A few words of introduction
IT services offered by Support Online include in particular Office 365 Business, which was renamed Microsoft 365 in 2021. As an IT company for which IT outsourcing is one of the major services, we observe that Office 365 is one of the most frequently deployed services as part of the broadly understood process called “business digitalisation”. This tool will prove excellent both in a small, e.g. 5-member, organisation (perhaps this is the reason behind such popularity of the phrase “Office 365 5 workstations”) and in an enterprise with over 1000 employees.
Office 365 – cut to the chase
Office 365 is often called by IT specialists “cloud for business”, “Microsoft’s cloud solution” or simply “Office 365 cloud”. This definition quite correctly characterises the very nature of the service but it is worth adding something else, which will let you understand Microsoft’s tools better.
From the point of view of our customers, Office 365 is an information management ecosystem for business, i.e. a place where the organisation stores and organises all its emails, documents and files. This ecosystem is composed of a dozen applications, some of which will be described below.
It must be remembered that Office 365 is a completely different service from Office for business. The latter name is most often used as a synonym of a traditional office suite containing such applications as Word or Excel, which are installed on the computer drive.
Support Online’s offer for Office 365
The simplest way of presenting Support Online’s offer is to show the most popular Office 365 suite applications along with information about the activities that we can carry out during their implementation. Not everyone knows that but the deployment of Office 365 / Microsoft 365 requires an experienced engineer, whose routine obligations include IT consulting. Please remember that the following list contains only the most popular Office 365 applications and we decided to skip the remaining ones, which are not so important in our opinion.
Exchange Online is a professional electronic mail. Enterprises very often begin their adventure with Microsoft 365 with this application because it is critical for most companies and has a long list of advantages:
- Reliability – as a company for which IT support is the no. 1 service and which perfectly knows all the most popular email systems, Support Online can confirm that Exchange Online is simply unrivalled here;
- Excellent anti-spam filter – similarly here: we confirm that this is a first-class filter;
- Synchronisation on multiple devices – your mailbox is always at hand;
- Shared calendars – an indispensable detail;
- High security level – this refers both to the secured access of each user and the security of the whole company account.
During the deployment of Office 365, Support Online is responsible above all for the migration of emails to Office 365, and more precisely for transferring the electronic messages from the servers of the previous supplier to Exchange Online. Most enterprises choose the option of transferring the whole mail – then “old” emails will be available in Office 365 from the first day of its operation. This is a critical process because no email is allowed to disappear and at the same time the mail migration itself cannot stop the company’s operations and must be carried out in background.
SharePoint Online is a classical file repository, which is used by most companies to save documents. The difference is that data are saved on Microsoft’s servers. This server does not contain functions that could be defined as revolutionary but simply includes everything that is necessary for the company operation:
- Creation of a catalogue tree,
- Assignment of authorisations to users,
- Access on mobile devices,
- Very quick file searching, also for very extensive repositories,
- Possibility of group work on the same document,
- Versioning and possibility to restore the previous file version etc.
The economic aspect is also important – many enterprises choose SharePoint Online, thanks to which they can dispose of hardware altogether, i.e. migrate their business to the cloud.
During the deployment of Office 365 / Microsoft 365, Support Online is responsible above all for the migration of data to SharePoint Online. Due diligence must be exercised also here – no file can go missing. In addition, we create the catalogue structure itself according to the customer’s design and then assign relevant authorisations.
Microsoft Teams is dubbed “advanced Skype” by the users, which means a tool for online meetings and video conferences. This is a frequent simplification, which is slowly becoming history. In line with the growing popularity of remote work, Teams is becoming more and more often a team work tool and companies use it in many aspects of their activities. When observing the functioning of this application in our customers’ companies, we can mention three unobvious and at the same time key ways of its use:
1. Project management and supervision. One of the function of Teams is creation of teams, as part of which the selected group of users can run a notice board, where all information, emails and documents concerning a given project are collected. A great advantage of such a manner of data organisation is data ordering, thanks to which interesting information can be found very quickly, which takes much less time than by “searching by email”. For managers, in turn, Teams is becoming a project control tool then.
2. Substitute for electronic mail. Probably emails will stay with us for many years but their popularity is dropping, above all thanks to Teams. The messenger built in the application is more and more often becoming a tool for quick information exchange between employees because it is simply quicker and more comfortable than email.
3. Organisation of documents and files in the company. Many organisations use Teams as a file repository. The main reason is the availability of functions, which are not present on classical servers or file repositories. These are above all:
- Possibility to put documents in the chronological order on the notice board and to manage them in a manner resembling the very popular mind maps,
- Document versioning,
- Quick and simple file sharing outside the organisation,
- Discussions in the form of chat;
We organise training for customers interested in work with Teams, during which we show them on our own example how effectively they can work with this application. We believe that the best IT support is based on practical experience.
Office 365 licence – what licence to choose? Short enterprise’s guide
Office 365 / Microsoft 365 is a subscription-based service and yearly subscription is the most often selected option. Many types of licences are available but in practice the majority of small and medium enterprises choose one of the three following licences. All of them belong to the Office 365 Business family, which is currently called Microsoft 365 Business plans. It is worth mentioning that the Microsoft 365 service also has plans for business, such as: Microsoft 365 F1, Microsoft 365 F3, Microsoft 365 E3, Microsoft 365 E5 – these licences are used most often by large corporations.
For the sake of simplicity, we will use both old and new names, introduced by the developer in 2021.
1. Exchange Online P1 or P2 and Kiosk
This licence covers only one application: Exchange Online, i.e. access to email. There is also a licence variant called Kiosk, i.e. streamlined Exchange Online at a very attractive price. Many enterprises choose the Kiosk licence for employees who need only a mailbox and a company email address.
2. Microsoft 365 Business Basic (earlier: Office 365 Business Essentials)
This option provides access to numerous applications apart from Exchange Online, which have popularised Office 365 for business so much. These include Microsoft Teams, SharePoint, OneDrive with the capacity of 1 TB, browser versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint.
3. Microsoft 365 Business Standard (earlier: Office 365 Business Premium)
This licence covers all applications available for Microsoft 365 Business Basic, and also allows installation of the Office applications on the device, which means in practice that this is a classical office suite containing Word, Excel or Power Point.
The Microsoft 365 Business plans include also two other licences: Microsoft 365 Apps for Business and Microsoft 365 Business Premium, whose popularity is considerably lower than the above-mentioned three primary plans.
Why is it worth choosing Support Online? We ensure:
- Efficient deployment of the Office 365 / Microsoft 365 service, which we have launched in over 200 enterprises, including listed companies and international corporations;
- Migration of emails to Exchange Online with the guarantee that no message will disappear;
- Integration of Microsoft (Office) 365 with Active Directory;
- IT support both during the design and the launch of the Office 365 for business applications. We have helped many entities answer the question whether the cloud for business is a right solution for them;
- Consulting for selection of the best tools for data backup copy from Office 365 (one of our companies is specialised in the field of “Office 365 backup”). Regular creation of backup copies of the Microsoft 365 suite data is meant here, including for Exchange Online, SharePoint, OneDrive for Business and Microsoft Teams. Frequently chosen solutions include: Veeam Backup Office 365 (Veeam Backup Microsoft 365) and Nakivo Backup for Microsoft 365;
- Helpdesk service, thanks to which problems related to Microsoft cloud, which occur in the initial weeks of its operation, can be solved faster;
- Management of Office 365 / Microsoft 365. At present we support Microsoft cloud in over 100 enterprises as part of end-to-end IT support (IT outsourcing). Office 365 administration is the leading specialisation of many our engineers;
- Consultations as to the best manner of ensuring the security of data collected in the Microsoft 365 service (unfortunately, the nature of cloud solutions makes them much more vulnerable to hacker attacks). We boast great experience in such topics as multi-factor authentication, often abbreviated as MFA Microsoft), launch and deployment of security measures in large organisations etc.;
- We provide licences at competitive prices;
If you are interested in such topics as: Office 365 deployment, migration to Office 365, deployment of Exchange Online, administration of Office 365 or Office 365 backup, or if you simply want to learn more about whether Microsoft cloud is a right solution for your company, do not hesitate to contact Support Online.