Office 365 is Microsoft’s newest version of office and it follows a subscription model They have two versions, one for home and students, and one for businesses. The subscriptions all come with OneDrive space and access to Microsoft Office, either in a web browser, or as a download of Microsoft Office 2013. We have done multiple installs and I thought I would share my experience about why I think this is a good option for small businesses looking to upgrade their Microsoft Office.
First off, OneDrive is an offsite backup solution that is second to none. Most of the plans come with 1 Terabyte of storage in the cloud. To put it in perspective, the largest hard drives they make now are only around 3-4 Terabytes. A terabyte is 1024 Gigabytes, so it is a lot of space, and you don’t have to just store Office files in there. I’ve got to storing all of the main libraries in my user folders in the cloud using OneDrive. The Documents, Pictures, Video, and Music folders get created in the OneDrive folder and I MOVE all the files over and have them synchronize online.
Let me be clear about the OneDrive cloud: you still get to keep a local copy of your files. It isn’t that your files are online only. If your internet goes down, you’ll still have access to the local version of the file, provided you are on the computer and it had an offline version of the file. Offsite backup is the best type of backup, because if anything happens to your computer, it gets stolen, lost, or destroyed, you can just go to another computer and log in to OneDrive and get back to all your files again. For $10 per month, I think its worth it.
On the business side of things, not only do you get offsite backup, but you also get powerful collaboration tools. Folder sharing is nice and has been around since the 1990’s, but OneDrive for Business allows you to share folders across different geographic locations over the internet. This is a nice option, but it is limited to 5000 items, which should be plenty for any remote worker.
Another cool advantage is that Office 365 business clients get access to SharePoint. SharePoint is an online collaboration tool that is too complex to go into in this article, but I’ll just put it this way: its like Google Drive on steroids. It allows you to build web pages that your team can collaborate on, but they don’t have to be just web pages. They can be full featured web apps and can embed documents and spreadsheets in the page. Like I said, it does a lot.
Last but not least, if you get right versions of Office 365, you get to use Office 2013 on up to 5 devices. The Home and Student version allows you to share Office 2013 with four other people in your household, via email. This works for the Mac Version of Office as well. Your family also gets access to OneDrive and 1TB of space! This is an amazing value for $10/month and one that every family should have. I see too many houses when I do residential service calls that don’t backup. For this to be a simple backup option, one must merely put the files in OneDrive and you’re good!
With all of these backup and collaboration options, Office 365 is a great value for home and business.