No matter where you're geographically located - Toronto, Whitby, Mumbai, Helsinki - to successfully own or operate a small business in the twenty-first century, it’s key to have the right technology tools. Better yet, investing in a single, streamlined package of software and services simply makes sense. Microsoft Office 365 is increasingly becoming the obvious choice for small businesses, as evidenced by its recent growth in popularity.
Neowin recently reported: “Office 365 is Microsoft’s fastest-growing corporate product ever, which has now overtaken Google Apps as the number one cloud-based office productivity software…Office 365, which started 2014 with an adoption rate of just 7.7 percent, has surged ahead, more than tripling its market share to 25.2 percent in 2015, leading Google Apps by 2.5 percent.” According to a recent press release, Microsoft currently “delivers cloud-based email, Office 465, and CRM Online to more than 80,000 Canadian businesses.”
Thousands of Toronto small business teams use Office 365, and these numbers are growing every day. A local IT consultant can help you install and use this cloud-based program to keep your company thriving. To find out if Office 365 may be right for your small business, consider the following points.
Remote Work Solutions
More and more small businesses are adopting a “BYOD” (Bring Your Own Device) policy, allowing employees to work on personal, portable laptops, tablets, and smart phones.
The Globe and Mail reported on this subject back in 2013: “BYOD is no fad, says Krista Napier, Toronto-based senior analyst of mobility with market intelligence firm IDC Canada. In a 2012 survey, IDC found that 69 per cent of Canadian companies permitted some form of it. Meanwhile, almost 81 per cent of Canadians said that at least some of their work activities involved BYOD.”
BYOD numbers continue to grow in 2015. Office 365 moves your daily operations to the cloud, allowing you to store and access information on remote servers. This means that your work-from-home employees or BYOD-ers can easily open and modify the company calendar, contacts, emails, documents, and files, just by logging in. Office 365 also has an Instant Messenger function and Skype for business to help your workers communicate with colleagues and clients.
Office 365 is a very affordable product—you’ll simply pay a monthly subscription, and always have the most up to date software and automatic backup of your documents in the cloud, as well as a host of collaboration and video conferencing tools.
You can pick the plan with the features your small business needs. For example, the Business Essentials plan is just $6.10 per user per month, while the Premium plan is $15.20 per month, which includes a full installation of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Publisher and OneNote on up to 5 devices per user. There are several enterprise plans to explore for larger teams as well.
IT Security & Privacy Compliance
If you run a medical or dental practice or manage a legal firm, you know how important privacy compliance is. Many business owners are hesitant to step into the cloud because they fear that remote storage could put their sensitive documents at risk, but this couldn’t be further from the truth with Office 365. Microsoft has made sure their services are compliant with all the major standards, including:
- PIPEDA (the Canadian Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act)
- HIPAA (the United States Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act)
- FISMA (the United States Federal Information Security Management Act)
- The European Union’s Model clauses
- The International Organization for Standardization’s 27001 standards
Earlier this year, Microsoft announced that it will open data centres in Toronto and Quebec City in 2016. Many regulated industries welcome the opportunity to house cloud data within Canada.
File Backup & Storage
If you’re still using a LAN (Local Area Network) server and external hard drives to back up your files, a hardware crash, fire or flood can still compromise your business. Office 365 automatically saves your documents to its remote servers in the cloud, so you can get them back in the event of a computer catastrophe. That's one less thing to worry about.
SMB IT Consultants in Toronto: For business owners looking for an Office 365 cloud consultant in Toronto, call on TUCU. Our team has been Microsoft Certified since 2003, and can help you switch to Office 365 and move emails, contacts and data to the cloud for you.As your local Microsoft partner, we’ll be available both over the phone and in person to help you with any questions or concerns that come up with Office 365 or any other computer issue you may encounter. Book your free consultation to learn how we can help you.