Launched in June 2011, Office 365 is actually an upgrade of the lesser known Microsoft Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS), which provided SaaS offerings based on Microsoft Office’s 2007 applications. As Microsoft reported towards the end of last year, Office 365 is its fastest growing product, selling eight times more than the preceding BPO Suite.
However, for professionals working heavily with Microsoft Office applications, Office 365 does not bring much novelty. So what makes Office 365 such a hit? Some tech experts attribute it to higher marketing budgets or market strategies, while cloud enthusiasts praise the mobile benefits it provides.
Office 365 includes the online upgraded versions of Exchange Online, SharePoint Online and Lync Online services. Some Office 365 packages include the Office Web Apps, which are the online version of installed Office software. However, the capabilities provided by the online Office apps are far more limited than those of on-premises software. For example, the Excel Office Web App does not run macros, or Office web files can be opened only if stored on a SharePoint site. Thus, Office 365 requires a very good Internet connection and interdependent services, and you have to organize your work around that.
Understanding how groups use Microsoft Office and which features are important to them is vital when choosing between Office 2010 and Office 365. Many users within an organization create simple documents and spreadsheets and will be easily satisfied with the features available in Office 365.
Power users within the organization will need the full functionality of Office 2010. For many organizations the right choice may not be either Office 2010 or Office 365 but which version to use in each department or division within the company.
In general, organizations that have not yet adopted Office 365 service fear
- high costs related to migration
- compliance issues
- infrastructure and security
- licensing complications (especially organizations using on-premises licensing through an Enterprise Agreement)
Overall, Office 365 does provide strong collaboration and communication capability for cloud adopters, and according to PC World, it is considered a stronger online productivity suite for businesses. In order to fully benefit from the features of Office 365, we recommend businesses install Office 2010 or Office Professional Plus.
If your business has not yet migrated to the newest Office 2010 version, we recommend you read "Why Office 2010 and Office 365 Enable My Best Work."
If you want to know more about what tools your business needs for migrating to Office 2010, then read more about how ConverterTechnology’s software makes the Office migration process easy and cost effective.