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Still on the fence about Office 365? Learn the differences today

Still on the fence about Office 365? Learn the differences today

Microsoft Office 365 is a far different animal than older Office suites. The cloud-based productivity solution offers the same programs as its predecessors but with plenty of extra applications that drive employee productivity and communication. Businesses that have yet to make the jump to the latest platform should consider the advantages of the newer software and how their companies will benefit from such an implementation.


TechTarget's Stephen Bigelow recently highlighted the differences between Office 2013 and Office 365. Perhaps the most obvious contrast with the two suites involves ownership of the products. Office 2013 is available through traditional licensing models in which firms purchase the solution and install it. Office 365 is available through subscription-based pricing models - ideal for small businesses that want greater flexibility with their budgets. If the service is not meeting corporate expectations, firms can cancel without further financial investments.


The cloud's flexibility also shows through its system upgrades. Bigelow explained Office 365 is constantly updated and that cloud-based products vary significantly from traditional solutions. All of these upgrades are part of the subscription model, whereas firms using Office 2013 must pay for each additional update as they are released.


"For example, purchasing Office 2013 entitles users to patches and updates as the bugs are fixed and behaviors are tweaked, but the product will always be Office 2013, regardless of how long you own it. Eventually, even the patches will stop as the product reaches the end of its support life," Bigelow added.


Organization-wide collaboration
Collaboration is one of the most obvious differences between Office 365 and on-premise Office applications. Since the cloud is available through an Internet connection, employees can use their laptops, tablets and smartphones to access documents anywhere at any time. This capability enables real-time communication previously impossible unless everyone was in the office at the same time. What's more, is that Office 365 adopters only pay on a per-user basis, not by device. Workers can access the software through whichever PC or gadget they choose.


Bigelow noted Office 365's collaboration tools go much deeper. In addition to free access to Skype, Office 365 includes 60 minutes of Skype audio per month that can be used to call landlines directly, access to enterprise social networking tool Yammer, video and audio conferencing, instant messaging and screen-sharing products.


Adopters weighing the differences between Office 365 and on-premise Office models should give more weight to these benefits and think of more than just pricing, Bigelow asserted.


Making the switch to Office 365?
Companies that have always used traditional Office products may greatly benefit from adopting the cloud-based suite. Businesses in this position should not hesitate to contact a service provider such as Beringer Associates. With more than 20 years worth of experience, Beringer has helped organizations adopt IT solutions and improve their IT infrastructures since its inception more than two decades ago.


What makes Beringer different from other service providers on the market? The vendor is a Microsoft Certified Partner and achieved Silver Competency for Small and MidMarket cloud solutions as an expert in supporting Microsoft cloud solutions. This close relationship with Microsoft means Beringer has the most up-to-date access to Microsoft upgrade plans and new releases before many clients do. Some service providers try to always be selling their customers. Beringer collaborates with organizations to offer personalized attention to reflect their unique operational demands and industry standards. This meticulous approach enables the two parties to develop a long-term product roadmap that ensures a successful transition.


If your company is ready to experience all of Office 365's advantages, implement cloud environments or any other Microsoft products, Beringer can be your one-stop shop for every need. Contact the vendor today to get started.



Rob is the CTO of Beringer Technology Group, and focuses his efforts on software development, cloud engineering, team mentoring and strategic technical direction. Rob has worked with Beringer since 2005, and has influenced every department from Development, Security, Implementation, Support and Sales. Rob graduated with his MBA from Rowan University in 2012, earned his Bachelors of Computer Science in 1997, and is current with several Microsoft technical certifications. Rob is very active, and loves to mountain bike, weight train, cook and hike with his dog pack.

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