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To make the case for transitioning our email system, we compared the total cost of ownership to keep the servers running on-premises versus moving to a cloud service. Right away, we saw that we could save up to US$40,000 a year, plus 75 percent of the cost of a full-time employee by taking our email to the cloud.
Then it was a decision about which provider to go with. We rely heavily on Microsoft technologies throughout our business, and I'd heard a lot of good things about Microsoft Office 365. As part of my research, I asked a peer of mine who had recently deployed Google Apps across his organization for advice. Between the stories he shared about the lack of support that Google offered and what I knew about our organization's need for enterprise-level productivity tools, I knew that Office 365 was the clear choice.
As government agencies prepare for this week's Lean Government Virtual Summit, cloud innovation will surely be a hot topic. So why should governments choose Microsoft Office 365 as they consider moving their productivity software to the cloud? Javier Vasquez, Senior Director of Productivity Sales, State and Local Government at Microsoft, showcases an infographic entitled, "Why Governments Choose Microsoft Office 365" that explains why.
With Microsoft Office 365, we offer a customer-centric service experience that spans how we treat user downtime, how we calculate service availability, what services are included in our service level agreement, and how we communicate service incidents to customers. Learn how the Office 365 service experience differs from that of Google Apps for Business.
When we started looking at moving to a new productivity and collaboration solution, the major factors influencing our decision were ease of use, anywhere access, simplified administration, and cost-effective scalability. As we took a closer look at Microsoft Office 365, it was the obvious choice. And, with help from our partner Cal Net Technology Group, we were able to make the switch to Office 365 quickly and easily. With Office 365, we get online access to all of the capabilities we need-email, calendaring, document management, and unified communications-all rolled into one solution. And it automatically works together with the Microsoft Office tools that our employees use every day.
One great example of how Office 365 supports the business needs of Menchies and fits the way our people like to work is through our use of Microsoft Lync Online. We're constantly researching the best real-estate options for interested franchisees. With Lync Online, colleagues can set up virtual meetings on the fly and share market research, maps, and other information in just a few clicks. It's so fast and easy to use, and provides a consistently smooth user experience across all of the technology platforms we use-iOS, Windows Phone, Android, and BlackBerry.
When FHI 360 wanted to move to cloud-based business productivity services, the organization decided to implement a Microsoft cloud-based solution. We recently spoke to Douglas Wilkins, Director of IT Infrastructure at FHI 360, to learn how the company is benefiting.
Small businesses have enough to focus on without having to spend time and energy worrying about email, data storage or backup servers. In fact, most small businesses don't know or understand what a server is.
The good news is that in today's technology environment, they don't need to. This is because more small businesses are rapidly moving from outdated technology solutions to Web-based solutions to power their company, also known as "moving to the cloud." By moving to cloud solutions like Office 365, small businesses find they can concentrate their resources on growing their business rather than trying to solve technical issues.
In order to be taken seriously, small businesses need to convince customers of their professional ability and their value. Small businesses can punch above their weight by taking the time to go to market with a professional set of business documents, templates and content to ensure customers aren't dismissing them before they have a chance to pitch the value of their product or service.
But how can small businesses deliver a professional image when they don't have the same resources as big businesses? Web-based solutions, also known as 'cloud solutions,' help small businesses maintain professional-looking documents even while collaborating and editing with employees in real-time from different locations. Gone are the days where employees hoped documents maintained proper spacing and margins; small businesses can now create materials in confidence and showcase their professional ability to customers.
The concept of a 'physical office' as a small business hub of productivity is quickly being replaced by the connected 'mobile office,' which connects employees wherever they happen to be. Today's business landscape favors those who are nimble and able to adapt rapidly by collaborating on the go, sharing ideas quickly and anticipating customer needs. Luckily, small businesses today can achieve this dynamic work environment through the use of Web-based software available for both desktop and mobile platforms. Web-based software is known as 'cloud services' or as 'the cloud' for short.
The retail industry is using technology more than ever to
stay competitive while better serving the needs of their customers. In January we shared how large companies like Tesco and Helly
Hansen have joined other notable brands such as, 'wichcraft,
who are moving to Office 365 for security-enhanced access to the familiar
productivity tools they rely on at all levels of their business. Office 365 has
become the go-to-choice for retailers looking to move their productivity to the
cloud - in fact, our retail customers employ more than 8 million people worldwide, more than the total
population of Hong Kong!
Part of the thrill of working for the Office Division is the opportunity to tackle thorny business issues on behalf of our customers while providing them with a road map for the future. That may be why an interesting article caught my attention this week. In it, the author examined some of the investments Microsoft is making in the unified communications space. While I didn't agree with all of the conclusions it contained, the article certainly underscored the interest in communications and collaboration and how to make people more productive.