Office 365 Support & Consultancy Bristol

We’ll help you and your team work smarter across all devices thanks to Microsoft’s powerful cloud-based software. Managed migrations with minimal disruption.

We specialise in helping local Bristol and South West businesses with getting started, migrating email and contacts to Office 365 and increasing your productivity with this brilliant cloud computing solution.

What is Office 365?

Naming conventions with Microsoft products can be confusing. So just to clarify, the focus of this page is Office 365 Business and Enterprise tools, not the Office 365 installer for Microsoft Office for students and home users.

To give some background, traditionally Microsoft’s Business and Enterprise collaboration packages would be purchased outright and installed onto servers, this would entail large capital expenditure and ongoing maintenance and backup of servers, these could have been on your own premises or in a data centre. These would be products such as Microsoft Small Business Server, Microsoft Server, Microsoft Exchange, with varying version numbers over the years such as 2003/2008/2012/2016.

Now the functionality of these products has been moved to Microsoft’s own cloud-based platform called Office 365. Office 365 is subscription based so you pay monthly for these services rather than the large upfront capital expenditure associated with previous options. This gives smaller companies access to the enterprise level collaboration tools without the hardware and software outlay that would have been cost prohibitive. However, Office 365 still requires detailed configuration and maintenance.

Office 365 features

  • Access to Enterprise class Exchange Email hosting with many additional features.
  • Microsoft’s renowned suite of Office applications including Outlook, Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Publisher* and Access* (*PC Only).
  • Data storage using OneDrive / Groups / Teams / Sharepoint and the ability to stay in touch with your business and personal contacts via Skype.
  • Office 365 works on multiple devices including PCs and Macs, iOS, Android and Windows tablets and phones. The software is automatically updated and features have been optimised for collaborating via mobile apps.

With these all the new features come complex configurations and as the superheroes always say, with great power comes great responsibility, these tools are nearly as complex to securely configure and maintain as the old server based versions, so great care must be taken to securely implement these platforms, the standard out of the box settings are not secure and everything is cloud facing so it needs to be carefully configured so you are adhering to GDPR data protection policies and doing your utmost to secure your company data.

Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams is a great tool to help boost your productivity. With its easy to use messaging app, document sharing tools and online workspace, your teams can collaborate securely on projects wherever they are.

Not only does this mean the conversation can keep flowing, but decisions can be made as soon as needed and tasks can be done away from the office.

The Teams tool keeps all your data secure and can be accessed from your laptop, Mac, tablet or phone.

All in all, Microsoft Teams s is a great saver of time and expense – you won’t waste time travelling to project meetings if you really don’t need to.

Which Office 365 subscription should I choose?

This will depend on your business requirements and size of organisation. For organisations under 300 users:

Office 365 Business Essentials £3.80 per user/month

The entry-level package designed for businesses that operate predominantly using tablets and mobile phones. This does not include the Office 365 Desktop Apps (Microsoft Office Suite as it used to be known), it’s useful for supplying accounts to freelancers and remote workers who may have their own hardware and licence for Office 365 Desktop Apps.

Office 365 Business Premium £9.40 per user/month

This includes all the features of Office 365 Business Essentials and also includes an installer for that member of staff to install office apps on 5 PC’s, Macs and Tablets and Phones.

Microsoft 365 Business £15.10 per user/month

This includes all the features of Office 365 Business Premium and on top of that it includes:

  • Mobile Device Management – This means you can control what is done and set policies for mobile devices, this also covers bring your own devices (BYOD)
  • Windows 10 Managed – This is like a domain login for a PC, so the devices are managed and secured with centralised policies, this is really useful for setting the policies for Office 365, also things like the desktop login screen and background can be set to the companies logos, to give it a more enterprise look.
  • Advanced security features – These are centralised security policies

For organisations with over 300 staff or that require 100GB mailboxes and more advanced security features:

Office 365 Enterprise 1 – This is basically the same package as the Office 365 Business Essentials with additional security features.

Office 365 Enterprise 3 – This has all the features of office Office 365 Enterprise 1 plus:

  • The office installer Office Pro Plus, which is different from the Business Premium Version and has additional features:
  • Excel tools: Excel Spreadsheet Compare, Excel Spreadsheet Inquire, Power Pivot for Excel, Power Query for Excel, Power View for Excel;
  • Office 365 ProPlus supports Exchange Online and SharePoint Online Archiving and Compliance. These are used with the powered up versions (Plan 2) of Exchange Online and SharePoint Online and allow a company to put in place message retention and eDiscovery requirements.

Why migrate to Office 365?

If you are currently using any of these platforms:

Pop Email – Basic email that doesn’t sync across different devices, this can be from any internet provider such as GoDaddy, Fasthosts, 123 Reg, etc. It usually comes as a package connected to your company domain name.

IMAP Email – Email that is synced across your devices but doesn’t have any features such as shared and synced calendars or contacts. This could be provided by 123 Reg, Rackspace, GoDaddy, Fasthosts, etc.

2008 SBS Small Business Server – This will usually be a server hosted onsite, this can range from a noisy server sitting under someone’s desk or in a dark cupboard, to a server room full of racks.

Hosted Exchange – This could be from Cobweb, Giacom, Nasstar, Rackspace. It is Exchange email hosted on a server by another company, with this you will have email Synced across all devices, shared Calendars Shared Contacts, shared mailboxes.

All the features of Hosted Exchange are included in the most basic Office 365 package, plus a lot more. It’s a one time move, once you are on the platform, you will not need to move again.

What are the benefits of Office 365?

Work from anywhere on any device.

All you need to access Office 365 is an internet connection. This is particularly attractive to businesses with people who work from home or travel between offices. Your team can access their emails, documents and Office applications from their work PC or home Mac, from an iPhone or Android tablet.

Security and disaster recovery

In the past businesses needed to invest in server hardware and software to manage things like company emails and provide file storage. With Office 365 everything is stored in the cloud, all of your company data is safe should a laptop be stolen or server equipment breaks.

Easily collaborate with teams and clients

Sharing and collaboration features are built into Office 365. Changes to documents and spreadsheets can be tracked by users across an organisation without different versions being generated. With emails, calendars and contacts synchronised across each of your devices, you can easily manage projects and ensure everyone remains on track.

Flexible monthly costs

Migrating to Office 365 gives business the flexibility to scale up or down with a predictable cost structure. The monthly billing structure allows you to pay for what you use and nothing more. As you don’t need to worry about big upfront costs associated with buying Microsoft Office licenses it is easier to fit your software costs into your monthly budgets.

Access to the latest software

Office 365 subscribers always have access to the latest version of Office products. With Office 365 everyone gets to upgrade at the same time.

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Office 365 Support & Consultancy Bristol