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What’s the difference between Office 2016 and Office 365?

Office 2016 is the traditional office product, where you pay once and get a version of office you can install and use for as long as you want.

 Office 365 is a subscription-based service, where you get the latest iteration of office for as long as you keep your membership. You also get OneDrive cloud storage, and can choose additional users. Office 365 Business allows you to add up to 300 users. If you have more than 300 people in your business, you can look into plans such as Office Enterprise that allow you to add an unlimited amount of users.


So what do you get with Office 365?

We’re all familiar with the usual office applications, like Word or Excel. With Office 365, you can get all that, plus cloud-based services like Microsoft Exchange and Microsoft Sharepoint, depending on your subscription level. If you’re looking for more specific application features, like a way to handle booking or automate workflows, Microsoft’s enterprise level software doesn’t disappoint. Take a look here to see if their software is right for you.


Why would I choose Office 365 over the most recent version of Office?

With a traditional Office product, you get a specific version of Office that you can load to a limited number of devices. With Office 365, you get the latest version of Office (if it’s been updated), as well as patches and security updates. IF Microsoft decides to add any features during your subscription, you’d get access to that as well. Additionally, Microsoft’s cloud-based services work best with an Office 365 subscription, so if you’re looking to increase your efficiency and collaboration, Office 365 is probably best. With a paid subscription, you also get access to Microsoft’s support services, so you have someone to turn to if you run into any issues.



If Office 365 is “cloud-based”, does that mean I need to always have internet access when I’m using it?

You’ll definitely need internet access to set up and install your Office 365 account. Once you’ve done that, you don’t necessarily have to be connected to the internet, unless you want to take advantage of Office 365’s cloud-based productivity services. These services includes email, video conferencing, offsite file storage, and much more!


How do I set up and manage my Office 365 account?

Setting up an Office 365 account can be simple to do if you’re starting from scratch, but if you have any existing files or emails that you want migrated to your new account, we recommend speaking to an IT professional.


Installing an Office 365 account on a brand new system is easy to do, and all it takes is an internet connection to get started. It’s a lot easier to use than the old way of needing a disk every time you wanted to install a new copy on a device! As far as maintenance goes, Microsoft is able to handle patches and upgrades, and will send them out periodically to their user base.


Why would I need to speak to an IT professional about Office 365? I’ve always managed my Office accounts on my own.

There are a few scenarios where it would be wise to contact an IT professional about setting up an Office 365 account. A common scenario we deal with is when business owners have been using a free third-party business service (like Google Apps) and eventually want the enterprise level support of Office 365. Migrating all that data seamlessly can be a headache if you don’t know exactly what to do.

 Another common situation is when two companies merge, or one company acquires another. It’s possible that each company used Office 365 to manage their workflow, but how do you integrate all that disparate data into one? At ETech 7, we have plenty of experience in mergers and acquisitions, and can help your business make a smooth transition into its next stage.


I work at a non-profit, are there any Microsoft Office 365 products specifically for my business?

Sure! Microsoft offers special products and discounts to non-profit organizations. All you have to do is go to their website to verify your organization’s eligibility. Microsoft also holds training events designed to help nonprofits make the most of their existing technological infrastructure.


What’s this “OneDrive” you keep talking about? It keeps showing up whenever I want to save a Word document.

Microsoft’s OneDrive is a cloud-based storage system that allows you to save your files on a centralized server. The benefit of using OneDrive is that all your files can be easily accessed by any device that’s linked to your Office 365 account, no matter where you are! Some people find the idea of moving entirely to the cloud to be intimidating, so although Office 365 offers OneDrive as an option for file storage, you can still store your files directly to your desktop or your personal server.


What about the “Skype minutes” I see included with my Office 365 subscription?

Skype is a way for people to video conference from anywhere in the world with an internet connection. As a business owner, you can use Skype to speak with employees who are off-site, conduct remote interviews, or network with colleagues. The Skype minutes that are included with your subscription are used when making calls from your Skype account to a landline, since Skype to Skype calls are always free.


I use different devices in my office environment. Will Office 365 work across different platforms?

Whether you’re using a Mac, Windows, desktop, or mobile, Office 365 will work on any device you’d like. That way, you can still get work done even if all you have is a tablet when you’re on the go. Just remember that Microsoft has optimized their Office products differently for different platforms, so while the user experience may be slightly different, the end result (and your increased productivity) is the same.


If Office 365 is web-based, how can I be sure that I’ll always have access to apps?

Good question! Here at ETech 7, we’re always looking for ways to improve our uptime. When we speak to a client and can guarantee them 99.99% uptime, that means that they will have full access to their network and devices for 99.99% of the time. That means that for 0.01% of the entire year (less than an hour), they system may temporarily be down, for one reason or another. No system can guarantee uptimes of 100%, but the most fault tolerant systems can get pretty close. Office 365 guarantees their customers a 99.9% uptime, which we think is pretty good. Most Office applications can be used offline, so you won’t have to worry at all!


How does having Office 365 fit in with my existing IT plan?

If you already have a managed service provider, you should speak to them about making the transition to Office 365. ETech 7 is a Microsoft Partner, which means that we keep an open line of communication between Microsoft and our clients. This way, we can provide a more dedicated level of service to our customers, instead of them having to speak with Microsoft on their own. If you don’t have a managed IT provider, then you should consider reaching out to one if you want to stay ahead of the competition!


Is using Office 365 secure?

Plenty of our clients express their concerns about storing their information with a cloud-based application. This concern doesn’t just apply to Office 365, but any cloud-based service. In today’s world, most IT services are moving away from a traditional, local storage model to a cloud-connected one. This makes avoiding the cloud pretty hard to do! Fortunately, we wouldn’t be using the cloud if we had serious security concerns. Here’s why using Office 365 can be more secure than storing all your data on a local disk:

-Saving all your information in one spot (like on a server in your office) creates a single access point to your information. All it takes is one power outage or a flood for your information to be lost. By spreading your data across the cloud, you’re taking a proactive defense against data loss

-Microsoft is able to provide a higher level of information security than the average small business can. Microsoft ensures that your information is hidden behind multiple layers of security that is maintained by the best in the business. Microsoft is also compliant with information-sensitive industries, so if you run a business that puts data security first, Microsoft is right there with you.


Does Office 365 increase productivity?

The answer is yes, according to the popular IT business website TechRadar.


Office 365 is a simple and cost-effective way to get a powerful range of cloud Office services plus access to regular new features . . . Smaller companies will appreciate the reliability and the simple interface, but there are powerful options for larger firms too.”

You might note that some Office 365 applications like Planner are “underpowered,” and some features don’t reach all customers immediately. But there’s no doubt that the pros of Microsoft Office 365 outweigh any concerns. Office 365 delivers:


  • Continuous updates to Office 2016 desktop
  • Cost-effective delivery
  • Familiar tools
  • New features in Exchange, SharePoint, and more with ongoing additions
  • New services build on existing investment
  • Simple, easy installation and payment plans

Will using Office 365 help me cut costs?

Many of our clients who have used Microsoft products in the past hesitate to move over to the Office 365 model because they’re worried they may not get a good return on their investment. We understand that paying for a monthly or yearly subscription can make it seem like money is going down the drain (versus an upfront fee), but we know that Office 365 can give you a great return for your money. In fact, Forrester, a business technology consulting firm, put out a report investigating whether businesses who used Office 365 saw reduced IT expenditure. They found that when companies moved over to using Office 365 for their business needs, they saw an average return-on-investment of 162% over the first three years. Speak with us to find out how using Office 364 can save you money too!

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