In April 2020 Microsoft changed the name of Office 365 to Microsoft 365. This article outlines why Microsoft made the change and what this means for your business.
Why did Microsoft make the change?
The word ‘Office’ is often associated with Microsoft’s core products; Word, Excel and PowerPoint. Whilst these applications are fundamental to Microsoft’s success, they now offer a lot more to customers and businesses, beyond just these three products.
Microsoft describes the change in name as a “natural evolution.” With the help of intelligent cloud technology and Artificial Intelligence (AI), Microsoft now offers services that are more advanced, innovative, collaborative and secure than their traditional Office applications. Hence the decision to rebrand with a more inclusive and representative name. The rebrand also suggests that Microsoft intend to continue developing their products, offering even more innovative solutions in the future.
What does this mean for you?
At the moment, not a great deal. Although Microsoft have chosen to rebrand Office 365, the features and services that are offered are actually exactly the same. There are also no changes to the subscription prices, so you don’t need to worry about any unexpected changes to your bill.
Although what Microsoft is offering hasn’t changed, the names of their products and services has, so it’s useful for you and your team to be aware of these changes. We’ve included an outline of the name changes below:
Also note that some Microsoft products are not changing names, including: Office 365 for Enterprise (E1, E3, E5), Office 365 for Firstline Workers (F1), Office 365 for Education (A1, A3, A5) and Office 365 for Government (G1, G3, G5).
What apps are included in Microsoft 365?
Microsoft 365 hosts an abundance of services and applications to keep businesses productive, connected and secure. The subscription service hasn’t changed, you can choose which products work best for your business and won’t be paying for anything that you don’t need.
We’ve included some of the main apps below:
- Office apps – these are the core Microsoft 365 offerings, Word, Excel and PowerPoint which support you in working on projects, analysing data and presenting findings.
- Email and calendars – Outlook and Exchange allow you to connect with others and synchronise emails and calendars so that you can schedule your day effectively.
- Collaboration tools – Teams is the perfect platform to collaborate with colleagues. You can connect with others via the video, audio and chat functions.
- Cloud storage – OneDrive and SharePoint allow you to store files and data on the cloud, meaning you can access it securely at any time from any device.
There are also a host of additional Microsoft 365 apps that are constantly being developed and added to. For example, Forms allows for easy data collection, Stream allows for effective video sharing, Bookings allows for quick scheduling of appointments, and OneNote is a comprehensive digital notebook where you can draw and share content. Get in touch today or ask your Business Technology Advisor for an overview of everything that Microsoft 365 has to offer.
Why should I choose Microsoft 365 for my business?
As shown with the products outlined above, Microsoft 365 gives you all the tools needed to run a successful business. It allows for easy collaboration, organisation and productivity so that you and your team can work as efficiently as possible. But, it’s important to be aware of the more technical benefits of Microsoft 365 and exactly how they can support your business. We’ve outlined the major benefits below:
- Email reliability and security – online archiving allows you to store emails efficiently using the cloud. This prevents email corruption and frees up space in your mailbox, improving its speed and functionality. Additionally, litigation hold stores any inbound or outbound emails that have been deleted. This prevents data being stolen and keeps your business compliant with industry regulations, whereby data must be stored for a certain period of time.
- Ability to manage devices – Microsoft Intune is a cloud-based service that allows you to control how all of your organisation’s devices and mobile applications are used. This includes, the ability to add additional password requirements, wipe data from stolen devices, and many more data leakage prevention measures. Intune can also be applied to personal devices, so that they can be used for work purposes. Intune will isolate work data from personal data, meaning that your business will remain secure.
- Ability to control access – Azure Active Directory removes the need for traditional servers to control devices. Instead, everything is stored on the cloud and employees have specific ‘identities’ within your systems. Azure Active Directory allows you to have control over what software, files and devices each identity can or can’t access. This also allows for further security measures to be implemented, including multi-factor authentication and limiting email access based on the location, user, device or app used. As such, you can be sure that your business is protected from potential security threats.
- Efficiency – if your identity is managed by Microsoft 365, you will have the option to use their single sign-on function. This allows users to sign in once with one account to access all their company devices, resources and cloud-based business applications (including Sage, Xero, People HR, Salesforce, etc.) This is an extremely helpful function for businesses that want to improve their productivity and efficiency. Employees will spend less time creating, recording, remembering and typing out multiple passwords for multiple different systems. Instead, they can sign in automatically, using their unique and secure identity. This will leave more time to complete important tasks and will improve overall business efficiency. Equally, because all logins are done using one identity per employee, the creation and deletion of employees within these systems is extremely easy. You won’t have to worry about deleting employee accounts for each application or device, instead you can delete their identity which will automatically delete all relevant accounts.
For more information on Microsoft 365’s apps and services and how they can help your business, get in touch today or speak to your Business Technology Advisor.