Office 365 Support & Consultancy
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.
Our Bristol IT support team specialises in helping local 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 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 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, Powerpivot 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.
Office 365 FAQs
Q. Can I use Office 365 offline?
A. Yes, with the installed software you can edit documents and compose emails offline.
Q. Can I install Office 365 on multiple computers?
A. Each Office 365 Business Premium or Office 365 E3 Licence allows you to install Office on 5 devices that are used by that person or account. So Jim at company A has a Laptop, Work Desktop, Home Desktop and iPad / iPhone he can install Office apps all these devices.
Q. Can I use Office 365 home for business?
A. No, this does not comply with Office 365 licensing requirements and your business could be liable for a fine.
Q. How much does Office 365 cost?
A. The cost of the business accounts for Office 365 (including email and online-only apps) start at £3.80 per month for Business Essentials
Q. Do I need an SSL certificate for Office 365?
A. No, this is provided within the tenant.
Q. Does Microsoft Publisher come with Office 365?
A. Microsoft Publisher only comes with the PC version
Q. Do I need to backup Office 365?
A. You need to set your data retention policies and protection within Office 365. 3rd party providers provide Office 365 backup.
Q. Does SharePoint come with Office 365?
A. Yes SharePoint comes with all business versions of Office 365, some care should be taken in setting up SharePoint and the collaboration tools early on, otherwise, it can be unwieldy leading to poor staff adoption and user experience.
Q. How does Office 365 work?
A. Office 365 Business and Enterprise versions are basically a cloud server, they are a continuation of Microsoft Server, then Microsoft Hosted Exchange (run by 3rd party companies) then Office 365.
Q. Is Office 365 subscription software?
A. Yes, Office 365 is a monthly subscription service. There are many different packages depending on your companies needs and the size of your organisation. The very Basic Package with Email and online Access to Office Apps is Office 365 Essentials. The next package up is Office 365 Business Premium. If you have over 300 employees, require the larger 100GB mailboxes or more advanced data protection with advanced data retention policies Office 365 Enterprise 3 would be a more suitable package.
Q. Is Office 365 cloud-based?
A. Office 365 Business Essentials and above are cloud-based, collaboration platforms, so provided it is set up correctly your devices are working from a cloud system and synced across all devices.
Q. Is Office 365 email encrypted?
A. Not by default but this is something that can be set up.
Q. Will Office 365 run on Windows 7?
A. Office 365 Works fine on Windows 7. However, Microsoft is ending support for Windows 7 in January 2020.
Q. What’s the difference between Office 2016 and Office 365?
A. These are two different things. Office 2016 can be bought as a standalone installer, this will eventually go out of date and need replacing. Office 365 is a subscription service giving you access to the latest versions of the software.
Q. Will office 365 work on iPad?
A. Yes, it works well on iOS, though it will not be the same experience as on the Desktop, the apps are very good.
Q. Does Office 365 work on Apple Mac?
A. Yes, although the experience is better on a PC, if you are an Excel Power User, the version on the Mac will not be sufficient. Outlook on the Mac is also not as good as the PC version, Microsoft Teams does not work in Safari, but it has its own app that you can install.Q. How does Office 365 work?