its launch in April 2010, it was loved and well-accepted by the business communities worldwide. However, the changing time calls for the adoption of new technology as per the changing demands. Later in 2011, Microsoft launched MS Office 365 – the cloud-based suite of its primary applications, including Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. For enhanced user experience, the tech giant keeps on adding or upgrading new features to this suite. 

If you have not switched to Office 365 yet and also know less about it, you can think of it as a complete application package that can be used on one platform. It is a subscription-based product you can use to enjoy enhanced work productivity.

Before you migrate to Office 365, you should know about various related aspects like Office 365 cloud hosting, plan selection, cost, to name a few. Let’s dig deeper into each of these aspects to help you make the right choice.

1. Pricing of Product License

First and foremost, you must know about the cost of buying a Microsoft Office 365 license before you plan to add it into your business applications suite. As said above, it is a subscription-based product for which you need to pay the price annually and as per your business needs. 

There are three main Microsoft Office 365 subscription plans for businesses – Business Basic, Business Standard, and Business Premium. They are priced at $5.00 per user per month, $12.50 per user per month, and $20.00 per user per month, respectively, as shared by Microsoft. Each of these pricing plans has different features included in it. 

Thus, you must select the right plan that strikes a balance between your business needs and budget. You can either buy the license directly from Microsoft or through a Direct partner in their network.

2. Cloud Transition-Related Challenges

If you and your team are new to utilizing cloud technology benefits for your business, you might face some challenges with the sudden transition. For instance, you would feel a slight change in the working platform and how you used to save files while using the Office suite installed on your local computer. Similarly, the way you access this advanced application suite will also change. 

The intuitive interface of applications in this cloud-based suite is quite similar to the local-hosted counterparts. However, if you feel certain hiccups in making the transition to Microsoft Office 365, make sure you focus on learning how to adapt to it. It would be best not to make the transition in a hurry but to learn the new ways to do more with Microsoft Office 365 over time. 

Recommended Reading: Cloud Computing for Small Businesses

3. Selection of the Right Plan

The cost of different Microsoft Office plans is based on the set of applications and features included with the suite. Also, you may find the difference in plans because of their targeted user base. For instance, the Home plan of Microsoft Office 365 is meant for individual users who only need the suite with minimum features. It is much different from the comprehensive Business plans that include a more extensive set of features. 

Before you move to Office 365, you should assess the business needs carefully and select the most suitable plan. Remember that buying an expensive plan with more features than what you need would do no good than causing higher operational expenses. 

4. Data Migration and Backup

While switching to Office 365 may seem like an exciting idea, it also comes with the responsibility to migrate the existing content files to the cloud environment. This is needed to avoid working on different business-related files from scratch and increase the burden for yourself. 

Hence, it is essential to carefully backup all existing documents and select the right tools to migrate the data to the cloud. You can also take advantage of the Microsoft team to provide support for seamless migration.

You should also know that Office 365 does not support various templates. In case you have template-based files, you must know how to keep them safe while moving to the Office 365 environment. Do the required research before you take any step you know less about. 

5. Third-Party Add-On Integration

While Office 365 provides several applications, each with advantageous features, you may still need other features to support your business operations. For example, you need to integrate a third-party CRM to administer interactions with your end customers. Before you entirely move to this application suite on the cloud, you should check whether the Office 365 license you are willing to buy is compatible with the various add-ons you require. Doing this will help you prevent multiple issues that may result later otherwise. 

Final Note

Deciding for Office 365 migration can be highly advantageous for your business. Still, you must consider various aspects of this decision and analyze the pros/cons before making the final move. You can also explore the possibility of choosing Office 365 cloud hosting – a different way to host this application suite’s desktop version on the cloud. 

CategoriesOffice 365 Hosting

Best Practices to Maintain Office 365 Security

The current COVID-19 pandemic has made us all realize one thing – the power and need for cloud technology. From virtual meetings to collaboration over business-related data regardless of location, the cloud empowers it all. A common platform that unites many of us while we work from home is Office 365. Now known as Microsoft 365, it is a cloud-based version of Microsoft’s productivity suite, including Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Outlook, and many other tools. It is quite popular amongst businesses of all kinds because of its features and simplicity.

However, when it is mainly about keeping the data secure, we all need to ensure we do things correctly. Although the experts have backed Microsoft Office 365 to safeguard data, there are certain best practices that you need to know and implement to ensure utmost data security. If you administer Office 365 suite in your organization, below are the best practices you should implement:

1. Use Microsoft Secure Score

Being a big global organization, Microsoft has its baseline to provide security with all its business tools. It gives Microsoft Secure Score – an inbuilt analytics tool that businesses can use to measure their basic security requirements. This tool uses machine learning to compare activities and features with the standard baseline. Accordingly, it provides a score to improve the implemented security measures and keep the data safe on the Microsoft cloud.

You can improve your MS Secure Score by implementing suggestions that this tool provides after a thorough analysis of your data, app, and devices. 

2. Use Encryption for Office Messages

Many of us use Office 365 to send and receive business-sensitive information. For example, it is common to send business contracts, payment invoices, or confidential business plans to clients over email. All this information makes your mailbox a source of valuable data – a vulnerable target for cyberthreats. 

Microsoft Office 365 comes with several inbuilt security features, encryption being one of them. The best part is you can configure the encryption conditions for a specific recipient or message. Based on these configurations, you can easily forbid printing or copying such information. The recipients must log in to their authorized user accounts or request an OTP to read the encrypted messages. 

3. Configure User Access Management

Certain documents that you create or send using Office 365 suite are not meant for all users. To ensure that only the intended recipients can access or modify such documents, you need to configure document sharing settings. Using these configuration settings, you can encrypt documents and keep them safe from unauthorized interference. A good example is using Google documents and a user/group of users to read or make changes in the shared files. 

Doing this helps keep the data secure in cases of accidental delivery of information to the wrong users. You should also know that shared documents may get infected with malware. Hence, it is crucial that you hire third-party service providers for data backups to avoid various hassles. 

4. Create Strong Password

For your Office 365 tools, many of us end up selecting a password that is easy for us to remember. While doing so, we tend to forget that such passwords are easy to deduce. The most basic method to keep your data safe and secure is to have a strong password that unauthorized users cannot easily guess. 

While you set passwords for different Office 365 applications, make sure to keep the following things in mind:

  • Set complex passwords that include alphabets (both uppercase and lowercase), special characters, and numbers.
  • Set unique passwords for each application. Using the same password is riskier because it can give unauthorized access to all your accounts to cybercriminals if cracked.
  • Change passwords regularly.

5. Benefit from Multi-Factor Authentication

Have you come across mediums that require you to confirm your identity by entering your details multiple times? They use multi-factor authentication – a security method that requires the authorized users to login via different means and complement password access for enhanced security. 

You can set this type of user authentication for distinct users, requiring them to login using their registered mobile number or email address. This way, a user can access the secured data files only after their identity is verified through multiple authentication steps. 

Given the current COVID situation where most of your employees must be working from home, you might not be able to know which user is logging in to the tools and from which location. This makes multi-factor authentication a beneficial security standard for the present time. 

6. Backup Data Regularly

The team behind Microsoft Office 365 does its best to make the tools available without any performance lag. However, it is your responsibility to take regular backups of your data. You can also hire Microsoft Office 365 hosting providers for such needs. They will keep your data safe with:

  • Automated data backups to a secure cloud storage space
  • Accurate data restoration when needed
  • The ease of migrating data from one account to another

Do More with Microsoft 365 Hosting Services

You can make the most of the Microsoft 365 suite with our cloud hosting solutions. With Microsoft 365 hosting services, you can choose to host the suite on our high-performance servers, ensuring 99.995% uptime. Besides this, you can integrate other add-ons and business software on the cloud. 

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