Offering a range of benefits, Office 365, Microsoft's Cloud-based business software is proving to be a powerful tool for SMEs seeking a more agile approach.
Today there are many appropriate reasons to contemplate a shift to the Cloud, but for SMEs focussing on maximising resource efficiency and minimising costs, the shift from a capex (capital expenditure) to opex (operational expenditure) model is the most compelling thrust. However, cost is just one of the numerous benefits of moving away from traditional on-premise enterprise applications to a software-as-a-service approach.
Enterprises also want to tackle the dependency on constant refreshes and upgrades in the traditional infrastructure, while at the same time look for a very secure and risk-free transition to cloud services.
Microsoft Office is still the default business software for most SMEs. With the advent of Office 365, Microsoft has released a subscription-based suite of software offering Office's familiar interface, tools and functionality through a scalable Cloud-based on-demand package. Instead of buying and owning the software on a disc, users can subscribe to a service that offers Office functionality in addition to cloud storage and shared calendars, as well as the communications potential of Lync and an outsourced mail environment.
Office 365 offers all the functionality of the latest desktop version with web-based convenience, supporting multiple devices including desk tops, laptops, smartphones and tablets, which is crucial in an increasingly mobile bring-your-own-device (BYOD) world. What makes the case even more compelling is the fact that one would never have to re-install or upgrade the software as payment modes are on a per-seat or per-month basis.
IT services expert ITC Infotech's Sr Vice President and Head - Infrastructure Services Prasad Natu highlights the advantages that any SME choosing Office 365 can leverage. "Compared to the stand-alone versions of Office the key benefits of a cloud-based approach are portability and device independence. For example, you could start a document using the Office 365 app on a smartphone and complete it on your tablet, later you could edit the document on a Windows 7 computer running a completely different version of Office. In today's high pressure business environment the increased flexibility and agility offered by cloud solutions like Office 365 and the savings made with an outsourced mail solution can give SMEs a real competitive edge."
Working with Office 365 from the Cloud is a lot easier than many might expect. Work files and mail are accessible using any browser-equipped device in any location with access to the web. Although the term Cloud has been around for a few years now, the widespread use of Cloud services is still in its infancy and many are wary of potential security risks. "The main concern, when considering a Cloud solution, is security. With Office 365, files are saved in specialised data centres to address the issue of security. SMEs can expect a better level of security with Office 365 than they could be expected to provide themselves," says Prasad Natu.
ITC Infotech has already worked with numerous blue chip companies globally to move their IT solutions to newer operating systems and environments. The company's offering is bolstered by strategic partnerships with key players in the industry to create streamlined and focussed solutions that can offer substantial savings over their competitors.
ITC Infotech offers full migration support to organisations planning a move to Office365. With our solution accelerators and tool kits we offer end to end services from assessment and planning to migration and managed services.
"Office 365 is a differentiated and superior product that offers a range of business benefits to companies at every level. At ITC Infotech we have the expertise and experience to make sure that any migration to a Cloud-based environment continues to deliver the value and flexibility that companies need to gain a real competitive edge," concludes Prasad Natu.
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