To describe it as a business essential would be an understatement. By October 2017, the subscription-based Office 365 from Microsoft had overtaken the revenues of its non-subscription predecessor. Since then, the productivity package has gone from strength to strength – but there is now another consideration for business users. Microsoft 365 offers all the features of Office 365 plus a host of business and security advantages that are worth a look. So, what’s it all about?

Core Office 365 Essentials

First up, Microsoft 365 and Office 365 share the applications that you probably use every day. Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, PowerPoint presentations, and of course the calendar and email applications that help you to organise your day. The applications are accessible from multiple devices, making them ideal for a mobile workforce or just the occasional day working from home.

Thanks to the cloud-based model, it’s easy to create a document in the office, edit it on the train and share it with colleagues for their input, all before reaching your stop. For many organisations, Office 365 has been the first step into the cloud, and the feedback has been deservedly positive.

Collaboration and Productivity

Beyond those classic staples, both also have some outstanding productivity and collaboration tools like OneNote, Teams and SharePoint. All three are worth exploring. OneNote, one of the underused gems of the Office suite, gathers everything from notes, screenshots, pictures and audio, much like the digital version of a pinboard – you can even search those audio files for keywords. SharePoint, meanwhile, acts as an intranet, allowing management and sharing of files between an access-controlled group.

The big collaboration tool, is Microsoft Teams. Getting the most from diverse groups in multiple locations has long been a challenge for businesses; integrating video meetings, chat and file storage, Teams enables virtual meetings that are the next best thing to being in the same room. While chatting, a developer in Munich can share a diagram with peers in Sydney, who can then edit and distribute as they go, incorporating comments from consultants across town and getting sign-off from a manager working from home. Teams makes things happen better, faster.

As a Telstra partner Mangano IT are one of just a handful in Queensland accredited to deliver Telstra calling for 0365 (TCO).  TCO enables landline and mobile calls with Microsoft Teams, so they get a consistent and intuitive experience. They’ve reported some exceptional cost-benefits after making that switch and, equally importantly, have been able to enhance their customer experience as a result.

The Microsoft 365 Security Difference

Microsoft 365 is an enterprise security and mobility platform that incorporates all the Office 365 apps you already know and love. It provides a unified collaboration experience, underpinned by Microsoft’s Enterprise Mobility and Security (EMS), a suite of tools that allows added control over your organisation’s data.

In February, Microsoft announced important security offerings that help businesses meet new data protection obligations. The Australian Notifiable Data Breach Scheme (NDBS), and GDPR in the EU, and similar legislation worldwide states organisations must handle data regarding individuals within certain guidelines. The way data breaches needs to be managed has changed, with many business being unaware of their responsibilities.

Microsoft’s Information Protection and Compliance (IPC) combines Azure Information Protection and Office 365 Advanced Compliance, helping businesses to keep track of their compliance needs from a single point. IPC is available to Microsoft 365 subscribers.

Additionally, best-of-breed advanced threat protection services, in the form of Identity and Threat Protection (ITP) includes a comprehensive array of security options to give administrators cloud app security and enhanced visibility of the threat landscape. As organisations face increasingly sophisticated cyber-crime attacks, having this level of protection within your key productivity package makes sense, not least because it requires very little in the way of management, reducing the security burden faced by in-house teams.

Windows 10 Pro

Microsoft 365 includes an upgrade to Windows 10 Pro, enhancing productivity with tools like remote desktop and Cortana.  These tools work across all your devices, integrating hundreds of apps to make your workplace seamless. It has powerful management tools like single sign-on to tackle the frustration and risk of remembering an evergrowing number of passwords. Windows Autopilot enables any PC to be enterprise ready out-of-the-box, saving a lot of IT time typically spent reimaging and manually provisioning software.

While productivity is boosted, the greatest highlights involve enhanced security features. From the futuristic, like Microsoft Hello, a facial recognition feature, to malware and hacker-blocking functionality, there are enough security leaps to infuriate any cyber-criminal. With Windows 7 end-of-life fast approaching, now is the right time to plan a change.

This is just a taster of what Microsoft 365 has to offer, our Microsoft specialists carefully assessing the possibilities to see what windows 10 can provide for your organisation.  With a variety of options available it can often become confusing; our team will help decipher through the offerings and find a windows solution best suited to your organisation.

Time to check out Microsoft 365’s productivity and security options? Contact our friendly team today.

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